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Eucalyptus gunnii divaricata - Cider Gum

Eucalyptus gunnii divaricata - Cider Gum

Foliage is a striking waxy silvery- blue colour. Very hardy, tolerating down to  -14°C on a regular basis and down to -18 °C for brief periods. Can be grown to provide an evergreen screen or your own firewood.  Excellent for cut foliage for flower arranging. Call us on 0751 5261511 for assistance in choosing your Eucalyptus.   

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Nursery Notes: Spring 2018

3 litre stock are 1200-1400mm tall

5 litre stock ready now at around 1400-1600 mm tall

1 litre stock ready again end of May

email me if you want to be put on the early warning list

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Botanical Name: Eucalyptus gunnii var. divaricata.     Family: Myrtaceae

Common Name: 'Blue Ice' Cider Gum

Status: Evergreen Tree

Origin: a species of Eucalyptus endemic to Tasmania, occurring on the plains and slopes of the central plateaux to around 1100 metres, with isolated occurrences south of Hobart


Origin of the name Cider Gum:  this variety produces a sweet sap which can be tapped in a similar way to maple syrup.  We have read that the Aborigine people of Australia ferment this liquid to produce a cider-like alcoholic beverage.

 

Why we like this variety:-

  • Easy to grow - good all rounder - a versatile, reliable and hardy variety
  • Produces a beautiful specimen tree, garden shrub or potted plant
  • Can be grown to provide a screen
  • Can be used to grow your own firewood
  • Excellent for cut foliage for flower arranging

Description, habit,  uses and attributes: An extremely hardy and versatile variety, which can be grown as a specimen tree or a bushy shrub.  Like most Eucalypts, as the plant matures the juvenile foliage is lost in favour of the elongated adult leaves, so keep it pruned if you want to maintain those lovely round leaves for flower arranging, a more manageable tree or bushy garden shrub.  

If pruned hard/coppiced or cut down by frost, it regenerates well from it's lignotuber (at the base of the trunk).  The re-growth is similar in habit to a coppiced hazel (Corulus avellana) or red stemmed dogwood Cornus sibirica.

Grown as a tall screen: We established a very effective screen of E gunnii divaricata at our nursery in April 2012, 3 litre plants grew from 1m tall when planted, to 3.6m (around 12ft) by January 2014. We have just pruned them down to 2.4m (8ft)

If grown in a large pot it makes a good evergreen patio tree or conservatory plant, but when too large for the container, it is best turned into firewood rather than planted out in the garden, unless grown in an air-pot.

Growing E gunnii divaricata for domestic firewood production: as you can see from this page, it is a vigorous species, adapted to growing on a wide range of soil types. If grown for firewood, it will produce a strong trunk after about 5-8 years of growth (you can leave it for a couple more years if desired), which can be felled almost to ground level in the Spring.  Log immediately to the size you require for your log burner and leave to season in a dry environment/log store.  The logs will be ready to use after 6 months.  No need to re-plant: the stump will regenerate new shoots a few months after felling.  By July, you should have many young shoots sprouting from the lignotuber; too many infact to mature into viable trunks fat enough for logs.  It is best to thin these shoots out, so that you have around 5-7 robust stems per stump.  These will then grow over the next 5 years or so, to produce a log typically about 4-5 inches (100-125mm) in diameter.  Once the trunks are of acceptable thickness, fell again to ground level and repeat the process.

The appearance of bark and foliage is variable across the species, but it can generally be relied upon to grow rapidly into a medium to large evergreen tree with a short massive bole and spreading crown.

Tha main differences that we have observed between E. gunnii and E. gunnii divaricata is that the latter has the more striking silvery blue foliage and it is slightly less vigorous than straight E. gunnii

Shoots 'n Leaves: Young shoots and stems are silvery. Juvenile leaves are more pointed than straight gunnii and of a most striking waxy silvery- blue colour. Adult foliage elegant, more elongated in rich silvery blue-green

Bark:  Smooth bark in grey, cream, green or sometimes pinky brown, flaking off in large pieces to reveal new bark in shades of yellow/green or creamy grey.  

Flowers: fluffy white flowers are produced January/February in the UK

Leaf Aroma:  strong fruity, typical Eucalyptus aroma. The oil is often extracted for aromatherapy and medicinal use.

Rate of Growth: Fast at around 1.5-2.0 metres per year

Height in maturity, if left unpruned:  approx. 25 m, taller if they achieve a great age.  

Can be kept smaller by pruning.

Hardiness:  very hardy, tolerating down to  -14 to -16°C on a regular basis and down to -18 °C for brief periods.  Hardiness improves with age; young trees are more susceptible to frost damage than their adult counterparts.

Planting Position and Soil Preference: Very tolerant of a wide range of growing conditions, including boggy soils, those that are intermittently waterlogged/prone to flooding, as well as normal to dry soils and those of poor/low fertility.  Enjoys full sun in an open position with no shade overhead and a moderately fertile neutral-acid soil. Although our E. gunnii divaricata grow exceptionally well on our terrible winter-waterlogged / summer-arid, alkaline clay ground.

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