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eucalyptus gunnii question?


 
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honeybunny
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Joined: 16 Feb 2012
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Location: Dublin, Ireland

PostPosted: Sun Feb 19, 2012 6:04 pm    Post subject: eucalyptus gunnii question? Reply with quote

i planted a eucalyptus gunnii in the garden the year before last, the plan was to coppice it yearly so it stayed nice and bushy as opposed to leaving it as a tree, i read somewhere to leave it alone for a few year to establish its root system before coppicing it for the first time....now im having doubts, its grown to about 12ft-ish as a tree....so on a single stem, will i kill it if i cut the whole thing down to a couple of feet off the ground...i really dont want to kill it ! Shocked
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medieval knievel
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 19, 2012 6:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

i've yet to see eucalyptus work as a bush - but be warned, there's a couple of threads on here about eucalyptus being killed by last year's cold weather. if we get a repeat, your eucalyptus may not survive.
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Anonany
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 20, 2012 9:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Growing eucalyptus as bushes was very popular in the 1970/80's and many nurseries recommended it as -- for the most part -- the juvenile foliage was considered more interesting than the adult foliage.

We did it very successfully in our last garden and, it just so happens, decided to do something similar -- as part of a clearing operation -- last year. Sometime around Aug/Sep we cut one down to about 12-18 inches. It was one of those "it either survives or it doesn't" decisions. Within a few weeks we saw signs of buds; within a month or two the shoots were about 2 foot long and, when I looked at it yesterday, the "branches" are now 4-5 foot long and will need to be pruned to encourage them to bush.

I can't guarantee success (who can !), but if it's going to be too large for your garden, you don't really have a great deal to lose by trying to convert it to a bush.

If you want to take the all-or-nothing approach, then you could try cutting the stem back to around 18 inches now. It's Spring, so there's a 50:50 chance there are latent buds near the base which will re-sprout over the next few months.

If you want to play it safe, pick a height that suits your garden and make the cut there. Cut back the branches (rather like pollarding) to a leaf/bud about 12-18 inches from the stem and train it into a rough mop-head shape. This should keep it looking reasonably attractive whilst waiting to see if new growth will emerge from the base.

The second option allows you to play a "waiting game". If growth appears half-way down the stem; you can cut it lower. If growth appears from the base; you can cut back hard. If nothing happens ... well, you've still got an interesting mop-head ... and the tree is still alive !
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honeybunny
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 22, 2012 6:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

thank you, i never thought of that (your second option) great idea, i'll have to psych myself up for it though....i'll be murdered if it dies, the family love's it.

hey Anonany your only about 3 mile away from me!
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Anonany
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 23, 2012 10:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Unless you really want a large tree, it's probably better to take the plunge sooner rather than later, Having said that, I do know just how upsetting it can be when you have to take drastic action.

Fingers crossed that you'll get a good result !

Three miles ... ... well, at least you're dealing with much the same climactic conditions !
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Greengage
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 23, 2012 9:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Eucalyptus are not native do not support any wildlife and suck up huge amounts of water from the ground so bad are they that in African countries they reccomend getting rid of them fo this very reason, The can be grown for the young foliage which is used by florists. Better still buy yourself a Koala Bear as koalas are one of nature's most fussy eaters. It will only eat the leaves and young shoots of the eucalyptus tree. It also eats the tree's stems, flowers, and bark, but it likes the leaves best. And not just the leaves of any eucalyptus tree. Of the more than seven hundred varieties of eucalyptus, the koala will only eat from about three dozen of them.
If you are thinking that eucalyptus is highly nutritious because they are almost the only food that koalas eat, you are wrong. The leaves of eucalyptus have little protein, lots of material that is hard to digest, and are actually poisonous to most animals. Bacteria in koala's stomach break down the poisonous oils in the leaves so they do not harm the koala.
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