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Garden Design- using Eucalyptus

Garden Design in the UK- using Eucalyptus

There are over 700 species of Australian Eucalyptus. These are some of my favourites that I encountered in Sydney recently.

Growing Eucalyptus in the UK

Normally gardens are not big enough for these giant trees.

But there are number of benefits.

When the trees reach maturity they have a wonderful open structure which allows you to have a big specimen tree without loosing too much light.

They are evergreen.

They have beautiful bark and trunk colours.

They give an exotic look to the garden and can be used in a tropical scheme.

For cut flower arrangements keep your Gum tree about 5 foot tall and regularly prune the new foliage- given you decorative leaves throughout the season.

The cons would be:

Don’t let them near your house or drains as their roots are impressive

They can drop leaves all year round so make sure they are not near a pool

They can look like amputees if they are not in the right place and you find yourself having to prune them. They need space.

Two Species for the UK

Eucalyptus gunni – 25 meters tall
Eucalyptus pauciflora niphophila- only gets about 8 meters which a spread of 4meters

Why do they shed their bark—‘decoticating?

There are different theories but the main three are:

1)    When the tree sheds its bark it also cleanses itself of lichen, moss and parasites
2)    Both the bark and new trunk of a gum tree photosynthesizes so if the leaves are burnt in a bushfire the tree can take in the sun’s energy straight away and start regrowing.
3)    The tree trunk expands and therefore the bark is too tight . Most of the bark sheds after summer though this theory doesn’t explain why all trees don’t need to do this



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Old Man Willow

The Willow tree, Salix, has over 400 species in its family. Its bark was boiled down to make Salicin, a precursor to Aspirin. In Japanese folklore it was believed that under every willow lived a ghost. 

They are one of the first trees that comes into leaf and it looks like a perpetual bright shower of gold. This freshness lasts about two weeks before all the branches thicken up with leaves and they loose their etherial transparency. 

This Willow in Hurstpierpoint protects a little duck house.

 

 

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woodland detective

See if you can match the word to the image:

 

Woodpecker, botryoshaeria stevensii, regeneration after a storm, warm leggings, still Xmas - all this I saw in a one minute walk through a small forest last week!

 

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