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Eucalyptus nitens - Shining Gum

Shining Gum -Fast growing evergreen suited to large parkland, arboretum and plantations.

Shiny silvery white bark and glossy olive green foliage.

Excellent for firewood production. Grows well near the coast.  Call us on 0751 526 1511 for help in choosing your Euc.

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Nursery Notes: E. nitens is ready now June 2016

Botanical Name: Eucalyptus nitens                                    MYRTACEÆ; Myrtle Family

Common Name: Shining Gum, Silvertop, Ribbon Gum (Victoria, New South Wales)

Status: Evergreen Tree

Origin: Natural habitat - Northern and Southern New South Wales, from Parkers Gap south to central eastern Victoria

Why we like this variety:-

  • Highly ornamental tree with shining bark and glossy foliage
  • Very straight trunk with shiny white bark overlaid with peeling pewter bark strips
  • Excellent for firewood production for home log burner or fire-pit
  • One for the arboretum, parkland or plantation...cos its big!

Description, habit,  uses and attributes:   A fast growing species, quickly making a tall tree with a very straight trunk and good form.  Once established, E. nitens  has a reputation for being windfirm, but young trees can be initially unstable. With their vigorous growth, they quickly produce a large canopy of leaves, which presents a large wind sail. Young trees may need either a sheltered start or a remote stake to prevent them from being overthrown in gale force winds.
Lignotuber:  E. nitens is one of the Eucalyptus that lacks a lignotuber, but regenerates when coppiced by sending out epicormic shoots from around the base of the trunk. The ability to do this declines with age and certainly drops of after 10 years; so a 10 year old stump may not throw many new shoots for re-growing.

How to use in the landscape and/or garden:

  • As a specimen tree for the wider landscape: best grown in parkland, arboretum or farmland, due to its rapid growth and ability to produce a very large tree. It grows into a wind-firm tree and thrives in coastal districts. Grows into a tree with good form, very straight tall trunk with good bark detail and shining new foliage.
  • Firewood Production:  Grown under the right conditions, E. nitens will very quickly produce a good crop of firewood for your log-burner.  It produces excellent clean burning fire wood and the smaller logs (thinnings of around 4-5 inches in diameter) season relatively quickly. As a species it is not known to be eaten by deer, rabbits etc. and should not need protective guards.

E. nitens is often selected for firewood production because of its rapid speed of growth and exceptionally high yield at around 470 kg/m3.  However, its lack of hardiness below -14 Celsius would indicate that planting is best restricted to maritime climates such as within 5-6 miles of the cold coastline of northern/eastern England and within 10-12 miles of the west and south coasts of the UK.
E. nitens  lack of a lignotuber means that it may not coppice reliably after 10 years. However, it may be worth growing E. nitens to establish a very quick crop of logs, whilst your other Eucalyptus firewood species are getting established.  It could then be clear felled to give the remaining Eucalyptus species room to expand.

  • Rural/Agricultural: Can be used as a shelterbelt plant with firewood logs being made from the thinnings after about 4-5 years of growth.
  • Ecology:  E. nitens produces a good honey flow for bees
  • Commercially: in many locations of the temperate world, E. nitens is a very economically important crop; mainly grown for wood pulp - to make paper and paper products. It is being increasingly planted in the U.K. as a biomass crop. It is also grown extensively in Victoria and southern New South Wales (Australia) and is a popular plantation species in Tasmania. The timber produced is used for general building construction, flooring, joinery, panelling, furniture and pulp.

Shoots 'n Leaves:Young shoots of mature trees are very striking and shiny  Young stems are a amazing beetroot red colour and square in cross section

Juvenile foliage: glaucous (covered in white wax), ovate to lanceolate large leaves, up to 11 cm long (4 ¼ inches) and 5.5 cm wide (2 ¼ inches) Strong french blue in colour with some burgundy tints, the very young leaves are not dissimilar to E. neglecta, but very quickly become arrow shaped. Immature foliage is present on the maturing tree for a considerable time.

Adult foliage: fabulous glossy, shiny olive green foliage. Very long and elegant; narrow, slightly curved (lanceolate to falcate). Can be up to 30 cm (1 foot) long and only 4 cm (1 ½ inches) wide.
Bark:  The first metre of trunk can be rough pewter grey bark and then the smooth trunk rises above this; predominantly soft pale grey with white, some mint, cream and coffee brown.  The bark sheds annually in strips to reveal the silvery white and mint coloured new bark beneath.
Flowers: white, in clusters of 7

Leaf Aroma: very strong - typical aromatic Eucalyptus
Rate of Growth: very fast - give it space

Height in maturity, if left unpruned:  Very quick off the starting block with rapid growth in its first couple of years. E. nitens is a very fast tall tree, suited to very large parkland and open spaces - so please ensure it has room to grow.

Height if unpruned - around 70m.  Best coppiced every 5-8 years to keep it under control

Hardiness:  generally down to -8 to -12°C   Young trees are more susceptible to extreme cold and most will succumb in their first winter after planting if the temperature falls to -12°C or below. Older trees will be hardier tolerating down to -14°C

Planting Position and Soil Preference: Full sun in ordinary garden soil, even happy in shallow thin soils over chalk, but growth is marginally slower as a result of this challenging soil type. It grows very well for us at Grafton Nursery in our horrible alkaline yellow boggy clay soil, but we would not recommend it for general planting in boggy ground.  In southern New Zealand, E. nitens is successfully grown in coastal districts.
Make life easier for you and your new tree: Plant with the mycorrhizal fungi product Rootgrow.  Eucalyptus in particular have a special, lifelong relationship with their root fungi, the latter of which actively transport food and water directly into the tree roots, helping your new Euc establish faster and more efficiently, particularly in challenging types of soil.

Meaning of the name:  Eucalyptus nitens: Latin nitens, shining, from the shining leaves, flower buds, fruit and bark. (source Euclid)


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