P71103Bluegum is famously problematic. It is too big, too invasive, too messy, too structurally deficient, and as demonstrated in the Oakland fire, too combustible. Dwarf bluegum, Eucalyptus globulus ‘Compacta’, is a completely different animal that does not even look related. It gets only about fifty feet tall, with a dense and somewhat symmetrically rounded canopy. The mess and falling limbs do not affect such a large area.

Dwarf bluegum is not a particularly appealing tree for home gardens, but happens to be practical on freeways or for quick shade in areas that are not landscaped. Once it gets going, it needs no irrigation. Too much water compromises stability. The distinctively curved lanceolate leaves resemble those of common bluegum, but are more densely arranged on shorter stems. Self sown seedlings grow as normal bluegums.

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3 thoughts on “Dwarf Bluegum

  1. Famously problematic indeed….. I have often wondered why the world embraced them knowing how well they burn at their home here in Oz. And I did not know there was a compact form! So much for knowing what’s in ones own back yard!

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    1. The compact form is actually not Australian. It was discovered as a mutant seed grown tree in Fremont, and cultivated for windbreaks. Other eucalyptus do the same, but have not been cultivated. Eucalyptus citriodora is pretty useless without its elegant form.

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