Plant size - what to plant

In this section you will find information on the following:-

1. What to avoid and why

2. Pot-Bound

3. Our Eucalyptus: Tree sizes available




There is much discussion in the Eucalyptus world over what size a Eucalypt should be when it is planted.  If you read everything written on the subject you will come to the conclusion that when planted too small, it is likely to succumb to the vagaries of the British weather, be mistaken for a shrub by your gardener and pruned accordingly or  even trampled by a wandering rabbit.  Too large a tree, which if incorrectly planted and secured, will simply fall over in the first gale. All gloomy stuff and enough to discourage even the most ardent Eucalyptus enthusiast!

Keep reading.......

However one fact is for certain; all Eucalyptus grown in traditional rigid round plastic nursery plant pots are a liability and should be treated with extreme caution.  This is because round pots create spiralling root systems, which is bad for ALL plants but fatal for Eucalyptus. A spiral root system leads to poor root growth into surrounding soil and the roots quickly ties themselves in knots and the tree will ultimately fall over.

2. Pot-bound

Further, large plants in traditional nursery stock pots quickly become seriously potbound and they can take years to recover: again, instability is a key problem.

A young vigorous Eucalypt will overtake a larger potbound tree in less than one season.

Keep does get better

Out of balance

It is a peculiar physiological fact that a large Eucalyptus with a tiny root system in a small pot, has a poor shoot to root ratio and if the canopy is not pruned down, the roots fail to catch up with the top growth. This is probably as a result of it needing to make a quick get away in its native environment.  In conclusion, the leggy plant wobbles around, begins to lean and eventually fall over.  Do you recognise the recurring theme?

The Good News

At Grafton Nursery we have been researching the best growing systems for producing quality Eucalyptus in a variety of sizes. See how we grow our Eucalyptus.

Our nursery practices are aimed at producing sturdy high quality plants, which are vigorous (no matter what the size) and with a good root to shoot ratio.

Return to top

3. Tree Sizes available:

- Young plant root-trainer

- 1 litre airpot

- 3 litre airpot

- 9 litre airpot

- 20 litre airpot

Young plant root-trainer.  Supplied in multiple packs; ideal for establishing a plantation for cut foliage, timber or firewood production. Please enquire if you are interested in this product.

1 litre plant  A young plant of  between 150-450 mm tall, when supplied. Excellent value for money, but requiring some skill and care to ensure it grows into a good mature specimen.  The recommended height for planting is 220-300mm upwards.

 Diligent weed control and a degree of watering are required throughout the year, to keep it happy.

This young tree will not need staking, unless it is to be planted somewhere quite windy, in which case it would benefit from a short stake.

In a sheltered spot, a gentle swaying in the breeze will strengthen the trunk and help it grow firm in the ground. See how to plant for further instructions.

3 litre plant at around 400-850 mm tall, this is an excellent sized plant for single or group plantings; large enough to make its presence felt, easy to look after and with plenty of vitality to establish quickly in under one growing season.

We will have lightly pruned this tree in the nursery to keep it in balance with its roots.

Again, at planting, this young tree will benefit from a short stake (see above) on windy sites, but may not need staking if planted in a sheltered spot.

9 litre airpot  a large tree of 1.5 m+ tall (see individual variety details), but with good vigour, due to the clever airpot technology.

Ideal for an instant result in your  garden and will establish quickly given the correct care and attention at planting time and for the first couple of seasons.  See how to plant  for further instructions.

Visit your tree regularly throughout the year, speak to it, make sure it is free from weeds, mulched well and does not have a constricting tree belt and it will reward your efforts.

These trees are nothing like a conventionally grown tree in a round plastic pot. They have a fibrous root system, which has been air-pruned and we have pruned the top growth to keep them in balance.

They are ‘bright eyed and bushy tailed’, raring to grow.

20 litre airpot  These are  large specimens some 2.0-3.0 m+  tall and with a stem girth in excess of
30 mm. Some of them are multi-stem specimens.
 They are an ‘instant tree’.

In our nursery they have been fed with a special blended fertiliser with low nitrogen, high phosphate, high potassium fertilisers for sturdy growth and ripe wood.

They have also been pruned to curtail tendencies towards being top heavy.

Planting and future management of these specimens includes the suggestion that the planting technician carry out a little further pruning, at the time of planting, to allow for root establishment.  These trees need to be heavily mulched to aid speedy establishment into the surrounding soil, to a minimum diameter of the tree canopy.

Staking in the conventional manner is not recommended for this grade of tree.  We recommend subterranean root anchor systems, along with a series of simple guy ropes. See how to plant for further details.

100 litre airpot  We are growing this grade to lend new landscape planting schemes an air of maturity. They are currently in production and will be ready from 2013 onwards. Do enquire if you are interested in this grade of tree.

Return to top

Return to the Eucalyptus 'Growing Tips' page

Go to our on-line Eucalyptus Shop to view variety details and buy plants

Go to the Grafton Nursery Homepage    



Grafton Nursery, Worcester Road, Grafton Flyford, WR7 4PW

Tel: 01905 888 098


Copyright (c) 2012 Grafton Nursery. All rights reserved.