My wife bought a eucalyptus in a pot from a local garden store (Lowe's I
think) two years ago and it grew like no-ones business for the first year.
The pot it was in was of the five gallon size. After it grew too big for
the pot, we decided to plant it in our yard. This seemed good for the
eucalyptus as it kept growing non-stop. I thought it might grow into a
beautiful tree and we could enjoy it for some time as it matured. The
problem is it does not want to grow straight. I have placed poles alongside
to assist it in growing vertical, but as it keeps growing, it keeps tilting
(the main trunk does not seem to be able to support the it). Now, I am not
sure whether it would be wise to prune/shear the thing in order to promote a
bulkier trunk, or is it possible we have a genus that is not capable of
growing into a tree but rather should be treated as a shrub. We live in
South Carolina and the temperature here is normally very warm with mild
winters (with the occasional frost and or snow fall which has not hurt it in
the least). A description of this eucalyptus is as follows;
1. the leaves are silvery upon new growth and after maturing they turn green
2. the limbs grow quite long
3. there is a good amount of leaf growth on the main trunk
4. the leaves are mostly round
Any thoughts on whether to prune to the ground and let it have a happy life
as a bush or to discretionally prune it for tree growth would be
thank you all...
I was waiting to see if there would be any replies to this question. I too
have a eucalyptus. (this is the second one I've planted, the first one was
at my first house) They just seem to be kind of flimsy and not stand up
straight. My other one was about 8 years old and the bottom of the trunk
finally got thick enough to support the bottom half of the tree. But any
trunk section smaller in diameter than maybe an inch, was just not self
supporting. I would have to tie it up. I had mine on the corner of a
posted porch, so it was convenient enough to support it. The exact same
scenario with the current one. It's putting out new growth, it's happy
where it is and I love the occasional fresh smell when I brush up against a
leaf. But, I have to tie this one up too. This one has been in the ground
for only 6 months or so.
Wish I could have been more helpful, but my experience has been the same as
Eucalyptus are very fast-growing, and they are very leggy in their
youth. Not much to do but keep it well propped up until it gets more
solid. You can prune them hard, but it won't make them less vertical.
I've seen a number of Eucalyptus cut to the ground or broken off at
the ground. They bush out, then shoot right back up.
There are a few shrubby Eucalyptus; these produce a clump of canes
rather than a single trunk.
I had this same problem with a red-flowering gum (Eucalyptus
ficifolia). However, eucalyptus trees not only grow fast but
recover quickly from being cut.
I cut off the top at chest height, leaving a bare stump. When it
resprouted, I left four evenly-spaced shoots. After about a few
months -- after I saw the original cut healing -- I removed all but
one shoot. As this grew, the same problem with a limber trunk
I cut the top off again, just slightly below the original cut. By
now the trunk has grown sufficiently that it is no longer limber.
After one or two years, the trunk will show little sign of having
been cut (perhaps a slight wave in an otherwise straight line).
This kind of cutting can actually be done to some species of
full-grown eucalyptus, but taking 4-6 years before the cut is no
longer apparent. However, ONLY CUT in the spring after danger of
frost is past. Otherwise new growth can be damaged.
David E. Ross
Climate: California Mediterranean
HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here.
All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.