How To Cut Eucalyptus Trees: Trimming & Pruning Techniques

It is important to get rid of dead and unhealthy growth of eucalyptus trees. Common techniques used in pruning eucalyptus include Pollarding, Coppicing, Thinning, and hedge pruning.

Prune Eucalyptus Plant

Pruning has a crucial role in maintaining the eucalyptus trees’ aesthetics. In this guide, we will take you through the importance of pruning these majestic beauties and give an overview of how to prune a eucalyptus tree.


When pruning the eucalyptus trees, start by assessing the tree to identify the branches that need pruning.


It involves removing diseased or dead branches and those rubbing or crossing against each other.


Use proper pruning tools like loopers, pruners, or pruning saws to make clean cuts just outside the branch collar. Please do not leave any stubs, as they may invite decay and disease.


Why Is Pruning Important For Eucalyptus Trees?

If you are not aware of how to cut eucalyptus,  these benefits will surely motivate you to learn it.


Pruning the eucalyptus is essential for different reasons. It promotes tree health by removing damaged, diseased, and dead branches, reducing the risk of disease spread and decay.


In addition, pruning helps control the overall tree growth, preventing it from becoming too unwieldy or dense. It is an important step in caring for Eucalyptus trees.


It aids in better sunlight penetration and air circulation, lowering pest vulnerability and fuller foliage. Further, pruning accentuates the tree’s visual appeal, shaping it into an attractive form and maintaining its desired structure and height.


By understanding the importance of pruning and following the appropriate techniques, you can ensure eucalyptus’ health, growth control, and visual appeal.


Should You Prune A Young Eucalyptus Or A Mature One?


Learning which plants to trim is equally important as knowing how to prune eucalyptus plants.


To be honest, pruning can be beneficial for both mature and young types of eucalyptus trees. However, the approach and timing may vary slightly.


1. Young Eucalyptus Trees: Ideally, you must prune young eucalyptus trees to shape their growth and establish a strong structure. Pruning in the early stages helps train the tree’s form.


It also encourages proper branch spacing and promotes healthy development. Focus on removing any damaged, dead, or competing branches. Pruning young trees also helps redirect the energy toward the desired growth pattern.


2. Mature eucalyptus trees: Pruning mature eucalyptus trees is done for hazard reduction and general maintenance. It involves removing diseased, dead, or structurally weak branches to improve overall tree healing and reduce the risk of falling branches.


Further, selective pruning helps manage the shape, size, and tree density if it has grown too large or poses a safety concern.


Pruning mature trees is typically done less frequently than with young trees and may need more extensive techniques or assistance from a professional arborist.


Bottom Line – While young trees benefit from pruning to shape their growth, mature trees need pruning for safety concerns and maintenance.


Different Pruning Cuts & Techniques For Eucalyptus Trees

According to the tree type and your desired results from the pruning activity, you may pick a pruning style.


But, before that, you must decide on the branches to be removed based on their condition and the desired results. Next is to choose a proper pruning tool like a saw or shears based on the tree’s size.


Further, employ heading, thinning, reduction cuts, coppicing, pollarding, and hedge pruning for specific outcomes. So how to prune a large eucalyptus tree? Read the different styles you could follow mentioned below:


1. Thinning cuts

Thinning Cuts
This includes removing the selected branches across the tree to improve air circulation, allow more sunlight penetration, and reduce density. It promotes healthier growth and lowers the risk of disease.

2. Heading cuts

Heading Cuts
Here you trim the tips of branches to stimulate lateral growth and create a more compact shape in the tree. It helps maintain desired tree size and density.

3. Reduction cuts

Reduction Cuts
This decreases the tree’s height or width by cutting back branches to lateral buds or branch junctions. It helps manage tree size and shape while preserving its natural form.

4. Coppicing

This is a technique where you cut the tree to ground level, stimulating vigorous re-growth from the base. This technique is used for rejuvenation and can be employed to control the tree’s size.

5. Pollarding

This involves regularly pruning upper branches, promoting a dense crown of foliage and maintaining a specific shape. This technique is beneficial for aesthetic purposes and for controlling tree size.

6. Hedge pruning

Hedge Pruning
This style trims the eucalyptus trees in a hedge-like manner to create a formal or informal hedge. Regular maintenance keeps the trees in the desired shape and size.


By understanding and employing these pruning cuts and techniques, you can effectively manage eucalyptus’ growth, health, and appearance according to your desired results.


Should You Be Topping Eucalyptus Trees?

Topping eucalyptus trees involves trimming the tree’s upper portion. It is usually not recommended.


Eucalyptus trees do not respond well to topping. It can result in serious negative consequences. Topping disrupts the tree’s natural growth pattern, promotes the growth of poorly attached and weak branches, and weakens the plant structure.


Further, it may result in vigorous or rapid re-growth, susceptible to pests and diseases. Furthermore, topping can compromise the overall growth and aesthetics of the tree.


Thus, instead of topping, you should learn how to cut eucalyptus and employ techniques like selective branch removal or crown reduction. It helps manage the plant’s size and shape while retaining its structural integrity.


Consulting a professional arborist is recommended to determine the best action for your specific tree and pruning goals.


Should You Trim Eucalyptus Stems?

Trim Eucalyptus Stems


Generally, we do not recommend pruning or trimming the eucalyptus stems unless required. Eucalyptus usually has a unique fast-growing habit, and their stems have a smooth bark that sheds naturally.


