Gum Trees

Gum Trees are a species of tree that are indigenous to Australia and very common to find in many backyards all around Australian (And very common in Victoria and NSW.

There are generally 12 different varieties and they are called ‘Gum’ trees due to the thick sap that oozes out of the trunk when they are cut or damaged.

Gum trees are a very common tree that our team at Jim’s Trees encounters either to prune or remove. They are very fast growing and can grow through many tough conditions.

If you have a gum tree, or thinking of planting a new one, the below information will act as a fantastic guide

Planting Gum Trees

Species 

Before you even purchase a sapling, it is a good idea to assess your home environment first. Determine how much space you have, what type of soil you have, what type of competing plants you have. If you are an inexperienced gardener, an arborist can be an invaluable resource. If you would like to speak with an arborist, you can contact us.   

Matching the species of tree with the environment available is one of the most crucial steps. This can reduce the amount of maintenance, effort and fertiliser that you will need to help your tree grow. 

Here are five of the most common types of backyard Gum Trees:

  1. Scribbly Gum (Eucalyptus haemastoma)
  2. Plunkett Mallee (Eucalyptus curtisii)
  3. Argyle Apple (Eucalyptus cinerea)
  4. Large-fruited Yellow Gum (Eucalyptus leucoxylon ssp. Megalocarpa)
  5. Red Flowering Gum (Eucalyptus ficifolia)

Location

Before you plant your Gum Tree, it is important to find the right spot. Just like the golden rule of real estate, the key to growing a healthy Eucalyptus Tree is ‘location, location, location!’

When choosing the right spot to plant your tree, you want to look for a location without too much competition for water, nutrients and sunlight. You want your Eucalypt to have full sun exposure. This way the canopy of your tree will receive the essential sunlight it needs to grow. 

For the first year after planting you also want to ensure that there are no weeds or plants around the trunk that would compete for water and nutrients. Minimising the competition for your tree ensures it will absorb the essential sustenance it needs to grow. 

Staking

If your Eucalypt was staked in the pot before you planted it, then it is recommended that you stake it in the ground for the first 12 months. This is to make sure that it develops the strength and stability to support itself. Make sure you don’t stake it too tight, as it will need to have some available movement to build up wind resistance and strength. Remove the stake once it can support itself. 

If your sapling was not staked in the pot, then it will not be necessary to stake it as it will already have the strength necessary to stand upright and resist the wind. 

Caring

Watering

A couple times a week you should check the moisture levels of the soil at the base of your Eucalypt. You can do this by simply putting your hand in the soil to feel if it is wet or dry. Wet soil indicates that it does not need to be watered. 

If it is dry, thoroughly water the base, roots and soil around the trunk. Make sure that the soil has been soaked through a few layers beyond the top. Do this throughout the first few years of growth. 

Mulching

A great way to keep your young Eucalypt growing well is to mulch it. Mulching prevents moisture loss in the soil, retains nutrients, prevents unwanted weed growth and maintains consistent soil temperature. 

To effectively mulch your Eucalypt, apply a layer 5-8cm thick. This is the ideal level to gain all of the benefits, while still allowing moisture to seep through. Make the layer of mulch around the root ball a little thinner to allow more water to access.

Ensure that you mulch on the soil around the tree, but do not build up against the base of the tree or you will encourage fungi to grow. 

Pruning

Young Gum Trees generally don’t need too much pruning. However, once they have begun to mature, professional pruning is essential to prevent imbalances and overweight branches. As the wood of a Eucalypt is very dense, their branches are highly susceptible to snapping when they grow too much. Considering the size and weight of these branches, this poses a considerable threat.


For this reason it is essential to employ a qualified arborist to assist with pruning. They can ensure that pruning is done safely and for the best results of the tree. 

For help pruning and caring for your Gum Trees, complete our online quote form or give us a call on 131 546.

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