Eucalyputs aren’t generally thought of as a tree suitable for hedging, so why choose Eucalyptus hedging 🤔 One of the best reasons is that Eucalyptus hedging will establish very quickly, you can have a two metre high hedge in a year or so 😮
Depending on the variety you choose, eucalyptus can grow into a thick privacy hedge, or a tough wind resilient protection barrier. Many suitable varieties have attractive foliage and stems. Often these same varieties are cultivated as floral foliage here in Ireland, so you can take advantage of that if you are into flower arranging, and of course there is always the pleasant aroma of Eucalyptus oils when you crush up the leaves.
Many eucalypts have lignotuber and in their native habitats regenerate after forest fires, forming multi stem trees, so cutting back a Eucalyptus hedge right back will encourage bushy thick growth. Check out the videos below, I cut one of my Eucalyptus hedges right back and the result was a very thick luscious blue foliage hedge.
One of the most popular varieties suitable for hedging is Gunnii. Gunnii will thrive in a very wide range of soil types, hydration gradients and temperature ranges. There are however several other hardy Eucalyptus varieties which are suitable as hedging.
Eucalyptus hedging varieties:
- Subcrenulata, Yellow gums, although both variants will make suitable Eucalyptus hedging, you will want to plant the Subcrenulata sub species.
Here is a glimpse of some of my hedging here at Clounsnaghta around the beginning of July 2021. Quite a difference in just a year 😮
Below a photo of the new growth from epicormic buds in the bark after I cut back my Gunnii Eucalyptus hedging
Many Eucalypts regenerate from epicormic buds in the bark after fire, and it was very noticeable just how thick the bark of my Gunnii hedge was when I cut it back.
Original photo below by David Midgley on Flickr
Cutting back needs to be done in the warm summer months so that the new growth has time to establish and the cut wounds have time to heal.
The main issue with cutting right back here in Ireland is the unpredictable climate. As in the video unseasonably cold and strong winds burnt the new growth and several of the trees in the hedge never recovered.
This Eucalyptus Viminalis hedge in Liscanor on the west coast of Ireland always gets burnt off during the winter gales with the sale winds, but always comes back 🙂
So it would seem that wherever you are in Ireland Eucalyptus hedging is possible, and I’d hasten to add that there are probably other varieties that are more suitable as hedging than Viminalis 😉
Several years on…
Its been a while since I planted my first hedging here at Clounsnaghta, and generally all have done really well.
Interesting to note the that was then and this is now comparison 😉
The first hedge I planted was for screening, to give my property some privacy.
The next few were to provide wind protection, shelter and they have been excellent at softening the blows of the Atlantic gales; I am on an exposed site.
The varieties I planted:
can grow into quite large trees, and its evident after a few years, that that’s what they want to do. So I’m going to let them for a few years before cutting them back down to around a metre and allowing them to regrow with more stems.
I think the timing of the pruning will be important for the success of my Eucalyptus hedging.
A warm period during early summer, and also when there is plenty of hydration in the ground to ensure the plants have everything they need for growth.
A big part of the my Eucalyptus project has been to provide high quality firewood for my own use, and allowing the hedging to grow into larger trees will yield a good harvest 🪵
The bees 🐝 love Eucalyptus flowers, so they will be in luck as the trees grow taller and bloom.
Here are a few photos
The Subcrenulata have retained their lower foliage, though this may change as they grow.
Their fabulous deep green glossy leaves are also very attractive.
All of the varieties above can be pruned, and will readily sprout new growth from epicormic buds, as with these Pulverulenta that I pruned earlier this year.