Drought Tolerant Eucalyptus Trees

Posted on August 04, 2015 by Ed Coughlin

Rainfall over the past month in McDonough, GA has been a stingy 1.2 inches. Combine that with an average daytime temperature in the low to mid 90’s and I’m tempted, for the first time in 2 years, to water sixty-five Eucalyptus trees left alone on a cramped and parched strip of land.

The temptation to water came from a walk around the gardens on a recent 97 degree day. I was surprised when I saw reliable natives like Eastern Redbud and American Beautyberry struggling to keep their leaves hydrated, especially at their tips.

On my way to the Eucalyptus trials I noticed some dieback in the always reliable Cryptomeria Japonica.  If you are not familiar with this conifer it’s still a worthy candidate for a specimen or screen and should always, in my humble opinion, be planted instead of the more popular Leyland Cypress.  

Out of the 65 three-year old trees, only one Eucalyptus - paucifloria ‘niphophilia’ (not through trials yet) - was showing any signs of distress from the recent month-long drought.  In contrast, the other 64 Eucalyptus trees showed ample new growth, rigidity, and even blush and red stems usually reserved for the fall.


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