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Eucalyptus gunnii - to stake or not to stake?


This is my first time posting, so please be kind.

I just bought a young Eucalyptus gunnii (off Gumtree, fittingly) and planted it this weekend. It is around 75 cm base to tip. I read that it makes sense to try to plant them as young as possible to help them establish well. My garden had nothing in it and seemed  like it should be sheltered (it is small, backed by a massive side wall of a house at the back and with fences either side. But now that there are actual plants in the ground, it's clear that it's actually quite a breezy plot.

Anyway, the Eucalyptus looks very floppy and I wanted to ask everyone's advice on whether or not to stake it and (if so) precisely how. This is its default position and (from only brief observations) it seems like most of the wind would come from a direction that would exacerbate this leaning:

I have read a lot on this over the last couple of days and the consensus seems to be not to stake them, in order to allow them to develop strong trunks. But some advise placing a short fat stake at a distance (1-3 feet) and using a fabric band quite low down on the trunk to prevent severe lean. I know you can end up coppicing them to train them as bushes, but I wanted this as a tree (ideally with a straight trunk!), which I would then keep to a sensible height.

So, I guess my question is for all you more experienced gardeners, is the degree of lean/floppiness on this unusual (and therefore, should I stake it, and if so, how); or is this normal enough and I should just let it get on growing and stop wasting everyone's time on gardening forums?

I would really appreciate any advice, so thanks in advance.


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  • Pete.8Pete.8 Posts: 10,967
    I bought a similar gunii a few years after I moved here 32yrs ago. It was about the same size as yours but I paid £1.99 !!

    Here's a pic of it in 2009 -

    It cost £1100 to have it removed and I've still got a 5ft dia. stump..

    Billericay - Essex

    Knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit.
    Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
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  • hogweedhogweed Posts: 4,053
    They really take off like a rocket!
    'Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement' - Helen Keller
  • MarlorenaMarlorena Posts: 8,358
    No staking is my advice.  I grew this tree to block neighbouring windows on a house opposite, so I kept the tree to not more than about 18 feet.  It needed pruning back by about 6 foot each Spring to 12 foot, so it would reach the required 15 feet by summer, to give me privacy, and about 18 foot after 12 months, by which time it was ready to cut out the leader again back to 12 foot.  It's actually very easy and quick with ladder and tree pruners.. very few cuts required..   It took only about 3 years to achieve my maximum height..

    When mature I grew a pink rambling rose through it, training it to the top where it would cascade downwards... I planted the rose about 2 foot from the base..  

    If you miss a year you will lose control and will start to develop like Pete's above...  it's also rather close to the property next door.   A great tree to have, very useful, but must be controlled every year, which really doesn't take very long if you have the tools..

    East Anglia, England
  • Hello,

    Thanks very much for all your responses. I really appreciate the advice. It will continue unstaked (is that a word? Stakeless?). And yes, Marlorena, you're right, it is a bit close to next door, but our space is small and we will carefully manage it. Your advice here on what you do is really helpful. And Pete8: wow. But also, thanks for the picture - your garden looks great.

    Thanks again.
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