Unlike most other trees, eucaliptus can be topped. Within 4-6
years, no one will know.
Cut the tree to a stump about 4-6 ft tall in the late winter.
When the stump resprouts, select one sprout near the cut to be the
new leader. Head the others without removing them and without
removing all their leaves.
After 2-3 years, the new leader will be quite vigorous; and the
heading cut will be well along to healing. At that time, remove
all the side sprouts that you have been heading.
Obviously, you can head far less severely than this. Then the
appearance will recover much sooner. However, this gives you an
example of how readily eucalyptus recovers from heading.
A 4-acre lot planted with one of the faster growing eucalyptus can
provide a family of four with an ongoing supply of firewood for
heating, cooking, and hot water. (Remember, the heating
requirements reflect the climate where eucalyptus grows.) Wood
from one acre is harvested for a year, the next acre is then
harvested a year later, etc. Four years later, the trees have
regrown on first acre that they are ready to be cut again.
David E. Ross
Climate: California Mediterranean
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