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Eucalyptus aggregata

    Black Gum

  • From - £14.00
Why we like this variety:
  • Airy, light, elegant and graceful habit
  • An evergreen tree with holly-green foliage - looks comfortable in an UK rural or garden setting
  • Good winter-foraging for honey-bees
  • Dries up swampy-wet ground
  • A relatively quick result without becoming huge
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  • From - £14.00


Summary:

An evergreen tree that looks comfortable in a UK rural or garden setting. It has an airy, light, elegant and graceful habit and gives a relatively quick result without becoming huge.

Call us on 0751 526 1511 for assistance in choosing your Eucalyptus.

Botanical Name:
  • Eucalyptus aggregata
  • MYRTACEÆ; Myrtle Family
  • Common Name: Black Gum
  • Status: Evergreen Tree
  • Origin: Endemic to Australia. It was first described by Deane and Joseph Maiden in 1900. (West-central tablelands to the southern tablelands of New South Wales and small population near Woodend, Central Victoria, not including Tasmania) Although sometimes considered synonymous with the closely related E. rodwayi, the two are botanically distinct.

Nursery Notes


Description, habit, uses and attributes:

This variety belongs to the small fruited swamp gums. It produces a nicely shaped tree with an open spreading crown, casting a light shade. Arching branches carry dense foliage in clusters. 

Lignotuber:  it has one, which is a good thing!  Eucalyptus aggregata will regenerate off the lignotuber if cut down by man, beast or nature.  It also produces many shoots from epicormic buds lying dormant beneath the bark higher up the tree; so   Eucalyptus aggregata will respond extremely well to both coppicing and pollarding practices. 

What is a lignotuber?

How to use in the landscape and/or garden:

How to grow or train it to get the best out of it
Good Specimen Tree for the wider landscape, parkland, for the medium sized garden (if pruned) and larger garden:
Growing a full sized standard. Planting the tree and running away is an option, but it won’t necessarily give you the best results. For information on how to do it properly see our growing notes here - hyperlink to help page  Growing shrub-onna-stick clipped standard: this is an opportunity to grow a Eucalyptus in a confined space and control its overall size. You can produce a small tree on a trunk with a height of anywhere between 2.4m (8ft) and 4m (12ft) 
We have not yet grown E aggregata  as a clipped standard as yet, but know that it responds well to pollarding. If you give it a go, do get in touch to let us know how you get on.
See our growing notes here - hyperlink to help page
Growing a multi-stemmed bush or tree.  Why would you want to do this? 
To create 
- a tree with more body or ‘mass’ for screening purposes, once grown back up to its        full potential, but now with several main trunks
- an attractive multi-stemmed architectural tree, especially if it has exceptional bark
- to control height where your Euc can be usefully maintained anywhere between 2.4m (8ft) and 7m (20ft), but genetically it may want to grow taller if ignored.
To produce your own multistem from a young tree or maxi tree see out growing notes here - hyperlink to help page

Firewood Production:  E aggregata  (along with its cousin E rodwayi) shows great potential as a hardy Euc for producing biomass and firewood logs, particularly as it thrives in wet soils.   Classified by the Australians as being good firewood, we should be making more use of it over here, in the UK         
For information on how to grow firewood, see our ‘How to’ pages here - hyperlink to help page
Hedge-Screens & Windbreaks:   E aggregata could be planted in a row to provide shelter-belt protection, but it is a swamp gum; bear in mind that it has a shallow root system of probably 450-600 mm.  Therefore, subsoiling or deep digging would be a good practice prior to planting, to ensure the establishment of as deep a root system as possible.      
E aggregata  is not a species that lends itself to a Eucalyptus hedgescreen, choose E archeri or similar for this job
For information on how to grow hedge-screens, see out ‘How to’ pages here - hyperlink to help page

Rural/Agricultural:       
- Good tree for livestock to stand under for shade. Eucalyptus provide a cool environment for horses, cattle, llamas, sheep to shelter from the sun on hot days, as the mass evaporation of water through the leaves creates a cool shady canopy beneath. Also, I have been told that the eucalyptol in the leaves deters flies
- Green foliaged species, which looks for comfortable and not ‘foreign’ in a rural setting

