Eucalyptus trees - do they stay evergreen in Vancouver?

Discussion in 'Outdoor Gardening in the Pacific Northwest' started by Jboy004, Apr 24, 2009.

  1. Jboy004

    Jboy004 Member

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    Hello, I am considering planting eucalyptus tree in our front garden where we previously had fir trees. We live in North Delta. I am wondering how well they will fair during winter and do they stay evergreen? I want a tree that will grow fast, easy to maintain and not lose it's leaves in the winter. Also, where can I buy these trees from?
    Thanks for your help.
     
  2. Ron B

    Ron B Esteemed Contributor 10 Years of Activity

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    They're all evergreen but finding one that will be hardy through all winters there will take some effort. You may have to plant more than one specimen of the most hardy species to hit on an individual taking your lowest temperatures - these are raised from seed and hardiness varies fairly widely even among siblings. Look for one of the subalpine species with "snow gum" as part of the common name. Plant in full sun on a lean, well-drained soil. After establishment water only during dry spells.
     
  3. Barbara Lloyd

    Barbara Lloyd Well-Known Member

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    jboy004,
    I'm a bit south of you in Anacortes, WA. I see Eucalyptus 'Silver Dollar Tree' yes it's evergreen, througout this area. It seems to do quite well. Takes a long time to get very big, but you still get the Clipt smell and all.
    I managed to keep a clipt, grown from seed from the Sacramento, Ca Valley going for quite a while but have no idea which one is was. It had pink flowers and grew to be really tall - 50+ ft or so. There is a man on Lopez Island that is growing and has grown several clipts that will do well in this area. I will try to remember who he is and let you know. Hope he is still alive.
    barb
     
  4. Liz

    Liz Well-Known Member

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  5. Jboy004

    Jboy004 Member

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    Thank you All for your responses - they are most helpful and encouraging.
     
  6. AM Downie

    AM Downie Member

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    I have planted several species of Eucalyptus here in my North Vancouver garden, starting in 1990. Our garden is at about 400ft above sea level, on a southwest facing slope. We get about 80 inches of rain a year.

    The most reliably hardy species I've grown are the 'Snow Gums', E. pauciflora (grown from seed collected from a tree in Seattle), and E. niphophila (technically this is a variety of E. pauciflora, which grows at higher elevation.) These trees have withstood every winter without major damage here. These trees are now about 20-25 feet tall. The worst damage when we had an early hard frost (in November 2003?) which caused half the foliage to drop on E. pauciflora. I attribute my success with these to having planted them on well-drained, poor rocky soil. Another species thet did well for me was E. debeuzevillei, but had to be removed as it go so large it began to encroach on our garage!

    Until last winter I was very proud of our Tasmanian cider gum, E. gunni (the Tasmania cider gum). This tree was about 50 feet tall when it was severely damaged last winter. This winter finished it off. This tree came from a nursery near Victoria BC and had lovely bluish foliage. Another species that did well for about ten years was E. parvifolia. This was killed by that hard November frost.

    I've tried other reputedly hardier species, including E. dalrympleana, E. cordata, and E. coccifera. All were killed within five years of being planted.

    Eucalyptus grow quickly, and although they may get killed in a bad winter, are worth planting for their lovely foliage and evergreen nature.
     
  7. Michael F

    Michael F Esteemed Contributor Forums Moderator 10 Years of Activity

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    Don't give up on that Eucalyptus gunnii yet - I've seen frost-damaged gums re-sprouting from thicker branches a few months after the winter damage.
     
  8. Liz

    Liz Well-Known Member

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    It is interesting to note that they re grow after severe cold damage. Here it is the fire and heat that gets them to re sprout. It is an amazing sight to see nought but black and grey and after a couple of weeks little sprouts of green.

    Liz
     
  9. Jboy004

    Jboy004 Member

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    Hi All

    I have called many nurseries in the Fraser Valley region and BC and even visited a few that said they had (two) and their Euc plants were more than 2 foot tall in 1 gallon pots or taller in 5 gallon pots. No small plants as I understand best to grow them from small (couple of inches).

    Any idea where I may buy them? Any good sites that sell them and ship to BC?

    Any help will do: )
     
  10. Liz

    Liz Well-Known Member

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    Taller ones are ok just do not disturb the roots. Natives hate their nether parts interfeared with. Stake it well against wind movement. Also do not fertilize profusly they are not big consumers of the good stuff. (Aust has poor soils). Also not too keen on boggy wet feet. Many gardens here have raised ridges for good drainage. There are some that are refered to as swamp gums etc but most are in dry or hilly locals.

    Liz
    Liz
     
  11. Jboy004

    Jboy004 Member

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    Thanks Liz.

    I will give the following a try: Euc Camphora and Euc dalrympleana which I found at the two nurseries.
    Could not find any Eucalyptus pauciflora species or the subsp. niphophila and subsp. debeuzevillei.

    I understood that the plant should not be staked as it weakens the trunk? Maybe I will cut it down when I plant or if does not stand by itself.
     
  12. Ron B

    Ron B Esteemed Contributor 10 Years of Activity

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    I don't think either of those will work for you there. You should wait until you locate species more likely to persist.
     
