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Eucalyptus nicholii ‘Avon’- Willow Peppermint 1 of the fabulous Peppermints


Eucalyptus nicholii

A new introduction by Grafton Nursery in 2022.  Grow as a sophisticated specimen tree or pruned garden shrub.

Why we like this variety:-

  • Seriously elegant tree with soft sage green leaves – ‘Avon’ has good form and habit
  • Dramatic foxy-red peeling bark
  • Fabulous fragrant foliage – eucalyptus and fresh peppermint
  • Excellent cut foliage for floral art and wedding work

Sizes Quoted are the approximate height band of the tree above compost level, ie. the height of the tree once planted into the ground. Please note: Eucalyptus are living plants and can grow almost all year round, occasionally we may supply you with a plant that is slightly taller than your order. If this might cause you problems, please include a note with your order.

Click the dropdown below to view our different sizes & prices.



Eucalyptus nicholii ‘Avon’ – Willow Peppermint

Introduced to the UK by Hardy Eucalyptus at Grafton Nursery in 2022. We particularly like the form of this selection growing in our nursery.  E. nicholii ‘Avon’ exhibits a neat upright habit and shows great promise of growing into a handsome, well-shaped specimen tree.


Shoots ‘n Leaves: Young shoots are initially pinky bronze with flecks of gold.

Juvenile foliage is long and narrow, feathery, sage green and looks spectacular against the strong carmine/burgundy stems.

Adult leaves are 12 cm long and 1 cm wide and continue to resemble those of a willow

Bark: In maturity the bark is fibrous and deeply fissured lengthways; the yellow ochre to mushroom colour shreds to reveal underlying layers of dramatic russet foxy brown. Splits in mid-summer to fleetingly reveal bright Eau de Nil before returning to foxy-russet.

Flowers: White flowers in clusters of 7, appear late summer to early autumn, ours is in flower from end of August onwards well into October – great for the bees.

Leaf Aroma: Wonderful strong eucalyptus aroma with suffused with fresh peppermint.

Rate of Growth: Medium to fast, 1.0-1.5 metres per year in optimum conditions.

Height in maturity, if left unpruned:  Short term, the tree quickly reaches around 6-8m.  About 10m after 10-15 years, ultimately around 12-15m, but can be kept smaller with occasional pruning.  Always prune March 18th and end of May. Avoid pruning in Autumn or Winter.

To receive monthly pruning and aftercare advice, sign up to our Gumnut Club – its free and you can unsubscribe at any time.  To subscribe – just call us or ping us an email to [email protected]

Hardiness: Moderate to good hardiness, root-system generally tolerating down to -12 to -14°C on a sheltered free draining site.

Additional information

Weight 4 kg
Dimensions 150 × 40 × 40 cm

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Planting Position and Soil

Eucalyptus nicholii – Willow Peppermint


  • Sun: full sun and open sky above. Avoid shade cast by other tall trees and buildings.
  • Soil Type: Happy in a wide range of soils, but performs best on those which are acid to neutral and of poor to average fertility.
  • Soil Moisture: Enjoys moisture retentive but draining soils. Will grow on a draining clay, sandy loams and rocky free draining ground. In spite of the literature, E nicholii grows well on our horrible yellow swampy wet clay soil at Grafton Nursery.   E. nicholii is formidably tolerant of heat, drought, arid environments and poor stony dry soils once established. It is essential that your Euc. is given our recommended quantity of water for its first 2 growing seasons in your grounds, during its establishment phase before you abandon it to its fate.  The tree needs to establish a good root system before it can survive in dry, challenging conditions.
  • Environment: Benefits from a little shelter, especially from cold desiccating easterly winds.  Our E nicholii trees grow on a north-west facing slope sheltered by trees and hedge to the east and south/southwest.


  • If planting a large number for 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; they can also be found under the Help and Advice tab on this website.
  • Improve poor soils with our planting kit, at the time of planting.
  • To encourage deep rooting and therefore good stability, prepare a deep planting pit as per our instructions.
  • Ensure there is no competition from weeds or grass around the base of the young tree as this will seriously cramp its style and slow down establishment. Our research has found that grass around the trunks of newly planted Eucalypts can completely stop them from growing and may lead to failure
  • 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.

