Eucalyptus bridgesiana - Apple Gum

Eucalyptus bridgesiana - Apple Gum


Apple Box Moonbi, Apple, Apple Gum, But-but, Swamp Apple (eastern Victoria, eastern New South Wales, and southern Queensland)


Why we like this species:

  • Excellent for producing good quality foliage for floral art, through pollarding
  • Valuable to apiculture: providing nectar for bees, leading to good honey
  • A vigorous tree for the larger landscape providing windbreak shelter, shade for livestock



Apple Gum Ornamental evergreen tree for cold wet clay soils. Pollard annually to produce fabulous floral art cut foliage. Good quality pollen & nectar for bees. Agricultural windbreak & shelter tree.

Call us on 0751 526 1511 for assistance in choosing your Eucalyptus.


Botanical Name:


  • Eucalyptus bridgesiana
  • MYRTACEÆ; Myrtle Family
  • Common Name: Apple Box Moonbi, Apple, Apple Gum, But-but, Swamp Apple (eastern Victoria, eastern New South Wales, and southern Queensland)
  • Status: Evergreen Tree
  • Origin: New South Wales on the northern and Southern Tablelands, extending to Queensland and central and eastern Victoria.

Nursery notes 2020: Spring

Currently in propagation. 1 litre hopefully ready during June in the cut foliage collection

5 litre trees should be available in Summer 2020

Email me to be put on the early warning list


Description, habit, uses and attributes:

In Australia, E. bridgesiana can be seen growing in grassy woodland in the company of E. pauciflora and E. rubida and also near watercourses.


Lignotuber: it has one, which is a good thing! E. bridgesiana will regenerate off the lignotuber if cut down by man, beast or nature. It also produces many shoots from epicormic buds lying dormant beneath the bark higher up the tree; so E. bridgesiana will respond extremely well to both coppicing and pollarding practices and pruning with secateurs.


How to use in the landscape and/or garden:

How to grow or train it to get the best out of it: 

Good standard ornamental tree for the wider landscape, looking very similar to a standard apple tree in outline, with a large open crown.  When viewed from a distance, leaf clusters are in ‘broccoli formation’.

Floral Art: 

Cut foliage is fabulous. Heart shaped leaves in a stunning shade of blue. Closely packed alternate leaves clasp the stem. Growing method is that of managing a Dogwood (Cornus alba) or Hazel (Corylus avellana) copse with annual or biennial pruning; consequently it will be kept as a 2m (6ft) tall bush


  • Good tree for livestock to stand under for shade. Eucalyptus provide a cool environment for horses, cattle, llamas, sheep to shelter from the sun on hot days, as the mass evaporation of water through the leaves creates a cool shady canopy beneath. Also, I have been told that the eucalyptol in the leaves deters flies.   
  • E. bridgesiana also provides wind-breaking shelter


E. bridgesiana produces copious amounts of pollen and nectar for approximately 2-3 months, for bees; leading to good quality honey. Worth trialling as a coppiced/pollarded specimen in moderately sized gardens for honey production.- Chickens: The shredded foliage of this species is excellent at keeping Chicken nest boxes and hen houses free of red mites, which detest the presence of Eucalyptol. I used to line our Chicken boxes with shredded leaves, strew the floor and pile up the spindly branches for the chickens to make nests. It was all great till the foxes moved into the next field...



- The ability of E. bridgesiana to withstand cold wet clay soils leads to speculation that this tree has potential as use for remediation work with gully erosion of clay soils

The timber of E. bridgesiana is quite soft compared with other Eucalypts and is apparently not considered to be good for either firewood or construction.



Shoots ‘n Leaves:  Young shoots: stems glaucous (covered in white wax) and textured, foliage blueJuvenile foliage: interesting, roundish to heart-shaped with a crinkly edge, like a larger form of crenulata, but in blue. Approx 1-4 inches long and 1-3 inches wide.Adult foliage: glossy green, typical lanceolate Eucalyptus shape about 5-8 inches long and 1 inch wide.


Bark: heavily textured and fissured, usually tessellated and mottled silvery grey and white over the whole trunk and major branch structure. Younger branches have smooth cream bark


Flowers: white in groups of 7.

Leaf Aroma: typical Eucalyptus aroma


Rate of Growth: quite fast even for a Eucalyptus. Up to 1.5m per annumHeight in maturity, if left unpruned: medium to large tree of around 20m. Although a large tree when left to its own devices, if regularly coppiced or pollarded, E. bridgesiana can be kept as a much smaller specimen - think huge Beech tree kept as a beech hedge or topiary specimen.

Hardiness: Approximately -9°C. Hardiness in Eucalyptus is governed by provenance of seed, how it is grown (i.e. high nitrogen levels reduces cold tolerance), age of the tree - the older your tree, the hardier it will be (younger Eucs are more susceptible to frost damage).


Planting position and soil preference

Grows in any normal garden soil in full sun. Excellent choice for poor, cold, wet, clay soils of neutral to acidic pH, but not waterlogged soils.  It produces a moderate to deep and spreading root system.

To encourage deep rooting and therefore good stability, prepare a deep planting pit as per our instructions.  If planting a large number for firewood or cut foliage, subsoiling may be a good practice to follow, especially if pastureland has previously been used by livestock.

For the best results, follow our planting and aftercare watering instructions; issued with each order. 
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, 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: 

E. bridgesiana named after Frederick Bridges (1840-1904), the education officer of New South Wales
Apple, Apple Gum, because the tree profile reminded early settlers of the large standard English apple tree
E. bridgesiana belongs to the group of eucalypts that includes E. nitens, which are renowned for their cold tolerance.


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