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Eucalyptus x gunnii ‘France Bleu’ Patio Kit – 1 of the best ever Eucalyptus

Original price was: £113.92.Current price is: £79.99.

Eucalyptus x gunnii ‘France Bleu’ Patio Kit

France Bleu is possibly the best-behaved dwarf Eucalyptus ever, with oodles of personality and every attribute you could wish for in a small, flowering bushy tree.

You receive

  • Eucalyptus x gunnii ‘France Bleu’ 5 litre pruned  bush usp £76
  • 1 x 20 litre airpot container usp £19.99
  • Ornamental bark mini-chip pot topper mulch 4 litre usp £3.45
  • Chempak No 4 fertiliser usp £7.99
  • Alg-a-mic Seaweed for root n shoots usp £6.49

TIME LIMITED OFFER: Place your order now to secure one of these patio bushes. Offer only whilst stocks last or until midnight Sunday 30th June

Full value of goods when purchased seperately = £113.92   Special offer price is £79.99  saving 30% at £33.93

All you will need is about 20 litres of good quality compost from your potting shed or local garden centre.  Choose something like peat-free Melcourt Sylvagrow.

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.

REF: EUCGFB-1
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Description

Eucalyptus x gunnii ‘France Bleu’ Patio Kit- 1 of the best ever Eucalyptus

Eucalyptus France Bleu is a fabulous, relatively new Eucalyptus bred in France for ornamental gardens.

France Bleu is also great for fragrant cut foliage and wonderful in pots and planters.

The new growth in summer looks truly spectacular. A silvery white haze hovers over rose-pink stems, whilst icy blue foliage sits beneath.

Why we like this Eucalyptus x gunnii ‘France Bleu’:-

  • Slow growing for a Eucalyptus
  • Intense, beautiful, fragrant silvery blue foliage – fabulous
  • Dwarf, very bushy habit – does NOT grow into an 80ft monster
  • Highly prunable
  • Great for growing in a pot.
  • Very small and compact. Perfect for any garden, patio or balcony!

Your Eucalyptus France Bleu Patio Kit contains everything you need to grow a fabulous large bushy shrub for your terrace or for cut foliage, except potting compost.

You will need 20 litres of good quality potting compost (which would be too heavy for us to ship).

The compost for your Eucalyptus x gunnii ‘France Bleu’ patio kit needs to be something which will last for about 3 years without collapsing.

Please choose something peat-free and good quality like Melcourt Sylvagrow.

Eucalyptus x gunnii ‘France Bleu’ is an excellent fragrant, bushy, silvery-blue species for growing in a container – for more information on how to grow a Eucalyptus in a pot this click here

In a reasonable growing period (if planted well) Eucalyptus France Bleu produces an admirable evergreen hedge-screen (2-3m tall when pruned), particularly as it is shown to be very tolerant of exposure (windy conditions) at our Grafton Nursery and salt laden winds.

Biometrics for Eucalyptus x gunnii ‘France Bleu’

Shoots ‘n Leaves: Very ornamental foliage.  Young emerging shoots are coated in silvery white wax. Young shoots are a wonderful deep rose pink to violet shades.

Juvenile leaves are short and strap like in a striking blue

Adult leaves are very similar to the juvenile foliage

Bark: very similar to Eucalyptus gunnii, shredding in shades of coffee, pewter and sable

Flowers: Fluffy and white, in small groups

Leaf Aroma: Strong, fresh Eucalyptol

Rate of Growth: slower growing than other members of its gunnii tribe, certainly in its earlier years.

Height in maturity, if left unpruned:   Short term, the breeders estimate that this tree will reach 4m in about 8-10 years. Long term, under rich growing and sheltered conditions, it could grow to around 6-8m if not pruned.

Easy to keep smaller by regular pruning – March 18th and end of May. Eucalyptus x gunnii ‘France Bleu’ can be kept at around 1.0-1.5m tall as a bushy shrub or shrub-on-a-stick mini standard tree, for use as privacy screening.

If pruned, it can be trained to form a bushy screening tree, a lollipop standard or a multi-stemmed bushy shrub.  Responds well to pollarding (pruning down to around 60-100cm), when done at the right time of year.

Read our Pruning Guidance Notes HERE

We would not recommend coppicing (cutting down to ground level) Eucalyptus gunnii x gunnii ‘France Bleu’ as it does not possess a lignotuber.

Unless you are growing for cut foliage, please refrain from voluntarily electing to prune your Eucalyptus from August through to February; it can kill it.

