Posted by Brent Wilson on 8/29/2016 to Pruning Tips
Eucalyptus trees do not require pruning however respond well to it for shaping and to control size.
When to Prune Eucalyptus
Most other trees like to be pruned while they are dormant, during winter or very early spring. This isn't the case with Eucalyptus, which prefer being pruned during the warm season. That being said, keep in mind that pruning too near the onset of cold weather, or post freezing temperatures, can encourage disease and trigger die-back on Eucalyptus. The best time for pruning Eucalyptus is during the heat of summer. Though some bleeding of sap may occur, Eucalyptus actually heal quicker in hot weather. If you need to remove a large branch, the application of a wound dressing might be necessary to prevent infection.
How To Prune Eucalyptus
Depending on the species of Eucalyptus and how you will use them in your landscape, there are several methods for pruning.
Pruning Euaclyptus For Hedges
Hedge pruning is a suitable method for species like E. archeri, E. parviflora, E. coccifera, and E. suberenulata. In order to shape these trees into hedges, prune them at the end of their second season, removing about a third of the height and cutting in a pyramid shape. Continue to remove about one-quarter of the tree the following year and thereafter in the same manner.
Tree Forming A Eucalyptus
Though many of the faster growing eucalyptus species shed their lower limbs as they grow, you might need to remove some lower branches if a tree form is desired. Wait until the tree is at least 2 years old and at least 10 feet or more in height before removing lower limbs.
A plant that is cut back close to ground level and then shoots up new vigorous stems has been subject to a type of pruning called coppicing. Most species of eucalyptus respond well to this method of pruning. So, if you think you don't have room for Eucalyptus as a tree, or you like the juvenile foliage of a specific species better than the adult foliage, you can coppice it to control size or just to get wonderful new stems and young foliage.
To coppice a eucalyptus tree, slightly angle the cuts, pruning the trunk(s) back about a foot to 18 inches above the ground and removing all side shoots. For unsightly or leggy growth, cut back to about 6 inches from the ground. then, when new growth emerges, select the best looking shoot and allow this to develop, cutting all others at the ground.
This pruning method is recommended for trees that are at least three to six years old. It involves cutting uucalyptus tree trunks about 6 to 10 feet above the ground, leaving the side branches. As some species might not respond well to it, do a little research on the specific species of your eucalytptus before using the pollarding method of pruning.
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