Pruning or cutting the stems can disrupt the tree’s natural growth habit and may result in excessive sap bleeding or weak re-growth. But if there are specific concerns, such as diseased or dead stems or structural issues, consider selective pruning.


Please be cautious and consult a professional arborist to determine the apt course of action for trimming eucalyptus stems based on the specific goals and circumstances and goals for the tree’s aesthetics and health.


Proper Disposal Of Pruned Branches

Proper disposal of the pruned branches from eucalyptus trees is vital to avoid potential hazards and promote environmental responsibility. Here are some guidelines for disposal:


1. Chip and mulch: If you have the means, mulching and chipping the pruned branches helps create valuable organic mulch for the landscape or garden.
2. Composting: When your branches are small, it is easy to break them down. So, add to a compost pile to decompose and enrich the soil.
3. Green waste collection: Check with the local waste management authorities or inquire about green waste collection services in your area. They may have specific guidelines for pruned branch disposal.
4. Municipal yard waste sites: Several municipalities have designated yard waste sites or facilities where you can drop off the pruned branches for proper composting or disposal.
5. Tree removal services: When you have a large volume of pruned branches, contact the tree removal services or local arborists who may offer disposal and branch removal services.


When To Prune Eucalyptus & When To Avoid It?

You already know how to trim a eucalyptus tree, but you cannot do it anytime you like. It helps to avoid trimming in the active growing season. The best time to do this is during early spring or late winter.


Ideally, you must time your pruning session before the new growth appears. Pruning in this period gives your tree ample time to heal and recover before the onset of vigorous growth.


Do not prune the eucalyptus during extreme drought or heat, as pruning stresses the trees further. Additionally, do not prune in the early winter or late fall when the tree enters dormancy, as that may disrupt the natural process.


Always consider the growing conditions and the specific climate in your region, as that can influence the optimal timing to prune the eucalyptus. You can also consult a local arborist or horticulture expert who can provide valuable guidance tailored to your location.


Safety Precautions and Protective Gear To Use During Pruning


After learning how to trim eucalyptus plants, it is crucial to prioritize safety and use apt protective gear. Here are some safety precautions you can follow:


1. Eye Protection: Wear safety glasses or goggles to shield your eyes from debris, falling branches, or wood chips.
2. Head Protection: Use a sturdy helmet or hard hat to protect your head from potential falling objects.
3. Hand Protection: Wear thick, durable gloves to shield your hands from cuts, blisters, or contact with harmful substances.
4. Footwear: Use sturdy, non-slip boots or shoes with reinforced toes to provide stability and protect your feet from falling branches or sharp objects.
5. Clothing: Wear long-sleeved shirts and pants made of thick, protective fabric to minimize scratches, cuts, or exposure to plant sap.
6. Hearing Protection: Use earplugs or earmuffs when operating noisy power tools, such as chainsaws or hedge trimmers.
7. Ladder Safety: Ensure the ladder is stable and secure before climbing, and follow proper ladder safety protocols.


Prioritizing safety and using the appropriate protective gear will minimize the risk of injuries and ensure a safer pruning experience.


Post-Pruning Eucalyptus Care

Once you prune the eucalyptus trees, it is imperative to offer them post-pruning care to promote health and recovery. Here are some post-pruning tips that can help:


1. Watering: Adequate watering is crucial to support the tree’s recovery. Ensure the tree receives sufficient water, especially during dry periods, to help it heal and promote new growth.

2. Fertilization

Consider providing a balanced fertilizer to support your eucalyptus tree’s nutrient needs. Consult with a local arborist or horticulture expert to determine the appropriate fertilizer type and application method for your specific eucalyptus tree.
3. Mulching: Mulch around the base of the tree to retain moisture, control weeds, and regulate soil temperature. Leave a small gap around the trunk.
4. Monitoring and Maintenance: Monitor the pruned tree for signs of stress, disease, or pest infestation. Regularly inspect the tree and address any issues promptly.
5. Pruning Wound Treatment: For more significant pruning cuts, consider applying a pruning sealant or wound dressing to protect the exposed wood and minimize the risk of disease or pests. However, please note some experts suggest allowing the tree to naturally compartmentalize and heal without using sealants.


Related: Types of Eucalyptus Houseplants | Eucalyptus Lifespan| Eucalyptus Winter Care


When To Get Professional Help for Pruning Eucalyptus?

Pruning Eucalyptus


We have discussed a detailed guide on how to cut eucalyptus. However, sometimes you must get assistance from a professional arborist or tree care specialist. Here are a few such situations:


1. Large or mature trees: Pruning high branches or trees with extensive pruning needs is always challenging and dangerous. So, you can use the expertise of a professional arborist for this task.
2. Complex or technical pruning: If your pruning needs involve intricate techniques like crown reduction, structural pruning, or restoration trimming, it is best to consult a professional. They will assess the tree’s condition and make an informed decision to conduct pruning with precision.
3. Safety concerns: If the pruning demands you to work at heights, in hazardous conditions, or near power lines, you must involve professionals trained in safe practices with the necessary safety equipment.
4. Disease or pest management: If your tree is infected with pests or diseases and needs specialized treatment, you can call a professional arborist to identify the problem, recommend appropriate measures, and implement effective solutions.
5. Lack of Experience or Knowledge: If you are not well-versed with the proper pruning techniques, the tree’s specific needs, or the potential impact of pruning on its health and structure, consulting a professional is recommended to avoid unintentional damage.