Topping a eucalyptus tree

I am whiling away the hours..waiting for the storm to pass. We are on the coast and Hurricane Katrina is heading sort of our way. (we are southwest of New Orleans) I had a eucalyptus tree that was growing near a carport post. I'm not sure of the variety, but it is a fast growing tree. Makes round silver leaves...something euca. globe? Anyhoo this thing has grown soooo tall in such a short time that we've had to tie it to one of the porch posts. Twice wind has taken it and laid it down, but after tying it back up, it does fine. Nothing fazes it.
As a preemptive measure, we topped it and cut about 5 or 6 feet off the top. I'm thinking and hoping that cropping it like that won't do it any major harm and that it will recover and branch out some more. Am I correct? Perry
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Perry Templeton wrote:

Topping a tree is *never* a good idea.
--

Travis in Shoreline (just North of Seattle) Washington
USDA Zone 8
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Usually that's true. However, a category 5 or strong category 4 is probably going to make the point moot, unfortunately. Topping this tree may save it......
--
Ann, gardening in Zone 6a
South of Boston, Massachusetts
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. . . temporarily. http://www.treesaregood.com/treecare/topping.asp
You don't want a topped tree looming over your house. If the storm spares it, finish the removal and replace it, and be kind to the new tree.
Keith Babberney ISA Certified Arborist #TX-236
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I hack mine back to waist level every year. It then puts on ten foot o
growth for me to hack back the next year. I've started using the lon branches as poles to support my rambling roses
-- dotCompost
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Perry Templeton wrote:

Those who advised against topping apparently have no experience with eucalyptus. They respond quite well to being cut, not merely topping but severely cut back.
Cut the tree at about waist height. It will resprout at the cut. Wait about a year. Select what you consider to be the best shoot and remove the others.
If you wish, redo the cut at an angle away from the shoot you keep (similar to how you cut a rose, angling away from the growth bud you expect to sprout). You do this after removing the unwanted shoots. This "sculpting" of the cut is optional.
In about 5 years, you might not even notice that the tree was ever cut. In 10 years, no one can tell.
Repeat every 5-10 years to keep the tree in check. Save the larger pieces of tree. Stack them where they can dry. They make a very aromatic firewood.
Four acres of some eucalyptus varieties are sufficient to supply a family with a permanent source of firewood for cooking, heating, and hot water. You harvest one acre each year and let it dry until the next acre is harvested. After four years (after the other three acres are harvested), the first acre has enough regrowth to be harvested again.
--

David E. Ross
<URL:http://www.rossde.com/
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] Perry Templeton wrote: ] > ] > I am whiling away the hours..waiting for the storm to pass. We are on the ] > coast and Hurricane Katrina is heading sort of our way. (we are southwest ] > of New Orleans) []
Hope you've weathered it alright...
] Those who advised against topping apparently have no experience ] with eucalyptus. They respond quite well to being cut, not merely ] topping but severely cut back. ] []
Further, apparently many eucalypts have very different juvenile and adult foliage. When the former is desirable one is apparently meant to hack the tree way back, "simulating" severe damage so that it will revert for a few years.
The site www.eucalyptus.co.uk has some interesting stuff about these trees. (I'm not affiliated, but I do intend to order some of the rustic species this fall.)
-E
--
Emery Davis
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wrote:

It's true, I don't see many eucs here. But what you've described below is a way to have a euc bush and a source of poles/firewood, not a tree.

Until the internal defects worsen to the point of having the whole branch above that point break and fall on the house.

All well and good if you have four acres, but, I repeat, you do not want a topped tree looming over your house, as the OP now has.
k
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Well, we survived the storm relatively okay. The eucalyptus, if we had not cut it, WOULD have broken. The winds were horrific.I can only imagine that a broken tree is worse off than a cut tree. Thanks for all the input. Perry

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If this species is the tree I'm thinking about, grown widely in the deep south for its foliage which can be used in flower arrangements and so forth, it is a very small tree - almost like a tall shrub, except that it is usually single-trunked. It often tops out at 20 feet or so - and also the top portions (newer growth) of the tree are very susceptible to frost-damage below 20 degrees, and die back to branches that are more hardened off. So I don't think topping it will either create a dangerous tree in the future or cause any lasting damage more than the climate itself creates.

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On Mon, 29 Aug 2005 23:11:56 -0700, "presley"

Perhaps. The eucs I know about are among the biggest trees out there.
k
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