Plant size - what to plant

In this section you will find information on the following:-

1. What to Avoid and Why

  • There is much discussion in the Eucalyptus world over what size a Eucalypt should be when it is planted. If you read everything written on the subject you will come to the conclusion that when planted too small, it is likely to succumb to the vagaries of the British weather, be mistaken for a shrub by your gardener and pruned accordingly or even trampled by a wandering rabbit. Too large a tree, which if incorrectly planted and secured, will simply fall over in the first gale. All gloomy stuff and enough to discourage even the most ardent Eucalyptus enthusiast!
  • Keep reading.......
  • However one fact is for certain; all Eucalyptus grown in traditional rigid round plastic nursery plant pots are a liability and should be treated with extreme caution. This is because round pots create spiralling root systems, which is bad for ALL plants but fatal for Eucalyptus. A spiral root system leads to poor root growth into surrounding soil and the roots quickly ties themselves in knots and the tree will ultimately fall over.

2. Pot-bound

  • Further, large plants in traditional nursery stock pots quickly become seriously pot-bound and they can take years to recover: again, instability is a key problem.
  • A young vigorous Eucalypt will overtake a larger pot-bound tree in less than one season.
  • Keep does get better
  • Out of balance
  • It is a peculiar physiological fact that a large Eucalyptus with a tiny root system in a small pot, has a poor shoot to root ratio and if the canopy is not pruned down, the roots fail to catch up with the top growth. This is probably as a result of it needing to make a quick get away in its native environment. In conclusion, the leggy plant wobbles around, begins to lean and eventually fall over. Do you recognise the recurring theme?
  • The Good News
  • At Grafton Nursery we have been researching the best growing systems for producing quality Eucalyptus in a variety of sizes.
  • Our nursery practices are aimed at producing sturdy high quality plants, which are vigorous (no matter what the size) and with a good root to shoot ratio.

3. Tree Sizes available:

  • - Young plant root-trainer
  • - 1 litre air-pot
  • - 3 litre air-pot
  • - 9 litre air-pot
  • - 20 litre air-pot
  • Young plant root-trainer. Supplied in multiple packs; ideal for establishing a plantation for cut foliage, timber or firewood production. Please enquire if you are interested in this product.
  • 1 litre plant A young plant of between 150-450mm tall, when supplied. Excellent value for money, but requiring some skill and care to ensure it grows into a good mature specimen. The recommended height for planting is 220-300mm upwards.
  • Diligent weed control and a degree of watering are required throughout the year, to keep it happy.
  • This young tree will not need staking, unless it is to be planted somewhere quite windy, in which case it would benefit from a short stake.
  • In a sheltered spot, a gentle swaying in the breeze will strengthen the trunk and help it grow firm in the ground. See how to plant for further instructions.
  • 3 litre plant at around 400-850mm tall, this is an excellent sized plant for single or group plantings; large enough to make its presence felt, easy to look after and with plenty of vitality to establish quickly in under one growing season.
  • We will have lightly pruned this tree in the nursery to keep it in balance with its roots.
  • Again, at planting, this young tree will benefit from a short stake (see above) on windy sites, but may not need staking if planted in a sheltered spot.
  • 9 litre air-pot a large tree of 1.5m+ tall (see individual variety details), but with good vigour, due to the clever air-pot technology.
  • Ideal for an instant result in your garden and will establish quickly given the correct care and attention at planting time and for the first couple of seasons. See how to plant for further instructions.
  • Visit your tree regularly throughout the year, speak to it, make sure it is free from weeds, mulched well and does not have a constricting tree belt and it will reward your efforts.
  • These trees are nothing like a conventionally grown tree in a round plastic pot. They have a fibrous root system, which has been air-pruned and we have pruned the top growth to keep them in balance.
  • They are ‘bright eyed and bushy tailed’, raring to grow.
  • 20 litre air-pot These are large specimens some 2.0-3.0m+ tall and with a stem girth in excess of 30mm. Some of them are multi-stem specimens. They are an ‘instant tree’.
  • In our nursery they have been fed with a special blended fertiliser with low nitrogen, high phosphate, high potassium fertilisers for sturdy growth and ripe wood.
  • They have also been pruned to curtail tendencies towards being top heavy.
  • Planting and future management of these specimens includes the suggestion that the planting technician carry out a little further pruning, at the time of planting, to allow for root establishment. These trees need to be heavily mulched to aid speedy establishment into the surrounding soil, to a minimum diameter of the tree canopy.
  • Staking in the conventional manner is not recommended for this grade of tree. We recommend subterranean root anchor systems, along with a series of simple guy ropes.
  • 100 litre air-pot. We are growing this grade to lend new landscape planting schemes an air of maturity. Do enquire if you are interested in this grade of tree.