Ailing Eucalyptus Gunnii

Hi,
I recently bought a Eucalyptus Gunnii from a local florist where I was buying my daughter some flowers. Being transplanted from Australia myself, I couldn't leave the poor sick thing languishing there. However, it's not very healthy.
Most of the foliage is dead - dry, brittle leaves with no eucalyptus smell. It has a few live leaves, close to the base of the trunk. The sapling is about 60cm in height, and the trunk at its base is about 8mm. the trunk is brown to about 2cm in height from the soil, and is green above that.
I wondered if it might not be weather damage - although the winter here in the Czech Republic has felt mild to people, with temps being above zero most days, our nights are still below freezing, sometimes to -10, and we have had some constant cold winds.
The trunk itself appears to be quite healthy, but the leaves are grey and dry, and some have a white powdery coating, which doesn't wipe off (part of the leaf?), and the twigs those dead leaves were on are blackened, but with the main trunk itself still remaining green. It's quite hard to describe in words.
My main query here is whether to give the tree up (which I really don't want to), or can I take some action to assist in its survival. Should I give it a prune (and to what extent), can I give it any treatments that might help, should I water, not water, give fresh air or keep in the window, warm but in the sun, or something completely different. This being the first eucalypt I've seen here in Europe's Armpit, I don't think I can take it to a garden centre - mainly because they're pretty rare creatures, but also because I don't speak the language! This forum's help would be enormously appreciated!
Regards, Lesley Law.
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Lesley Law


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It's not in any of my books but there are many references on the web, eg
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eucalyptus_gunnii
Which says that it is fast growing and very cold tolerant for a eucalyptus. It also grows quite large!
My guess is that it may have been watered inappropriately and/or be rootbound and/or not have had enough sun - you don't say how big the pot is. Small pots and seedlings of big eucalypts don't work. Have you slid it out of the pot? How do the roots look?
You would be coming into spring so I would take the chance and give it some TLC in a few weeks time. Pot it on to a big tub full of appropriate soil (reasonably high organic content not too rich in phosphorus) put it in full sun, out of the wind if possible, and keep it damp but not wet. I would wait to see what growth it puts on before pruning. The leaves at the base of the trunk may be regrowth after a shock and this may be where your growth comes from.
This is all generalisation as I haven't grown this species. If it does no good over summer toss it and put something else in the tub.
David
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