  13. Liz

    Liz Well-Known Member

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    You will know best re staking. I do know that when they are plant gums here along road ways they are staked and the smaller ones have a platic sleeve on light sticks. Probably for wind protection as well as gathering dew water to funnel down to the plant. Ron will know your conditions so heed his recommendations. "Here we shove em in and off they go".

    There s a pic here of the tube plantings of young stock. Notice the raised areas.

    http://www.florabank.org.au/default.asp?V_DOC_ID=977

    Liz
     
  14. galiano

    galiano Active Member

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    We have an acre here in North Saanich near Victoria. Over the past 6 years I have planted about 15 eucs of maybe 10 different varieties. My advice to you is don't plant a eucalyptus. Of all those I have planted I'm down to having 2 left. My favourite was a eucalyptus neglecta which grew in 5 years to be about 20 ft tall and almost as wide. I just cut it down because last winter killed it. If the cold doesn't kill them they will lean over so far that you have no choice to cut them down. Yes they grow amazingly fast but they also die during any cold winter. The only one of mine that seems to be succeeding is a Tasmanian Yellow Gum, and even it lost many of it's leaves this past winter. If you want a lovely, fast growing tree, plant a deodora and it will grow almost as fast as any euc and you can be guaranteed it won't die come the first cold winter.

    If you absolutely must try a eucalyptus then make certain you buy a small one that isn't root bound in its pot. It will grow much faster than one that has been in it's pot too long.
     
  15. Liz

    Liz Well-Known Member

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    Best to grow them from quiet small and do not disturb roots or over feed. They do better on poor soils with out wet feet in most cases. Also choose trees that belong to our cold moutain regions such as Tasmania and the alps if cold is going to be an issue. Or as suggested above, plant trees more suited to your climate that drop leaves over winter time and are not as prone to snow damage. One of my amazing moments when overseas several years ago was to see a Sydney Blue gum (at least it looked like one) growing in the mid to North of Scotland. It seemed to be healthy and large but was in a very shelterd dip near a building. We were sort of above it on the road.

    Liz
     
  16. K Baron

    K Baron Well-Known Member

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    I lost all my Eucalyptus (gunnii, niphophila and pauciflora) as a result of both the extremely and unusually low temperatures, but most likely when the wet soil froze deep..., as nothing ever sprouted up... which is why I believe cutting back a live tree for corrective growth habit and or balance may harm its vigour...or hardiness...as Ron states however, some saplings will be more cold tolerant...I was not so lucky... but, on the other hand...I would definitely grow Eucalyptus again...for all their beauty and fragrance... though it hurts to see them perish after a harsh winter...
     
  17. Ron B

    Ron B Esteemed Contributor 10 Years of Activity

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    So far the most successful one in Puget Sound area has been E. perriniana. There was even some re-seeding of one Seattle planting - until the 1990 winter came along. A small one on Bainbridge Island is claimed to date from the 1955. Ironically, the winter of 1955/56 was the most notorious winter before 1990 - and even worse. The poor tree must have gotten off to quite a bad start, as it was surely not impervious to a winter that reportedly took several yards - or more - out of the tops of some native conifers in this state.

    A much younger one in Seattle has a stunningly blue color unlike any others I have seen. It was not bothered much by this past winter. That's another way that closely related gum seedlings may vary - some are much more strongly colored than others.

    This species not considered as choice as a snow gum, but if it lives that is certainly a plus point.

    http://www.angelfire.com/bc/eucalyptus/perriniana.html
     
    Last edited: May 14, 2009
  18. Liz

    Liz Well-Known Member

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    Wow makes me wonder why you all bother. But then again I guess we persist with pines and spruces etc but probably with more luck. Here is something to go on with :)

    Just up and down the road. This area does get a sprinkling of snow once every so often so can get cold

    Liz
     

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  19. Nath

    Nath Active Member

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    My Eucalyptus here in England has survived temps down to -12 plus wind chill and never lost its leaves. I guess it gets much colder whare you are, but they seem to pretty much survive any kind of weather apart from gale force winds when the soft wood of the heavier branches tends to crack and split. if the trees are tall and they do grow very quickly and within reach of any part of the house they can do quite a lot of damage.

    Nath
     
  20. Michael F

    Michael F Esteemed Contributor Forums Moderator 10 Years of Activity

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    There's a big difference between "a sprinkling of snow", and the temperatures of -20°C and lower they had in the PNW this winter!
     
  21. Ron B

    Ron B Esteemed Contributor 10 Years of Activity

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    -4 degrees F would not have been usual in the major metropolitan areas of the region. I've only noticed such claims for one or two BC locations. I haven't checked records but I believe Seattle got something like 15 degrees F. Gums here and there got burnt or killed, many others are fine. Here damage seen would have been more a matter of people trying to get by with tender plants than it being super cold.

    Typical temperatures often drop right off if you move away from the hypermaritime districts where human populations have tended to concentrate into large communities. There has been a considerable difference between wintering over of plants in the two locations I've been gardening regularly, the one up on top of Camano Island losing gums etc. after short intervals of growth that have been hardy in the other location north of Seattle.
     

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