The Eucalyptus tree family is a big one, and the Baby Blue is one of its stars. Cut foliage is a popular choice for floral arrangements. The silver-blue leaves produce a lemon fragrance and can also be used for medicinal purposes. The Baby Blue foliage can be used fresh or dried for decorative purposes. The Baby Blue Eucalyptus is pruned in a variety of ways for different functions.
- Skill level:
- Moderately Challenging
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Things you need
- Pruning shears
Coppice the trees when using the juvenile foliage for decorative purposes or flower arrangements. Coppicing trees involves sawing them down to near ground level. The stumps will sprout a myriad of young juvenile stems that can be cut for use. This method can also help to keep the tree small enough to have in a container or indoors. Cut the trunk with the saw about 18 inches from the soil at a slight slope. This will prevent water from collecting on the stump. Remove side shoots. After six weeks, the young shoots will be visible.
Pollard trees that are 3 to 6 years old to reduce the crown height of the tree and promote lateral branching. Pollarding involves removal of the upper tree branches. Use the saw to cut the main trunk 6 to 10 feet from the ground. Do not cut the lateral branches. The growth will sprout new shoots, one of which will become your new trunk.
Hedge your Baby Blues by cutting them with the pruning shears. Prune young 2-year-old saplings by cutting off the top one-third of their crowns. Use the shears to prune them into an inverted "V" or "pyramid" shape just before the end of the growing season. This shape prevents the upper branches from blocking sun to the lower branches, which would encourage the Eucalyptus to shed its lower branches. Pruning your hedge before the end of the growing season will give the buds a chance to form before the winter. Prune another one-third to one-quarter of the hedge in the same way the following year.
Tips and warnings
- For decorative use, remove the bottom leaves that would be in the vase, cut stems under water and place in a vase with 1/4 tsp bleach per qt. of water.
- Eucalyptus can be taken for a variety of ailments, but is famous for the relief of chest colds and pneumonia, bronchial ailments, cold and flu.
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