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Eucalyptus tree pruning

When is the Best Time for Eucalyptus Tree Pruning?

February to March

When is the best time to prune a eucalyptus tree? Why prune a eucalyptus tree? What diseases and pests should you look out for when carrying out eucalyptus tree pruning? All is about to be revealed…

The eucalyptus tree, Eucalyptus sp., is a highly aromatic tree that is native to Australia. There are only in the region of 12 species of eucalyptus growing in the warmer areas of Europe and only the hardiest of these will be found in this country. Also known as the gum tree thanks to the red coloured resin that is secreted from the bark, this tree is variable in its appearance, sometimes taking the form of a small bushy shrub but also growing up to 30 metres in height as a towering evergreen tree.

As part of the myrtle family, eucalyptus has amongst its siblings’ allspice, guava and bay rum.

Eucalyptus is part of the very large Myrtaceae otherwise known as ‘myrtle’ of which the bay rum tree, guava, clove and allspice also belong. Only the hardiest variations of the species do well in Britain due to its preference for a warmer climate.

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Why prune a eucalyptus tree?

The eucalyptus tree benefits from formative pruning in order to grow into a nicely shaped mature tree. It is also possible to train some varieties into multi-stemmed bushes. This is usually done by coppicing an established tree, or training from the outset of their lives.

If your eucalyptus tree is located in an area of limited space, it is a good idea to coppice or pollard it once established. Eucalyptus is a fast-growing tree, so it is wise to take steps like these to keep it under control. Coppicing creates a multi-stemmed bush if carried out each year or every few years. It can also encourage attractive juvenile leaves which are more eye-catching than the mature ones. Pollarding, on the other hand, controls the growth once the tree has reached a certain height. Never conduct pollarding yourself; it is a job for a qualified tree surgeon.

As with any tree, it is good practice to generally keep it free from dead wood and regularly check for any diseased or decaying branches or any branches or stems that are rubbing together. This will promote the good health of the tree.

When is the best time for eucalyptus tree pruning?

Formative pruning, pollarding and coppicing of the eucalyptus tree is best undertaken from late winter to early spring, i.e. February to March, whilst the tree is still in its dormant phase so that it does not bleed sap and attract disease-carrying insects.

There is a particular process to follow year by year when carrying out formative pruning, making it best left to experts.

Coppicing and pollarding are best started during the early years of the tree’s life. If you try to undertake this type of pruning on mature trees, there is a chance they may not regenerate.

What to look for during eucalyptus tree pruning

Eucalyptus trees are generally free from issues, although they can suffer from the eucalyptus gall wasp. This is a very small black insect that produces larvae. It develops inside raised galls that form on the leaves in springtime. Look out for raised swellings on either side of the leaves which are more prominent during the early part of the season, during which time infestations may cause heavy leaf fall. Whilst the gall wasp does not negatively affect the health of the tree in the long term, it can leave it looking less than attractive.

The eucalyptus tree may also suffer from oedema, and in colder or more exposed areas, they may suffer from frostwind and other winter damage. Also take care because young shoots on recently coppiced trees can be vulnerable to snapping off during times of strong winds.

Tree Preservation Orders

Any work you need to carry out on your tree should first be checked with the local authority to ascertain whether there is a Tree Preservation Order (TPO) in place. If there is, you will need to obtain permission to undertake works, which take up to eight weeks to be granted. Also, if the tree is situated in a conservation area, you will need permission before going ahead with works of any kind.

The importance of eucalyptus tree pruning expertise

If you are eager to ensure your eucalyptus tree is properly looked after then your wisest move is to engage a suitably qualified and experienced tree surgeon.

Tree surgeons undergo in-depth training and are fully aware of how to carry out eucalyptus tree pruning, coppicing and pollarding, following precisely the right methods and at the correct time of year. They are also able to identify diseases and pest infestations and resolve them swiftly so that the tree remains in perfect health.

When engaging a tree surgeon, be sure to request evidence of checkable references and certificates for peace of mind that they hold the qualifications they claim to. Also, ask for sight of their insurance documents so you know you are covered for the work being carried out.

Wherever possible, seek Trading Standards and local authority approval so that you know you’ll be getting the best possible quality and value for money.

If you have a eucalyptus tree that needs professional pruning, why not get in touch with T.H. Tree Services? As fully qualified and long-term experienced Trading Standards and local authority approved tree surgeons, we are able to offer specialist expertise in all aspects of eucalyptus tree pruning. For a free, no-obligation quotation, contact our helpful experts on 01268 642814 or get in touch here.

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