Eucalyptus trees

rachelr(z9 PHX-Maricopa)December 16, 2005

Hi folks,

I made an impulse purchase a few weeks ago. A eucalyptus tree from Home Depot. I recall some of the details of the little tag thingy that came with it (and blew away last week), but I don't know scientific or common name. I do know that it claimed to get huge, like full sun and not need a lot of water (let me know if this is totally off). I figure I should at the very least know more detailed requirements *before* I plant it.

So, can anyone tell me the common varieties, and how to tell them apart? Right now the tree has rounder leaves, but from what I read, it sounds like all varieties have round leaves when young.

I'm just trying to figure where I should plant it, and how I should care for it.

Thanks so much!


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judy_b(AZ zone 9)

If it's one of the types that grow large, don't plant it within 20 feet or more of anything. That includes your house, a walk, another tree, a pool, etc. The roots will bust concrete, it will drop leaves, seed pods, and probably bark, all over everything. If it's the kind with brittle branches, it will drop huge limbs on things which shouldn't have huge limbs dropped on them. What I'm saying is don't plant a large-growing euc on a city lot. If you live out somewhere that it can grow and litter, then fine, otherwise, re-home it and get a more suitable tree. We just paid $2800 to get one removed from our yard. Other problems aside, it was costing about $500 every couple of years to keep it trimmed.

    Bookmark   December 16, 2005 at 6:31PM
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tomatofreak(Z9 Phx USA)

Ditto, Judy's comments. Take the danged thing back to HD and get another tree! These are royal PITAs.

    Bookmark   December 16, 2005 at 11:56PM
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Take it back!

There are some small, non-messy species of eucalyptus, but nameless things from HD aren't them.

    Bookmark   December 17, 2005 at 9:43AM
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Pagancat(Phoenix, AZ)

Although the E. papuanas are pretty cool - they are very big, with snow white trunks. They are low-litter and don't drop branches either. They're used pretty extensively in parks and on the freeways - and cities and ADOT don't deal well with either of those problems, so I have some backup.

That being said, (and as the disclaimer goes, this is my opinion and not to be confused with any statement of fact or anything otherwise) I wouldn't plant a tree that I wasn't familiar with and I wouldn't count on Home Depot to even have the right tags on it anyway. You might want to return it.

Good luck, hope this helps!

    Bookmark   December 17, 2005 at 8:26PM
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The big, gigantic Eucs that you see around older parts of Phoenix are actually really hard to even find at nurseries nowdays and I would be very, very suprised if they would have them at home depot. Unless you go to the nurseries that have extensive Euc. selection such as Bakers or that guy out in Tonopah it hard to find many Euc. species offered. The two varieties you see 99% of the time at home depot are the Coolibah and Silver Dollar-both excellent trees for our area. Neither grow to be monster trees that require lots of prunning. With the round leaves described I almost positive the tree you have is the Silver Dollar (Eucalyptus polyemthamos sp?). The leaves are about the size of a silver dollar and may have reddish stems. This grows to be a moderate sized tree that is extremely drought resistant, doesn't have problems with wind damage and has a lovely natural shape. Keep the tree and enjoy it. There are lots of Eucs that do very well here in the low desert but unfortunatly most people associate the word Eucalyptus with the giant, messy trees you see in older parts of town destroying sidewalks and dropping branches everywhere. Many varieties are being tested with lots of success. Keep in mind that much of Australia-where Eucs are native too-is covered in desert that is as harsh or sometimes hotter and drier than what we have here in AZ and Eucs thrive.

    Bookmark   December 19, 2005 at 11:35PM
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judy_b(AZ zone 9)

We had an E. polyanthemos that we had removed. It was a limb dropper. When the latest limb just missed our car, we decided not to keep pushing our luck. It also had had the top blown out at one time. We also have a Coolibah and it is huge and exceedingly messy. Neither one of these trees is a good city tree, in my opinion based on my experience with them. The coolibah is not as brittle as some others but is a messy, messy, messy tree.

    Bookmark   December 20, 2005 at 12:59AM
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rachelr(z9 PHX-Maricopa)

Thanks for all the answers!!

Yes AZAmigo, it looks like a polyanthemos. The tree itself (trunk and larger branches) is green right now. I took some pictures over the weekend that I'll post tonight, just to make sure.

If it is a PITA tree, I'll return it, but I'll start reading up on the polyanthemos now. Thank you!

    Bookmark   December 20, 2005 at 1:18PM
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rachelr(z9 PHX-Maricopa)

Here're the pics.. I'm pretty sure it is a Silver Dollar Gum (but please correct me if I'm wrong) ..Now I just need to figure out if I want to keep it. Thanks!!

    Bookmark   December 20, 2005 at 11:19PM
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judy_b(AZ zone 9)

If you've got lots of room, keep it, they're pretty trees. If you don't have room for a limb to fall and not hit something important (and they don't always fall straight down, if they hit right they can pivot and fall even farther out), get rid of it and get a less brittle tree. I looked up info on the net and none said that E. polanthemos was brittle, but it IS. No storm necessary - limbs just get too heavy and drop. It can be very dangerous. They grow fast so can get to the limb-dropping stage before you realize it. There's better urban trees than this one, try another. :-)

    Bookmark   December 21, 2005 at 12:30PM
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rachelr(z9 PHX-Maricopa)

Yeah, nothing I saw specifically said brittle or limb-dropping, either, but I don't really have room to take the chance. :( Guess I'm returning it.

That's what I get for not researching it *before* the purchase, I guess.. hehe.

Thanks so much!

    Bookmark   December 21, 2005 at 3:09PM
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    Bookmark   December 22, 2005 at 2:12PM
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I planted a Silver Dollar Eucalyptus on 7-5-86 after finding it lying by the side of a road. (About 3' tall.) It is now over 30' high and shades the house during our hot summers. Recently I have noticed some small branches without leaves and a few branches with curled up leaves that look like they need ironing. I would really hate to lose this tree. Would anyone out there know if I have a problem? I'm used to branches breaking off and the scattered bark. There are no roots showing and no concrete to crack. Thanking you in advance,

    Bookmark   March 3, 2007 at 2:25PM
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Does anyone have a mature Silver Dollar Eucalyptus tree that has very small branches growing out of it's trunk? Should I let them grow? Their about 18" from the ground, one on each side of the tree. The tree is about 40' high. Will they root in a glass of water? :-)

    Bookmark   March 27, 2008 at 6:49PM
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I believe the small branches you are describing are called feeders. You definitely want to cut them. If i recall correctly feeders compromise the strength and form of the tree. I have 2 of these trees they are beautiful but they are messy and require a lot of pruning each season.

    Bookmark   April 2, 2008 at 10:49PM
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My husband and I bought a Silver Dollar Eucalyptus tree and planted it in our yard last July. It started growing immediately, and had been flourishing up until the past month. It probably grew about 2-3 feet from the time we planted it last year, but it has started losing its original leaves. It's still sprouting and growing the new spring leaves at the top, but it has lost almost all of the bottom leaves.

Is this normal? I'm afraid that we're doing something wrong, and I really don't want to lose this's absolutely beautiful.

Any advice? Thanks in advance!

    Bookmark   May 21, 2009 at 1:11AM
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Anyone know whether cider gum eucalyptus will grow here and whether it has brittle branches?

    Bookmark   February 2, 2013 at 3:30PM
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