Blog

Choosing your species

‘So many Eucalyptus and so little space’

     
  • Many people only have room for one or two species and as most (but not all) Eucalyptus tend to grow into large trees, it is very important to make the right selection.
  • In our web-catalogue, you will find recommendations for each Eucalyptus species, based on the ability of that species to adapt or thrive in a specific type of growing environment, but please be aware that this is intended only as a general guide and not to be treated as an absolute statement of fact. Local environmental factors will have a huge influence on the success and growth rate of an individual tree.
  • The more impulsive gardener could just wade into our plant list and pick the one that most appeals. For the more considered gardener, it may help you to begin the decision making process by answering the following questions, make a wish list by jotting down your answers and then visit the plant list :-

What kind of Eucalyptus do you want (what job do you want the tree to do)?

     
  • a) A beautiful stand-alone specimen/feature tree
  • b) A small tree ideal for smaller urban gardens
  • c) A tree to cast shade - one to sit under or to cast a protective umbrella over shade loving plants
  • d) A fast growing evergreen screen - single specimen, e.g. to screen a barn from view
  • e) An evergreen hedge- several metres long. Eucalyptus will form a loose but effective 'hedge'
  • f) Cut foliage for flower arranging - grow it as a large shrub
  • g) A tree for firewood production - coppice or clear fell?
  • h) Growing in a container - choosing an evergreen tree for a patio or courtyard garden
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How big do you want your tree or screen to grow?

     
  • Question: Are you going to allow it to develop to its maximum potential (given your growing conditions) without any pruning or do you intend to do a little trimming now and then to keep it under control?
  • Trimming ‘a little and often’ is best with a specimen tree, to give it a nice shape. See pruning and training.
  • As with any tree planting exercise, please ensure that your tree will have plenty of space to grow, free from buildings and that it will not upset the neighbours. Refer to our: distance from buildings section.

What is your growing environment like?

  • Consider the following:
  • Your garden climate: frost pocket, windy/exposed, coastal (salty) or warm/sheltered
  • Your garden soil assessment: Boggy or Standard garden soil or Dry Fertile soil or Poor/Stony/Sandy Acid (you can grow Rhododendrons) or Neutral or Alkaline/Chalky

Additional Features you may like to consider:

  • Aroma of the leaves: the smell and sound of the foliage are a pleasant sensory addition to any garden
  • Winter interest: bark detail and foliage
  • Leaf colour: both new growth and winter foliage
  • Flowers: the majority of hardy Eucalyptus flowers are white/creamy white, they tend to be prolific and rich in nectar favoured by bees and other pollinators, which is a 'good thing'
  • What's next?
  • Armed with your 'design brief' you can now tackle the list of species with confidence and match a tree with your wish list
  • Still unsure? Send us an email and we will try and help you reach a decision.