Last Updated on June 7, 2022 by Real Men Sow
The gum tree, Eucalyptus, is an evergreen tree that grows quickly and looks great all year thanks to its bark and decorative leaves. The ornamental leaves are large and grey-green, or blue-grey. The main stems shed their bark to make an attractive snakeskin effect’. In summer, mature trees can produce clusters or single petalless flowers. Eucalyptus trees can be grown in warmer areas of the UK because they are Australian-native. Once established, they are drought-tolerant.
How Does An Eucalyptus Tree Look Like
The distinctive feature of Eucalyptus’ large, waxy, lance-shaped, evergreen leaves is its grey-green or blue-grey colour. They are aromatic when crushed and can be easily identified. Each year, the bark sheds to form attractive patterns on its trunk. These patterns can be white, cream, or shades of gray. Sometimes, it may have pink or orange tints.
What’s the Most Common Type of Eucalyptus tree?
Cider gum (Eucalyptus Gunnii) is the most common eucalyptus. It can withstand hard pruning and can be cut back each year to make a bushy shrub. It produces blue-gray, rounded juvenile leaves that are ideal for floral arrangements. The snow gum (Eucalyptus niphophila), and the round-leaved gum (Eucalyptus perriniana) are smaller-growing eucalyptus that can be grown as specimen trees.
How To Grow An Eucalyptus Tree
You can grow eucalyptus in warmer areas of the country in a sunny spot, that has shelter to protect it from cold winds. For the first season, plant in spring or early Summer and water during dry spells. If the plant is to be grown as a shrub in spring, you should prune it all in spring.
Where To Grow Eucalyptus
Eucalyptus trees are best for being specimens in a border or lawn, or as screen plants in a line or group. If you choose the largest species, ensure there is enough room for growth. You can grow Eucalyptus gunnii as an annual pruned shrub. You can plant it either in one or a few plants in a border. Place in full sun, protected from the cold winds. Eucalyptus will thrive in soil that drains easily. As eucalyptus doesn’t thrive in alkaline soils, it is best to have soil with a pH of neutral to acid.
How To Plant Eucalyptus Tree
To allow the plant enough time to establish itself before the colder months, you should plant the eucalyptus in the spring or early summer. You should plant eucalyptus in fertile, well-drained soil without any additional organic matter or fertilizer. Place the root ball on top of the soil. Firmly plant the tree and water well. Use a short stake and a tie to secure the tree.
How To Prune Eucalyptus
Tree-grown Eucalyptus don’t need pruning. In the spring, remove any damaged or dead branches. You can grow Eucalyptus gunnii as a shrub by hard pruning each year or every other year in spring. All growth should be taken back to the ground.
Problems When Growing Eucalyptus Trees & Solutions
Eucalyptus trees are easy to maintain once they have been established. They only require minimal maintenance if the conditions are right. Too much moisture can cause discolored and weak growth, which could ultimately lead to the tree’s death. Strong and cold winds might scorch its leaves.
Even though they are evergreen, large eucalyptus trees can lose a lot of their leaves throughout the year. They are very waxy and take some time to degrade so it is important to get rid of them. It’s also worth considering the possibility of leaves falling on neighbor’s gardens.
Eucalyptus Tree Varieties To Grow
- Eucalyptus gunnii – A tall, slender tree with young, blue-green leaves that mature to gray-green. (H x S 25m x 12m), unless reduced annually
- Eucalyptus pauciflora niphophila – This small spreading tree is great for small gardens. Large, leathery mid green leaves. (H x S 8m x 8.8m)