How to Shape a Eucalyptus Tree


The Eucalyptus is a flowering evergreen tree that is native to Australia. Eucalyptus is grown both as a shrub and a tree. The leaves of the eucalyptus are long, glossy and pointed. The flowers bloom in spring and vary in color, including cream, red, pink or yellow. Some species of the eucalyptus tree can reach over 400 feet tall. The tree is not tolerant of frost and prefers hot tropical climates and moist, well-drained soils. The trees need little care to thrive but must be pruned to achieve the desired shape.

Step 1

Remove all side branches from the lower part of the tree during the first year of planting. This will create a main stem. Use a sharp hand saw to cut through the thicker stems. Cut the side shoots in half on the middle part of the stem. Leave all of the side shoots on the upper portion of the tree except for any damaged or diseased shoots. Removed the damaged and diseased shoots and any shoots that are growing inward toward the stem.

Step 2

Repeat the same pruning technique that you used in year one for years two and three. Remove any crossed branches near the top of the tree. These branches can prevent portions of the tree from getting the light they need to thrive.

Step 3

Cut the side branches from the base of the tree every year. The small branches at the bottom of the tree will fight the main stem for nutrients.

Step 4

Trim all dead or misplaced branches from the top of the tree. This will help the tree to reach its desired shape. Established eucalyptus trees require very little pruning, unless you are trying to shape the tree.

Step 5

Trim the crown of the tree if it begins to get top-heavy and begins leaning to one side. You should also reduce the limbs at the crown of the tree if you live in an area that receives a lot of wind. Use pruning sheers or a hand saw to cut at a 45 degree angle near the stem if the tree.

Things You'll Need

  • Pruning sheers
  • Hand saw


  • University of New Mexico: Eucalyptus
  • Royal Horticulture: Eucalyptus Pruning
Keywords: eucalyptus trees, pruning eucalyptus, training eucalytpus

About this Author

Melody Dawn has been writing since 2004. Her work has appeared in the "Gainesville Times" and her writing focuses on topics about gardening, business and education. She is a member of the Society for Professional Journalists. Dawn holds a Master of Business and is working on a Master of Journalism from the University of Tennessee.