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 or ping us an email to [email protected]

To visit a video on pruning Eucalyptus visit our youtube page here : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tP4ldDRtHeQ

Hardiness: Good hardiness rating. The breeders claim that the root-system should be happy certainly down to around -8°C to -10°C, once mature.

Our trees at Grafton Nursery happily survived -13°C outside during winter 2022/2023 without signs of scorch or die-back, so Eucalyptus gunnii x gunnii ‘France Bleu’ is possibly hardier than its breeder gives it credit.

Hardiness in Eucalyptus is governed by

  • provenance of seed (all our seed is sourced from frosty or cold locations)
  • how it is grown (i.e. high nitrogen levels reduces cold tolerance),
  • the age of the tree – the older your tree, the hardier it will be. Younger Eucs are more susceptible to frost damage as they only have thin stems and are not very woody.
  • how long it has been planted in the ground. The deeper you can encourage the rooting by digging a deep planting pit at the time of installation, the quicker your tree will establish and you will increase its ability to survive cold winters. See our planting notes for more details.
  • the degree of stress to which the tree is subjected. The less stress your Euc experiences, the hardier it will be. For a list of stress factors, visit our Guidance Notes here

Additional information

Weight N/A
Dimensions N/A
Size

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Planting Position and Soil

Requirements:

  • Sun: Enjoys full sun and open sky above. Avoid shade cast by other tall trees and buildings.
  • Soil type: happy in normal to free draining garden soils that are acidic, neutral and even alkaline pH. Please note that growth may be slower in higher alkalinity. In a garden setting, an annual supplement of Iron sequestrene in March will make it even happier and improve its depth of foliage colour. Also give Iron sequestrene to Japanese Maples, Hydrangea, Magnolia and similar calcifuge plants.
  • Soil moisture levels: Tolerates intermittently poorly drained soil; grows well on our horrible, yellow, swampy, wet clay soil at Grafton Nursery.
  • Environment: Appears to be good in rural exposed locations, but we have no experience of Eucalyptus gunnii ‘France Bleu’ growing in a coastal environment– see ‘How to Use’ tab

Recommendations:

  • 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 gunnii x gunnii ‘France Bleu’®

How to use in the landscape and/or garden:

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

Eucalyptus gunnii x gunnii ‘France Bleu’® is a fabulous, dwarf, bushy, evergreen tree with great credentials and many uses for the garden, large or small.

Fabulous Specimen Tree for the small to medium garden.

Good structural shrub for the wider landscape and also for the smaller garden where you require a smaller bushier evergreen shrub.  E. ‘France Bleu’®  will look fabulous in a mixed border, bringing cool silvery blue to the planting scheme. An excellent structural evergreen multi-stem small tree or trimmed shrub for the winter garden.

Commercially: a good choice for Garden Designers to specify for projects – grow as a small tree, bushy shrub or in containers

Growing a full-sized standard: planting the tree and running away is an option, but it won’t necessarily give you the best results.

We suggest you tip prune the lateral shoots to encourage bushiness.  Keep all the sides shoots as they are building up the strength of the main trunk.

  • To grow a large specimen, leave the tree to grow up naturally thereafter.
  • For a small tree, tip prune the leader when it reaches 1.2m, thereafter let the head develop. Then prune the tree every March 18th and end of May to keep your tree small and bushy.

For more, see our guidance notes for growing specimen Eucalyptus in our Help and Advice section.

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

Growing shrub-on-a-stick clipped standard: this is an opportunity to grow a Eucalyptus in a confined space like a courtyard and also 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). Prune back growth every March 18th or thereabouts and tip prune the annual growth back by up to 90% at the end of May. Light tip pruning can be done again during July, but no later. Don’t prune from August through to February.

Growing a multi-stemmed bush or tree.  Eucalyptus gunnii x gunnii ‘France Bleu’®  responds well to pruning but NOT to coppicing as it does not have a lignotuber.  ‘France Bleu’ readily produces a multi-stemmed specimen  naturally

Q: Why would you want to do this?

A: To create:

  • 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.

REMEMBER: No grass, no weeds and a thick boring 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.

Pot Culture outdoors:  Eucalyptus gunnii x gunnii ‘France Bleu’®  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.

Always keep pot-grown Eucalyptus in the air-pot container system for healthy and happy trees.😊  They do not thrive in smooth-walled containers ☹

For information on how to successfully grow Eucs in pots, visit our Guidance Notes entitled ‘How to grow a Eucalyptus in a pot and keep it alive!’  Click HERE to visit the page

Hedge-Screens:  Eucalyptus gunnii x gunnii ‘France Bleu’® 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. If allowed to grow, its dense habit will make a great privacy screen and the silvery blue foliage will reflect light, making it difficult to see beyond the screen.

