Eucalyptus crenulata - Victorian Silver Gum
Buxton Gum, Victorian Silver Gum
Why we like this species:
- A useful small/medium tree to grow in a medium garden and to brighten dark corners as a bush
- Responds well to pruning and can be used as a hedge/screen
- Grows quickly enough to give a result, but doesn’t become a monster
- Excellent cut foliage
- Happy in intermittently wet soil conditions
Silvery sage-green, aromatic foliage on a moderately sized tree, super flowers for bees, hedge-screen and cut foliage
Call us on 0751 526 1511 for assistance in choosing your Eucalyptus.
- Eucalyptus crenulata
- MYRTACEÆ; Myrtle Family
- Common Name: Buxton Gum, Victorian Silver Gum
- Status: Evergreen Tree
- Origin: A species of Eucalyptus which is endemic to the Acheron River valley in Victoria in Australia, grows in the soggy valley bottoms!
Processing, shipping & dispatch
Nursery Notes 2020: Spring
- young 3 litre available now
- 12 litre stock multi-stems available again late Spring
Description, habit, uses and attributes:
Rarely found in the wild, this is a good all round variety - it is much under-rated in cultivation and should be grown more often as it has so much to offer.
Grows into a good mature specimen tree with the overall effect being similar to a billowing bushier version of the Silver Poplar, but with smaller leaves and a violet haze.
Along with E. neglecta, this variety is very tolerant of growing in part shade.
Interesting medium Eucalyptus tree of good bushy form with a silvery hue and aromatic leaves. Best grown in the warmer counties of the UK, it offers many opportunities as a lovely specimen tree, hedge-screen, stand-alone shrub, cut foliage and use with chickens.
Lignotuber: it has one, which is a good thing! E. crenulata 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. crenulata will respond extremely well to both coppicing and pollarding practices.
How to use in the landscape and/or garden:
How to grow or train it to get the best out of it:
Good Specimen Tree for the wider landscape and for the medium/larger garden: E. crenulata shares a similar outline to that of a Lime tree (Tilia cordata)
Growing a full sized standard: Planting the tree and running away is an option, but it won’t necessarily give you the best results. For information on how to do it properly see our ‘Help’ pages here -
Growing shrub-onna-stick clipped standard: this is an opportunity to grow a Eucalyptus in a confined space and control its overall size. You can produce a small tree on a trunk with a height of anywhere between 2.4m (8ft) and 4m (12ft)
Growing a multi-stemmed bush or tree. E. crenulata responds well to coppicing and readily produces a multi-stemmed specimen
Why would you want to do this?
- a tree with more body or ‘mass’ of branches and foliage for screening purposes. Once grown back up to its full potential, it will now have several main trunks
- an attractive multi-stemmed architectural tree, especially if it has exceptional bark
- to control height, whereby your Euc can be usefully maintained anywhere between 2.4m (8ft) and 7m (20ft), but genetically it will want to grow taller if ignored.
Floral Art: Excellent cut foliage for the milder areas of the UK, not subject to harsh cold easterly winds and extremely low temperatures.
For information on how to grow cut foliage, see our ‘Help’ pages here.
Firewood Production: E. crenulata is not on our selected species for Biomass or Firewood.
Hedge-Screens & Windbreaks: E. crenulata is a good choice for a hedge-screen as it readily produces sub-lateral shoots – i.e. branches off the side-branches and finds no problem in becoming bushy. This is unusual for most Eucs.
Rural/Agricultural: Good shade tree for livestock to stand under, in the milder areas of the UK. 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.
Silvery sage-green foliaged species, which looks for comfortable and not ‘foreign’ in a rural setting – reminiscent of Willow Trees
Ecology: All Eucalyptus produce flowers with nectar and pollen, but this species has particularly spectacular flowers making it a real draw for honey bees and other pollinators.
Habitat creation and Game Cover: this species lends itself to providing good trouble-free habitat creation for wildlife and game cover, when planted in groups.
Birds enjoy roosting in Eucalyptus trees and Pheasants like rootling around underneath them.
Chickens: The shredded foliage of E. crenulata 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...
- We have no experience of growing E. crenulata in a coastal environment. I suspect it may do well in milder coastal districts, when grown a mile or two inland of the sea, but this needs trialling. Do get in touch if you are giving this a go and let us know how you get on.
- Drying up wet soils. We have no experience as yet of growing E. crenulata in seriously boggy ground, but are currently trialling it. Hailing from soggy valley bottoms in the wild, it does prefer a moisture retentive soil and so may do well at drying up a wet UK soil. Needs further work – let us know how you get on if you decide to give this a try.
- SUDS protocol. Needs trialling, but planted singly or in groups, E. crenulata may draw on drain water percolating into swales or similar. Coppice or pollard every few years if you need to control the overall height of the trees. Eucalyptus draw on ground water for twelve months of the year, unlike willows, which lie dormant for 5 months through the winter.
Pot Culture outdoors: E. crenulata can be successfully grown as a multi-stemmed shrub in a container provided you are prepared to pot on at the recommended intervals and to supply it with sufficient water and food during the growing season. If not watered enough, it becomes thin and spindly, dropping its lower leaves.
Shoots ‘n Leaves: Very ornamental foliage. Young shoots are often a silvery rose colour with a white bloom and ‘bobbly’ stems.
Juvenile leaves are silvery, becoming a mid-apple green with white frosting; reminiscent of small Silver Poplar leaves (almost palmate) and they persist on mature trees.
Leaves have a crinkly wavy margin - hence the name crenulata
Glaucous buds, twigs and underside of the leaves give the whole plant a silvery appearance.
Bark: Smooth, furrowed, silvery coffee colour, sometimes with a golden hue.
Flowers: These are white and fluffy with a beautiful sweet perfume when inhaled up close. Held in groups of 7 to 11, they are not visible on the tree from a distance.
Leaf Aroma: Strong resin aroma and the leaves are sticky when crushed
Rate of Growth: medium 1.0-1.5m (3-4ft) per year
Height in maturity, if left unpruned: A medium sized tree of moderately fast growth growing up to about 10-12m tall (30 ft-ish) and if maintained as a coppiced/pollarded specimen will take on the size and shape of a species rose or coppiced Hazel tree
Hardiness: tolerating down to around -8 to 10 °C to -14 °C mark, once mature. 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. Hardiness refers to the lignotuber and not the foliage.
Planting position and soil preference
Full sun and part shade – which is great – one of the few Eucs that will take a semi-shady position.
Shelter: enjoys a sheltered position – not that keen on exposed locations
Preferred Soil type any normal garden soil, but will tolerate intermittently boggy soil/with poor drainage.
May not do that well in very hot, dry conditions – untested by us at the nursery.
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 every 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.
Interesting Botanical Notes: E. crenulata is one of a kind, having no other close relatives.
E. crenulata stands alone in series Crenulatae
Meaning of the name: Latin crenulatus, minutely crenate, of the scalloped leaf edges