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How do I Plant a Eucalyptus Tree?

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  • Written By: Ron Marr
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 05 November 2016
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When you consider planting a eucalyptus tree, the first factor that must be taken into account is climate. There are many species of eucalyptus, but most do not take kindly to frost or freezing. As a rule, this tree will not survive in a region where the temperature drops below 20 degrees Fahrenheit (6.66 degrees Celsius). There are, however, a few very hardy varieties that can handle temperatures as low as minus five Fahrenheit (-20 degrees Celsius). Thus, before planting, it is wise to speak with a qualified botanist or agricultural extension service.

Also, because the eucalyptus takes in far more water than the average tree, it will not do well in an arid or desert area. In this case, if you seek an ornamental tree with a menthol aroma, a eucalyptus can be grown in a pot and kept indoors, Generally speaking, however, the eucalyptus tree thrives best in a temperate climate. In such a region the tree will grow with reckless abandon, sometimes as much as ten feet (3.04 meters) per year.

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If you live in a cooler climate, it is best to plant a eucalyptus tree in mid to late spring. This will allow the tree to achieve suitable root growth before the onset of winter. If your location is hot and dry, the exact opposite is true. Plant the tree in the fall, so that the ensuing rainy season will aid in the tree’s maximum growth before a dry summer sets in. The eucalyptus should always be planted in its permanent location, as it will not transplant well.

Once species and climate considerations have been settled, planting a eucalyptus tree is not much different than planting any other tree. Assuming you have purchased a small, potted, starter tree, dig a hole that is considerably larger than the pot. Till the soil in the hole until it is very fine, removing rocks and breaking up any large clods of dirt. Carefully remove the young eucalyptus tree from the pot, untangle the roots, and set it in the hole.

The next step is to fill the hole. With a eucalyptus, you can add a bit more soil than that which was removed. Again, these trees like water, and extra earth will help to bring in and hold additional moisture. Water the tree, and let nature take its course. With good weather, and any luck at all, the freshly planted eucalyptus tree will soon begin the rapid growth for which the species is noted.

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anon347128
Post 6

Having a eucalyptus tree near your house is extremely dangerous - they are highly flammable. About 3,000 houses burned in the Oakland fires in the early 1990s and the large number of exploding eucalyptus trees contributed greatly to the fire. You might consider then beautiful, but those of us who live in the Bay Area all know that eucalyptus are something to remove, not plant. Be very careful.

Emilski
Post 5

@TreeMan - I have seen eucalyptus trees for sale online. The site I was looking at had several different species depending on your location.

One point I would like to point out about eucalyptus, though, is that certain species can escape into the wild and become invasive in warmer states. I live in California, and there is a eucalyptus tree species called Tasmanian blue gum that has caused a lot of problems here.

If you are going to plant a eucalyptus tree, please make sure it is one of the types that is not classified as an invasive species.

TreeMan
Post 4

I'm also wondering about how to get hold of a eucalyptus tree. I've just started reading about them, and I would really like to grow one in my house. I have been looking at eucalyptus tree pictures, and I think it would look great in my living room.

Would a regular nursery or garden center have them, or are there online nurseries where you can order the trees. I'm also curious about the seeds and whether you could plant those and get more trees, or are the hybrid trees sterile?

If I planted it inside, are there eucalyptus tree pruning books that you can buy? How hard are they to take care of?

matthewc23
Post 3

@cardsfan27 - The answer to your last question kind of answers the first. I actually planted a eucalyptus tree in my yard when we revamped our landscaping, and I have read a lot about them.

Because there are so many trees in the tropics, it is advantageous for trees to be able to grow as fast as possible to get as much sunlight as they can. Our trees don't grow that fast because they don't need to.

That being said, the fact that eucalyptus trees grow so fast makes them perfect for plantations that make paper, especially in Australia. Some of the species can grow to around 300 feet. That's about the same height as redwoods. Unfortunately, a lot of these plantations have come at the expense of natural forests that were there before.

cardsfan27
Post 2

How in the world can a tree grow up to ten feet in a year? That is hard for me to believe. The article says eucalyptus is from the tropics. Do all tropical trees grow that fast?

If you planted one of these inside, what would stop it from hitting the ceiling after a year or so? Where would you even buy a eucalyptus tree?

In the tropics where they are native, what are eucalyptus trees used for? I have heard of koalas eating eucalyptus tree leaves, but am curious if they can be used for anything else.

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