How to Use

Eucalyptus nicholii ‘Avon’- Willow Peppermint

This is a fabulous species. Widely planted in California and Australia, E. nicholii deserves wider planting in the UK. The foliage is unlike your typical Eucalypt, resembling more a fine leaved, feathery willow.  The tree is very elegant with a light, open crown and beautiful semi-weeping habit.  From a distance the young tree outline is similar to a Silver Birch tree or young weeping willow.
How to grow E nicholii ‘Avon’ and get the best out of it

Good Specimen Tree for the wider landscape, arboretum collection or avenue planting and for the medium and larger garden:

Growing a full-sized standard: planting the tree and running away is an option, but it won’t necessarily give you the best results.  See our guidance notes for growing specimen Eucalyptus in our Help and Advice section.

Growing shrub-on-a-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).

For monthly emails on how and when to prune and care for your Eucalyptus, sign up to our Gumnut Club – it’s totally free and you can unsubscribe at any time.

Remember: No grass, no weeds and a thick bark chip mulch, to a depth of 150 mm (6 inches) are essential to assist with good establishment. Our research trials have demonstrated that grass around the trunk of Eucalyptus prevent the trees from quickly establishing and can completely stop them from growing.


Floral Art:  E nicholii ‘Avon’ produces excellent cut foliage for Flower Farmers and floral art.  Beautiful in a vase of flowers for the house.  It is favoured by florists for use in bridal bouquets and general wedding work.



– Good shade tree for livestock to stand under.   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.

– Sage-Green foliaged species, which looks for comfortable and not ‘foreign’ in a rural setting – reminiscent of Willow Trees


– Bees. All Eucalyptus produce flowers with nectar and pollen, this species is prolific in flower from late summer onwards for several months, providing foraging for honey-bees and other pollinating insects

– Chickens: The shredded foliage of E nicholii  is excellent at deterring red mites in Chicken nest boxes and hen houses, as they 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 L


Growing on the Coast  We have no experience of growing E nicholii in a coastal environment.  I suspect it may grow in milder coastal districts, when cultivated a mile or two in land of the sea, but this needs trialling. I know that the Irish struggle to obtain good results with E nicholii due to salt laden winds.  Do get in touch if you are giving this a go and let us know how you get on.

– Tolerant of poor stony soils once established   E. nicholii ‘Avon’  does not require a rich soil and can survive in poor, stony soils.   It is essential that your Euc. is given lots of water during its establishment phase, before you abandon it to its fate.  The tree needs to establish a good root system before it can survive in these challenging conditions.  No grass, no weeds and a thick bark chip mulch, to a depth of 150 mm (6 inches) are essential to assist with good establishment


Nursery Notes and Trivia

Winter 2022 into Spring 2023

Stock levels: Due to the scarcity of this new introduction, we currently only have it available in 5 litre airpots.  We will have some larger specimens ready by late Summer of 2023

Botanical Name: Eucalyptus nicholii                    MYRTACEÆ; Myrtle Family

Common Name: Narrow leaved Black Peppermint, Willow Peppermint

Status: Evergreen Tree

Origin: Distribution is limited to a small area, the Northern Tablelands, New South Wales. However, this variety is very widely planted as an ornamental tree in south-eastern Australia.

Lignotuber:  it has one, which is a good thing!  E. nicholii ‘Avon’  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. nicholii ‘Avon’ will respond extremely well to both coppicing and pollarding practices.

Origin of the name: Eucalyptus nicholii: after Richard Nichol (1866–1947). Richard Nichol joined the staff of the Sydney Botanic Gardens as an herbarium assistant in 1888. He was successively a label writer, museum attendant, storekeeper and in his later years a chief clerk, on occasions acting as private secretary to J.H. Maiden. He retired in 1927 – source Euclid

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