Ecology:   
- Bees. All Eucalyptus produce flowers with nectar and pollen, but this species is useful as it flowers from October onwards, providing winter foraging for hungry honey bees on warmer winter days 
- Habitat creation and Game Cover:  this species lends itself to providing good trouble-free habitat creation for wildlife and game cover, when planted in groups and particularly when grown as a multi-stem, coppiced on a regular rotation (also yields a crop of firewood logs).
Birds enjoy roosting in Eucalyptus trees and Pheasants like rootling around underneath them.

Environmental: 
- Drying up wet soils  This is a great species to help you regain the use of boggy ground.  Dry up wet ground flooded by the outflow from a Septic tank system, remedial treatment for winter boggy ground or unwanted dew ponds.  If you have marshy pasture, I suspect that planting a couple of E aggregata couple help dry the ground up and give you a crop of firewood logs too, if you coppiced every few years.
- SUDS protocol Plant singly or in groups to draw on run-off drain water percolating into swales or similar. Coppice or pollard every few years if you need to control the overall height of the trees.  Eucalyptus draw on ground water for twelve months of the year, unlike willows, which lie dormant for 5 months through the winter.

- Coastal planting  I have no direct experience of growing E aggregata in a coastal location. I suspect that it would be fine if grown a couple of miles inland from the sea. If you are going to grow this species on the coast, do get back to us with the results of your experiment. 

- Tolerant of cold and exposed growing environments inland  E aggregata will grow in open fields and pasture; it does not require a sheltered position.  No grass, no weeds and a thick bark chip mulch, to a depth of 150 mm (6 inches) are essential to assist with good establishment

- Tolerant of poor stoney soils once established   E aggregata  does not require a rich soil and can survive in poor, stoney soils.   It is essential that your Euc. is given lots of water during its establishment phase before you abandon it to its fate.  The tree needs to establish a good root system before it can survive in these challenging conditions.


Biometrics
Shoots ‘n Leaves: Young shoots Very fine, elegant willow like foliage
Juvenile foliage are deep copper bronze, turning dark holly-green
Adult foliage are up to 13 cm long, lance shaped and slightly glossy to matt holly-green.


Bark:  Young trees are buff/caramel with coffee and charcoal coloured.  Mature trees have bark that is deeply furrowed, rough textured, coffee brown to pewter grey in colour


Flowers:  Cream White flowers in groups of 7.  Our trees flower from October onwards for several months
Leaf Aroma: subtle typical Eucalyptus aroma, not as overwhelming as some of the other species

Rate of Growth: Moderate rate of 1.0-1.5 metres per year
Height in maturity, if left unpruned:  around 20 metres. Responds well to pruning and can be grown multi-stemmed to full height or kept at around 6-7m (20ft) 
Hardiness: around -14°C when mature.  Hardiness in Eucalyptus is governed by provenance of seed, how it is grown (i.e. high nitrogen levels reduces cold tolerance), age of the tree - the older your tree, the hardier it will be (younger Eucs are more susceptible to frost damage). 

Planting Position and Soil Preference

Happy in normal garden soils in an open and sunny position but this is one of the swamp gums and usefully  tolerates  boggy, wet conditions.    Don't grow in shade.
Grows well for us in our alkaline, swampy clay in a bit of a frost hollow

To encourage deep rooting and therefore good stability, prepare a deep planting pit as per our instructions.  If planting a large number for firewood or cut foliage, subsoiling may be a good practice to follow, especially if pastureland has previously been used by livestock.

Follow our planting instructions (issued with each order) for the best results. 

Make life easier for you and your new tree: Plant with the mycorrhizal fungi product Rootgrow.  Eucalyptus in particular have a special, lifelong relationship with their root fungi, which actively transport food and water directly into the tree roots, helping your new Euc establish faster and more efficiently, particularly in challenging types of soil.

Meaning of the name:  Eucalyptus aggregata - from the latin aggregatus  meaning clustered together. Refers to the gumnuts - the way they cluster together

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