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How to Care for a Eucalyptus Tree

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How to Care for a Eucalyptus Tree

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Overview

Native to Australia, the eucalyptus tree (Eucalyptus globulus), or gum tree, is a slender, fast-growing tree that can reach enormous heights and can gain up to 12 feet in height each year. The eucalyptus' fragrant oils and leaves are often used for medicinal purposes. The eucalyptus has distinct, long and narrow leaves that are often bluish- or grayish-green, as well as flowers that can be red, pink, yellow or white. The eucalyptus prefers partial to full sunlight and moderately moist, rich soils.

Step 1

Water the eucalyptus tree once every week or two to supplement rainfall and keep the soil evenly moist at all times during the first growing season after planting the tree. After the first year, you don't need to water the tree at all.

Step 2

Spread a 3- to 4-inch layer of bark mulch on the ground around the base of the tree to cover the root area, spreading the mulch about 1-½ feet from the trunk. The mulch will help to control weed growth around the tree, protect the roots from freezing and keep the soil moist.

Step 3

Prune away any dead, damaged, diseased or crowded limbs from the eucalyptus tree between mid-spring until late summer. Avoid removing the lowest branches from the tree if they're still alive and actively growing.

Step 4

Cover the lower trunk with lightweight mulch during the winter, if you expect frequent freezing temperatures or frosts. Remove any frost- or freeze-damaged growth in mid-spring.

Tips and Warnings

  • Avoid transplanting the eucalyptus tree after it becomes established because the tree will likely die unless you can preserve at least 40 to 80 percent of the roots.

Things You'll Need

  • Garden hose
  • Bark mulch
  • Pruning tools
  • Lightweight mulch

References

  • Angelfire.com: How to Grow a Eucalyptus

Who Can Help

  • PlantCare.com: Eucalyptus, Gum Tree
  • University of Maryland Medical Center: Eucalyptus
Keywords: grow eucalyptus, eucalyptus tree care, plant gum trees

About this Author

Sarah Terry brings 10 years of experience writing novels, business-to-business newsletters, and a plethora of how-to articles. Terry has written articles and publications for a wide range of markets and subject matters, including Medicine & Health, Eli Financial, Dartnell Publications and Eli Journals.