The Q&A Archives: Eucalyptus Problem

Question: I have a 3 year old eucaplyptus tree. It gained substantial growth this last summer to approximately 15 feet and appeared in good health. We live on southern Puget Sound. This has been a very wet winter. The leaves are now all black spotted. Will it survive? Is there anything I can do to aid in its survival?

Answer: It's chancy to try to grow Eucalyptus in Western Washington. As natives of Australia, they thrive on long, hot, dry summer weather. In Olympia, the banana belt of Puget Sound, your Eucalyptus might thrive in a protected location, but it won't be hardy to the occasional sub-freezing winter days. It's more likely that the leaves of your tree were harmed by last December's cold snap, not the flooding rains that fell during the last three months. You can pick off the affected leaves and hope the stems are healthy enough to develop new leaves, or you can severely prune the tree to remove all of the dead and/or infected material. Be sure to remove the debris from the yard so any fungal spores on the material will not affect the healthy tissues on the tree. Good luck with your Eucalyptus!

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