Eucalyptus parvula – Small Leaved Kybean Gum
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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, arboretum collection or avenue planting and for the small, medium and larger garden. Planting the tree and running away is always and option, but it won’t necessarily give you the best results. See our guidance notes for growing specimen Eucalyptus in and 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). Always prune at the correct time of year: mid-March and end of May. Never prune Autumn or Winter.
Growing a multi-stemmed bush or tree. Once large enough to cope with this pruning technique, E parvula responds well to coppicing almost to ground level and readily produces a multi-stemmed specimen off the lignotuber.
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.
Cut foliage for floral art: Fabulous, prolific cut foliage. E parvula forms a lignotuber and it responds well to pollarding; both juvenile and adult foliage are cut for foliage and used for floral art. Produces long useful stems in a blue-sage green hue.
Windbreak: Plant in groups to create shelter from biting winds for gardens and livestock
Privacy Screen: E parvula responds well to pruning and forms a good hedge/screen (2-3 m tall). The recommended planting distance between each plant is about 1.8-2.0 m, for a hedge screen of this height.
Patio Pots and Raised Planter: E parvula lends itself to being grown as a multi-stemmed specimen in a container for your terrace or courtyard garden: use a large air-pot to keep its roots happy. For information on how to successfully grow Eucs in pots, visit our Blog entitled ‘How to grow a Eucalyptus in a pot and keep it alive!’
Domestic firewood production: If coppiced every 8 years, E parvula will produce a log about 5 inches (125mm) in diameter – just right for your log burner. E. parvula is also a useful species to plant around the perimeter of taller firewood species to protect them in windy exposed locations.
ALWAYS 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 prevents the trees from quickly establishing and can completely stop them from growing.
– 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.
– Soft grey-green adult foliage, which looks for comfortable and not ‘foreign’ in a rural setting – reminiscent of Willow Trees
– Bees: useful flowers from May/June onwards for several weeks, providing foraging for honey-bees and other pollinating insects
– 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, especially a multi-stems.
Birds enjoy roosting in Eucalyptus trees and Pheasants like rootling around underneath them.
– Chickens: The shredded foliage of E parvula 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
– Growing on the Coast We know of a successful planting of E parvula near Wadebridge in Cornwall, in sight of the sea.
– Drying up wet soils: 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. Grows well for us at Grafton on our swampy clay.
– SUDS – sustainable drainage systems: Needs trialling, but planted singly or in groups, E. parvula 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.
– Tolerant of cold and exposed growing environments inland: E. parvula will grow in open fields and pasture; it does not require a sheltered position. No grass, no weeds, but do give it oodles of Rootgrow and a thick bark chip mulch, to a depth of 150 mm (6 inches) are essential to assist with good establishment
– Tolerant of poor stony soils once established: Tolerant of arid environments, poor stony dry soils once established. E. parvula does not require a rich soil and can survive in poor, stony soils. 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. 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.