Should I remove my eucalyptus tree?

edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Greenfingered MoneySaving
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sb44sb44 Forumite
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edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Greenfingered MoneySaving
I had a eucalyptus tree in a patio pot for a few years, didn't do much, grew to about 3' and was very spindly.

When we made over the garden I planted it in the corner, away from the house, next to the fence.

It has grown really quickly since planting at the beginning of the year and is now about 8' to 9' tall.

I am going to keep it cut to about 11' or so.

However, I have just been reading that they have strong root systems.

The question is, should I dig it up or leave it if kept to a decent height.

It is about 14 ft from the house and the soil is clay based.

I have had it a few years and have lost the label but it the leaves are blue/silver coloured.

Looking at a few pics I think it may be a Silver Dollar Eucalyptus.

If I keep it cut to about 7' keep it well watered, and trim the side branches, should that keep the roots to a decent length, as they won't need to search for water?

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  • FarwayFarway Forumite
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    I think you have wrong information about roots

    Pot grown eucalyptus and the transplanted have very shallow roots, mine all blew down

    You could just coppice it
  • sb44sb44 Forumite
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    Farway wrote: »
    I think you have wrong information about roots

    Pot grown eucalyptus and the transplanted have very shallow roots, mine all blew down

    You could just coppice it

    Well, I got talking to someone across the road this morning who said they had bought a 'bush' from the garden centre years ago, not knowing it was a eucalyptus tree.

    They let it grow to twenty odd foot and the roots started to unsettle the paving stones in their greenhouse which was by the side of it.

    She got a tree surgeon in and it cost them nearly £300 to have it cut down and the stump killed off!!!!!

    Well, that did it for me.

    I went out with the intention earlier of trying to dig it up (if I wait for my husband to to it ......).

    Got the tree out in about 10 minutes if that!

    When I put my full weight (10st) against the trunk it started to come out of the soil, so I trimmed a few of the roots around it and just lifted it out.

    There was quite a thick root ball on it and most of the roots were about 18" long and 3cm thick.

    I have mangaged to pull all of the roots out of the ground bar one. Most were only a few inches deep but the last one looks to have gone down a bit further and under my weed suppressant.

    Will it be ok to leave a root in the ground, will it just rot?

    I have a plastic dustbin that I have put the tree in for now. I've trimmed it down to about 5' and cut back all of the roots so that it easily fitted in the bin.

    I didn't like the idea of just chucking it away and it would be nice for the birds to sit in if it is a manageable size.

  • MojisolaMojisola Forumite
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    Farway wrote: »
    I think you have wrong information about roots

    Pot grown eucalyptus and the transplanted have very shallow roots, mine all blew down

    You could just coppice it

    Agree with this. There are lots of different eucalyptus so the neighbour may have had a much more vigorous type.

    Coppicing is a good idea - it keeps the height under control, the multi-stems are attractive and it means that you keep the juvenile leaves which flower-arrangers like.
  • sb44sb44 Forumite
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    Mojisola wrote: »
    Agree with this. There are lots of different eucalyptus so the neighbour may have had a much more vigorous type.

    Coppicing is a good idea - it keeps the height under control, the multi-stems are attractive and it means that you keep the juvenile leaves which flower-arrangers like.

    Well, I will have to see how it goes in the plastic dustbin I have now put it in (as post above).

    I would prefer to have it as a tree rather than bush as I would like the birds to use it.

    I have just put compost around the roots for now so it is only filled to about 2'.

    Does anyone know if it will be better to buy top soil to mix with the compost to make the bin heavier?

    Also, should I fill half of the pot with soil mixture, replace the tree and refill with soil up to the same level of the tree as it was in the ground?

    I am assuming if I put the tree at a lower level land fill with soil/compost to a foot or so up the tree it will cause it to rot, so best to have deeper soil under the roots for it to grow down into (and make it more stable).

  • mandragora_2mandragora_2 Forumite
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    I'd chop it down. We had two at the edge of a property we were renovating - the advice we had was to get rid as they can grow very fast, and also as you have had suggested to you, the roots can be a risk to foundations. For us the bark also shed a lot and made the garden messy; at the end of the day we were doing a project as an investment, and wanted to avoid anything contentious. In your own home that you intend to stay in for many years, the decision making process may be different,
    Reason for edit? Can spell, can't type!
  • MojisolaMojisola Forumite
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    sb44 wrote: »
    I am going to keep it cut to about 11' or so.

    Good luck with that - I don't know this particular variety but eucalyptus trees can grow 6'+ in a year.

    If you want a small tree, it's best to buy a small tree rather than constantly cutting back something that wants to be 40' high.
  • sb44sb44 Forumite
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    Will it be ok to leave a root in the ground, will it just rot?

    I am assuming it was the main tap root as it is a bit thicker than the other ones that I managed to pull out of the ground.

    Do eucalyptus roots sprout?

    My MIL uprooted a large fucshia whose roots had grown under the fence, it regrew in their garden.

  • FarwayFarway Forumite
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    Mojisola wrote: »
    Good luck with that - I don't know this particular variety but eucalyptus trees can grow 6'+ in a year.

    If you want a small tree, it's best to buy a small tree rather than constantly cutting back something that wants to be 40' high.

    Agree, if you want something birds can use consider Rowan [Mountain Ash], blossom for the bees and berries for you until birds eat them

    Birds never used my eucalyptus trees, possible because not native species and not recognised

    The bark and leaves eucalyptus trees can be PIA when they shed, do not rot down readily
  • MojisolaMojisola Forumite
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    Eucalyptus do regrow after forest fires but I don't know if the roots would survive a cold, wet winter over here.
  • sb44sb44 Forumite
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    Farway wrote: »
    Agree, if you want something birds can use consider Rowan [Mountain Ash], blossom for the bees and berries for you until birds eat them

    Birds never used my eucalyptus trees, possible because not native species and not recognised

    The bark and leaves eucalyptus trees can be PIA when they shed, do not rot down readily

    I have a couple of rowans in pots but they don't seem to be doing much.

    We have a robin living in the hedge at the minute and that flew into the euc this morning which was a nice surprise, I guess it was looking for bugs in that mass of leaves.

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