Eucalyptus trees are fragrant trees with peeling bark and silvery foliage, some of which grow in the United Kingdom. They are ornamental trees that provide aesthetically pleasing color and shape to even small yards. These trees require pruning annually. You can burn pruned branches for their distinctive scent and as a mosquito repellent.
You need to prune eucalyptus to promote growth. It involves cutting back the tree's branches during late winter or early spring. Focus on branches that are dying or crowding out other branches' development. Pruning helps the tree maximize its vitality and use of resources.
When encouraging the growth of new shoots in eucalyptus trees, start pruning in the first two years of the plant's life. Remove all the branches from the lower third and shorten side shoots in the middle region of the tree. Remove any diseased or damaged branches from the eucalyptus. Sanitize pruning shears after each cut if you're removing diseased branches, to discourage the spread of fungus.
The technique of pruning, known as pollarding, is how many gardeners in the United Kingdom choose to cut back the limbs on the main trunk. Pollarding is best for specific breeds of the eucalyptus and the Royal Horticulture Society of the United Kingdom recommends you hire a professional arborist to do this.
Some gardeners choose to cut their trees off at the main stem to a desired height, a technique known as coppicing. This allows the tree to grow from a short main trunk, as small as 3 inches. Prune back all but the best-placed branches as it grows. Wait until your tree is 3 years old or older, then remove the shoots that are misshapen or drag on the ground.
Older trees can also be coppiced in the same way as their younger counterparts, every other year. It's better to avoid this method, as the eucalyptus may not be able to re-grow roots at this age, and may die.