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Eucalyptus Cultural Advice


Eucalyptus do not like having their roots disturbed, so do not play about with the root system.

These plants love the heat, will withstand a certain amount of non watering, and best to keep them on the dry side. However, this does not mean you can go away for 2 weeks and expect your young plant to be alive when you return.

We supply these as large plug plants, and just follow the simple instructions as per normal plug plants here :- Potting up plug plants

Eucalyptus varieties are trees, but if planted into a container, will mean they restrict their growth, a bit like a bonsai. They are also known by their common name, gum trees, which are almost entirely Australian. Indeed, these are the trees that koalas eat and spend their lives in. In fact, only a few of the 700+ species recognized by science live entirely outside of Australia’s borders.

This group of evergreen trees (Dont loose their leaves over winter) from down-under have been introduced to countries all over the world, becoming one of the most widely cultivated trees across the world. Interestingly, most of Australia’s ecosystems have evolved with frequent fire hazard regimes, as a result, eucalyptus are generally fire-adapted trees that sprout back strongly after being burned.

Eucalyptus belong to the family Myrtaceae. Common features of eucalyptus include their shaggy bark, also called stringybark, which peels off either year-round or seasonally, depending on the species. These trees have an abundance of stamens, making them flowering trees, unlike pines. Also, they share cup-like flowers that develop into hard seed heads that resemble nuts. Most gum trees have blue-green, leathery leaves that have the menthol-smelling oil of eucalyptol.

Eucalyptus Tree Habitats in the UK

Eucalyptus trees grow best in mild climates, their homeland, is generally not a frigid, snowy landscape like some parts of the UK.

A small handful of cold-hardy varieties of eucalyptus can grow in areas that experience occasional sub-zero degrees fahrenheit during the winter. These varieties allow citizens of the places like the U.K, to plant eucalyptus.

Eucalyptus love to be in the sunniest places available and do well in nutrient-poor soil. Once established, they tolerate drought very well. Interestingly,  eucalyptus have different leaf shapes depending on the age of the tree, making identification difficult in some situations.

The Many Uses of Eucalyptus Trees

Eucalyptus wouldn’t have spread throughout the world so quickly if it didn’t have such a myriad of uses to us humans. While there are plenty more, here is a shortlist of some of the most important uses for eucalyptus.

Oils

Anyone who has walked in a eucalyptus forest knows the intense, spicey, minty smell the trees produce. This smell mainly comes from the chemical compound eucalyptol, which is found in the green leaves of eucalyptus trees. Eucalyptol is a powerful therapeutic oil. People have used eucalyptus oils for a wide variety
of medicinal uses throughout history. It has antimicrobial properties, meaning it can kill bacteria and microbes. People have also used eucalyptus oil for dental care, respiratory illness, pain relief, as an immune stimulator, and to sterilize equipment. Some people enjoy the scent of eucalyptus and use it in aromatherapy or as a perfume.

Fuel as Firewood

In many highland tropical and subtropical areas of the world, people use eucalyptus as fuel for cooking and heating their homes. Since they grow incredibly rapidly (some varieties grow ten or more feet per year) and don’t need much care, they make ideal firewood trees. East Africa, South America, and Southeast Asia all have extensive eucalyptus stands for firewood use.

Floral Arrangements

Due to their attractive, classy blue-green or grey-green colour, many florists use eucalyptus leaves as fillers for flower arrangements. Gunni, and Silver dollar eucalyptus, with its large, round leaves adds nice volume and interesting shapes to any bouquet. Eucalyptus work especially well in floral arrangements because their leathery leaves don’t wilt. They look fresh for weeks!

An Effective Windbreak

Due to their rapid growth, eucalyptus also make excellent windbreaks for farmers. A windbreak is usually a long hedge or row of trees planted on the windward side of a crop. The windbreak acts as a wall that slows down the wind. Windbreaks help farmers use less water on their crops.

Plants limit their use of water by creating thin layers of humid air around their leaves through transpiration.

Wind rapidly whisks away this humid air and replaces it with dry air. As a result, the plants must use more water to thrive in a windy environment. When farmers reduce wind with windbreaks, plants can keep that layer of humid air around their leaves, and therefore use less water to grow.


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