Always prune your hedge-screen March 18th and maintain a profile like a capital ‘A’.  That is broad bottom, narrow shoulders and a flat head.  This allows light to all parts of the hedge and keeps it bushy.  If you let your hedge develop into the shape of a capital ‘V’, its bottom will open up…not a great look!

Prune in spring, with 2-3 dry days forecast, to an ‘A’ shape, to keep it bushy down to the ground. Avoid pruning Eucs during wet weather, to discourage fungal attack.

Floral Art:  Eucalyptus gunnii x gunnii ‘France Bleu’®  produces excellent cut foliage for Flower Farmers and floral art. This cultivar looks like a good candidate for all year round harvesting in that we have cut it during May, Autumn, Winter and late Winter. However, we are not cutting always from the same plant, but have several plants on rotation.

Firewood Production:  Eucalyptus gunnii x gunnii ‘France Bleu’® is not on our selected species list for Biomass or Firewood, because it is not sufficiently vigorous.

Do give us a call on our nursery mobile 07307 413 052 if you would like to discuss growing firewood with one of our consultants

Rural/Agricultural:

  • 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. Good choice for silvopasture.

Ecology:

Bees. All Eucalyptus produce flowers with nectar and pollen. Eucalyptus gunnii x gunnii ‘France Bleu’® produces useful flowers 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.  Birds enjoy roosting in Eucalyptus trees and Pheasants like rootling around underneath them.
  • Chickens: The shredded foliage of Eucalyptus gunnii x gunnii ‘France Bleu’® 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 😑

Environmental:

Growing on the Coast  We have no experience of growing Eucalyptus gunnii x gunnii ‘France Bleu’®  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.

To make this work, we recommend that:

  1. you plant a smaller specimen (1 litre or 3 litre, around 1m-1.2m tall),
  2. encourage fast establishment in a deeply prepared planting pit (follow our planting advice), to encourage deep rooting to grow an upright, stable tree.
  • Staking will be required.
  1. Newly planted trees will very likely require a wind break shelter for their first winter in the ground with you.
  2. Zero grass or weeds during the period of establishment is non-negotiable!

Drying up or growing on wet soils. The breeders of Eucalyptus gunnii x gunnii ‘France Bleu’® recommend growing this cultivar on a free draining soil.  In addition to that, at Grafton we grow several France Bleu in our cut foliage plantation on our swampy yellow clay soil and they are doing amazingly well, providing an all year round crop of fluffy blue foliage for cutting.

  • Tolerant of cold and exposed growing environments inland. The breeders of Eucalyptus gunnii x gunnii ‘France Bleu’® advise it to be grown in a sheltered environment, where we know it will do well.  At Grafton, we have several growing in our north-facing, wind-swept field and they appear to be remarkably robust.

We recommend

  • you plant a smaller specimen (less than 1.8m tall from a 3 or 5 litre air-pot)
  • encourage fast establishment in a deeply prepared planting pit (follow our planting advice), to encourage deep rooting to grow an upright, stable tree
  • Staking will be required
  • In exposed locations, newly planted trees will very likely require a wind break shelter made from horticultural fleece or sail cloth, for their first winter in the ground with you; this very much depends on the level of exposure
  • Zero grass or weeds during the period of establishment is non-negotiable!
  • Tolerant of poor stony soils once established Eucalyptus gunnii x gunnii ‘France Bleu’® does not require a rich soil and can survive in poor, stony soils.   Tolerant of arid environments, 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, deep 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. Growth on impoverished soils will always be reduced.

 

Nursery Notes and Trivia

Nursery Stock 2024

We have plenty of 3 litre plants ready

5 litre will be ready in May.  12 and 20 litre stock ready during the summer.

Lignotuber:

Eucalyptus gunnii ‘France Bleu’ does not have a lignotuber, so will not regenerate off the root crown if clear felled or cut down by machinery, frost or beast.  However, if pollarded to around 1m, epicormics buds will sprout from the trunk, provided the tree is not very old. Mature trees, of 15 years or more, may not be able to re-sprout.

What is a lignotuber?  See our Blog post on the subject HERE

 Meaning of the name:

Eucalyptus gunnii ‘France Bleu’  is a gunnii x gunnii hybrid.

‘France Bleu’   alludes to the fact that it was bred in France and also the wonderful blue colour of the foliage.

 

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