As a first post I thought I would ask if it's possible to reduce the
size of my two eucalyptus trees. Unfortunately they have become very
leggy at approx 35ish foot. I was hoping to lop off the tops down to
approx 20ft. Would this be ok and would it produce a more bushy tree.
Kind Regards Clive
Yes, it would be very OK. However, if you chop them off at about ankle
height, they will come more like a bush than a tree and that is the option I
owuld take in most instances. If you chop them off at 20 ft, they are
likely to come back like a moptop.
In South America, eucalypts are regularly chopped down time and time again
as a renewable source of timber. Having seen the use the people of Sth Am
make of them, I'm trying to get my husband to agree to planting a grove of
Tasmanisn Blue Gums, but he hates the sods so I guess I'll have to work on
finding another euc that he prefers.
It would help if said what species they are but many eucalypts naturally
grow tall and leggy. I would take them lower to about 10ft and leave all
the new shoots to spread and bush out. They are likely to sprout new shoots
from the base not just where you cut them. Depending on species the trunks
and branches may be good for construction or firewood or both. Some species
take to coppicing on a regular basis once established without any ill
> size of my two eucalyptus trees. Unfortunately they have become very
> leggy at approx 35ish foot. I was hoping to lop off the tops down to
> approx 20ft. Would this be ok and would it produce a more bushy tree.
Some tree varieties can be pruned to form a bush which is much more
manageable in the home garden. These trees must be trained from the
first year through a technique called coppicing. Cut the eucalyptus tree
straight across in the first year so it forms a stump that is 3 to 5
inches high. Trim any rough edges on the stump.
Choose four well-formed, well-spaced branches that have grown in the
past year and cut off all remaining branches. Try to leave branches that
are spaced evenly around the stump. These branches will have formed
either from the stump or the ground. This is all the pruning needed in
the second year. Remove any new branches that sprout up from the stump
or ground each year but allow sideshoots to form on the four originally
chosen branches. Trim the sideshoots only when they are broken,
unhealthy, drooping or rubbing on other branches.
So you have lived with all 700 odd species? What about the other close
genera that resemble genus eucalyptus that are often informally called
eucalyptus, all those too?
Not all 700 species drop branches. Some are dangerous. We don't know
whether the species the OP has are branch droppers.
THe eucalyptus that we have in the states seem to be singularly similar.
I broke a leg on a seed pod when I was 5, and they smashed some cars
during high winds several years ago. But if you got assorted gangs of
them roaming your country side, it is probably best not to irritate
them. Are there some of them standing behind you now?
Reminds me of Australians. They can be brash and impulsive, AND helpful,
good friends. Now don't get your shorts in a twist, Fran. That was meant
as a compliment.
We had a bit of a wind storm today, and the trees here in the hills were
movin' around pretty good, so I was worried what it would be doin' out
on the flats. To get into town, quickly, I need to drive through a stand
of eucalyptus, and was amazed that the road wasn't cluttered with limbs.
So much for stereotyping.
The use of eucalyptus along California roadways continues today, but the
species have changed. In 1961, CalTrans (responsible for maintaining
roadways) planted camal- densis, citriodora, caldocalyx, polyanthemos,
rudis, and sideroxylon. In the 1980's, 11,000 caldocalyx, 10,000
camaldensis, 6,000 sideroxylon, and 3,000 rudis were planted along
Very few people know that California had malarial problems. Malaria
could be found in the Sacramento Valley and Kern County last century.
Throughout the nineteenth century, it was believed that the eucalyptus
fought malaria simply by disinfecting the ground and air. By the end of
the century, the cause of malaria was found, and the eucalyptus' true
relationship to the disease became known.
The female anopheles mosquito carries the malaria parasite and implants
it in a human's blood system. The mosquito's home and breeding ground is
generally in a area of standing water such as swampland. Because the
eucalyptus absorbs large amounts of water, it can drain swampland
thereby destroying the habitat of the mosquito, and consequently
stopping the spread of malaria.
OK, so it's not so bad, but its still got some rough edges.
You put Lloyd Blankfein in pound-me-in-the-ass prison for one six-month term,
and all this bullshit would stop, all over Wall Street. That's all it would
I would cut them down to waist high. The stump will resprout with
If you want it bushy, just leave all those shoots. However, they will
eventually grow up as multiple leggy trunks again to the current height.
Alternatively, when the shoots are about 2-3 ft long, remove all except
one. You will then get your original tree in about 3-5 years.
Leggy is the nature form of the tree.
In the meantime, cut the old trunk into logs. Put them in the sun for
about a year. They will make excellent firewood.
David E. Ross
Climate: California Mediterranean, see
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