Eucalyptus - Eucalyptus
Eucalyptus, common name of eucalyptus, belongs to the Myrtaceae family and is a tree native to Australia. Its genus embraces a large number of species: there are in fact more than 500.
The eucalyptus takes its name from the Greek terms "eu" - with the meaning of "good" - and "kalùpto" - with the meaning of "hide" - since in its conformation the petals hide the rest of the flower. It is an arboreal and evergreen tree with a great development, which can reach over 25 meters in height. It is a tree with a significant aesthetic value: the trunk is characterized by an appreciated mottling, while the crown, over the years, ends up thinning and decreases its beauty. Usually eucalyptus plants are used as tree specimens and are often inserted in wooded gardens since they provide, by virtue of their grandeur, decidedly favorable shade conditions for trees and shrubs of the wood.
As mentioned, its bark is very much considered on an aesthetic level and it is not uncommon for plants of this type to be cultivated for this very reason.
Eucalyptus leaves are persistent and renewable. Oval in the young age of the plant, over time they become sharp lanceolate and have a silvery green color. They are also thick, shiny and aromatic. The flowers are instead white, creamy yellow, or pink or red depending on the species. However, they all have prominent stamens and, with the beginning of the spring season, they appear collected in bunches.
Eucalyptus is a plant that needs full sun exposure. He doesn't like shading, however, as it could easily cause premature leaf drop. The plant's favorite climate is mild and warm. Ideal condition for the tree is a maritime site.
Cultivation and soil
The beginning or the middle of summer is the time of the year when it is advisable to plant the eucalyptus. It is preferable that the height of the plant is not greater than 30 centimeters, the soil surrounding the young plants must be kept moist and fitted with a stake during the first year of life. It is also advisable to protect the stem with straw or sackcloth when the first winter arrives. Another operation to be performed is to protect young plants from cold winds by building a barrier with a windbreak net around them and it is important to know that the roots of these trees do not like being disturbed at all. It is therefore best to plant the tree in its permanent position from when it is young.
Finally, eucalyptus, a very rustic plant, adapts easily to any type of soil, whether it is calcareous or clayey.
Eucalyptus pruning is not essential. After the first year of life, in fact, the tree should have the ability to support itself without the need for a brace. However, if this condition does not arise, it is necessary to shorten the stem until it reaches 2-3 centimeters from the ground. In summer it is advisable to thin out the shoots that grow over time from the greased base and leave only one of these, which will subsequently become the main stem. Doing so will encourage the formation of a very strong root system, so that the tree has the ability to stand on its own.
Eucalyptus resists a long time without water. In the summer, however, it is better to water the tree every two or three weeks.
In the spring season, by seed or by taking semi-woody cuttings.
Eucalyptus is usually a strong and healthy plant, not particularly prone to disease. The plants most at risk are the younger ones that can be subject to attacks by aphids or scale insects. More serious are the fungal diseases that cause damage to the plant, among these the most frequent is the disfigurement of the foliage. In both situations it is necessary to intervene with spraying useful for cases.
There are, as initially said, hundreds of different species of eucalyptus. We will discuss two of the most common here.
Eucalyptus niphophila: can reach heights of 6 meters and has a slow initial growth that speeds up over time. It has lanceolate, thick and green leaves, but also glaucous. At a young age, the bark takes on a bluish-white color, while over time, tearing itself apart year after year as autumn arrives, the hue turns to cream, also varying in various other shades, from gray to reddish brown. The branches are red during the winter season, while in spring they are progressively covered by a bluish-white fluff. The niphopilia is certainly one of the most rustic plants among the eucalyptus trees.
A second widespread species is the eucalyptus pacifolra. It can reach a height of 20 meters in 12 years and is considered very similar to the previous one. It differs from niphophilia in that it lacks fluff-covered twigs. Its bark, with a strong aesthetic impact, is flaking and is embroidered with dark gray or white streaks