Pushing the zone with Rainbow eucalyptus

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Just sharing my rainbow eucalyptus that I've been growing a few years. They're super cold sensitive but I didn't realize how much so until I lost my first two the winter 2008-2009. I tried it again spring 2013 knowing I'd have to nurture the heck out of it its first spring/summer & protect it at least the first winter. It's made it through 2 winters with hard frosts. First winter I covered with refrigerator boxes. It lost its leaves & growing point was damaged but it bounced right back other than some nasty scaring. Second winter it was too big to cover so it was on its own. It was a fairly mild winter but we still got two frosty nights. It lost all its leaves and had die-off at the top couple feet & was slow to bounce back but it did. I have tons of pictures but I chose just a few.

First photo shows its amazing growth with regular fertilizing & tons of watering. This tree loves heat & humidity. The following photos show more growth & winter damage, finally its current size at the base of the trunk. This year I mostly stopped doting on it so much because I'm busy with all my animals & many more plants but it's put on some size this summer aside from having to heal itself so much from last winter's damage.

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That's amazing, Missi!  I knew they were fast but not that fast!  I had no idea they showed so much color, so early, either.  Great pics.

I have a little seedling that I think is staying in the greenhouse this winter.  Depending on how quickly it grows in the pot, it may go in the ground next summer.

How cold do you actually get each winter?  What are your absolute lows and for what duration?

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Thats an awesome looking tree Missi, thanks for all the photos and updates, it looking good.  Like ben said how cold has it seen?

Ben if your going to plant yours I would do it in early spring so the roots have time to go down into the wetter soil before the hot dry season hits. Just my two cents.  It does have some cool tolerance as long as it doesn’t freeze. 

Edited by Palm crazy
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Maybe I will wait until the following spring then.

Definitely be interested to know the ultimate lows yours has seen, Missi.

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I'm surprised that they got damaged that far south in Naples.

I had a couple growing in pots here. Grew about 15 feet tall by the first winter. Then got zapped by the cold. Any branches below 1 in froze at 29f, but grew back fast.

I fineally dumped them since we see 29f in 9 out 10 years. 

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Hey guys thank for your comments! I can't remember how cold it got down to. Frosts are like ptsd to me where I forget the gory details & just pray it passes fast :P Back in 2008-2009 when my first two were killed off, we saw upper 20s several nights but that was very unusual. Usual winters we'll see upper to mid 30s a couple nights but most nights it was clear & not cloudy so the frosts would set. I come home from work & cover what I can with cardboard boxes & sheets/blankets in the dark on week nights where it is forecasted to be under 40 degrees each winter. It sucks but it is only a short while.

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Thanks, Missi.  We definitely get colder than that so maybe the prognosis is not good.  We hit 30 degrees most winters at least a couple of times.  I'm probably a few degrees warmer than Jeff though...

Ah well, I guess there's only one way to find out!

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missi, how far away are you from the coast?

Ben , if you are on a hill in the east bay, yup... you are probably a degree or 2 warmer than me for winter lows.

Only, these guys see damage at 32f.... they recover fast , but ?????

 

 

Jeff

Edited by JEFF IN MODESTO
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I have two that we planted a year apart. They are rockets. In two years our largest went from about 8' to at least 25'. The smaller went from 6' to nearly 20'. We've had a couple of mild winters in the past - the lowest last winter was 37F; in 2013/14 41F. Our all-time low was 28.5F on 1/11/10 in the infamous winter of 2009/10. I suspect my rainbows are large enough to recover from a cold night if temps rebound the next morning.

Rainbows were impossible to find even a few years ago, but now even the BBs carry them.

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I had a small rainbow eucalyptus and it got frozen back, I think during the severe winter of 2010. It's still living but it's only about six feet high. It never regrew normally again.

I found two very large rainbow eucalyptus trees up on US 27, just south of Avon Park, Florida. These are growing on the Lake Wales Ridge and at elevation it is warmer there during the severe radiational freezes. I think that is why these trees have survived so long. I first noticed these trees at least 10 years ago and they were big trees then. I didn't know what a rainbow eucalyptus tree even was, but I was amazes when I saw the colorful trunk -- and knew I just had to have one.

While not rainbow in color, I was given a few Eucalyptus grandis trees about five years ago. I planted my first one about a year later. It was about 3-4 feet tall. A year later it was about 25 feet tall. The second year it was about 50 feet tall, then the growth rate started to slow down. Today it's about 75 feet tall after four years. My trees are sterile, as they were left over trees (no used) as a test patch by my local extension office to see if these trees would make a candidate for bio fuel. They were obtained sterile so as to prevent a possible invasive spread, since the trees aren't native.

I plan to get another rainbow eucalyptus, but this time I will plant it in a warmer area of my property.

At the below link is a photo of my Eucalyptus grandis (then and now).

http://members3.boardhost.com/eucalyptus/msg/1437530222.html

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Surprised to see them get so damaged in Naples. How far inland are you? There's one at Selby Gardens in Sarasota that I don't remember ever seeing with any damage. You say you had a hard frost for it's first winter though, and the lowest low that winter in Sarasota was 35 F, so you may be in a relative cold spot...

Edited by Zeeth
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Thanks, Missi.  We definitely get colder than that so maybe the prognosis is not good.  We hit 30 degrees most winters at least a couple of times.  I'm probably a few degrees warmer than Jeff though...

Ah well, I guess there's only one way to find out!

Ben, I bet they would grow for you. Florida get a harder frost than you do when the cold fronts come down. I saw one that took snow last year in temecula and it only took 21/2 months to completely bounce back.  It was about 12' tall with a trunk the size of a tennis ball. Impressive to see how fast they grow.

 

I just planted out 3 1 gal plants 2 months ago that were 8" tall and now they are almost 20"'s tall. (doubled in size) once they get big you will have no problems.

 

rocket ship fast.

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Thanks, Missi.  We definitely get colder than that so maybe the prognosis is not good.  We hit 30 degrees most winters at least a couple of times.  I'm probably a few degrees warmer than Jeff though...

Ah well, I guess there's only one way to find out!

Ben, I bet they would grow for you. Florida get a harder frost than you do when the cold fronts come down. I saw one that took snow last year in temecula and it only took 21/2 months to completely bounce back.  It was about 12' tall with a trunk the size of a tennis ball. Impressive to see how fast they grow.

 

I just planted out 3 1 gal plants 2 months ago that were 8" tall and now they are almost 20"'s tall. (doubled in size) once they get big you will have no problems.

 

rocket ship fast.

We'll find out, Josh.  I am thinking maybe I will grow out to good 15g size in a pot to give it a good chance.  Perhaps I'll plant out the spring after next?

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Thanks, Missi.  We definitely get colder than that so maybe the prognosis is not good.  We hit 30 degrees most winters at least a couple of times.  I'm probably a few degrees warmer than Jeff though...

Ah well, I guess there's only one way to find out!

Ben, I bet they would grow for you. Florida get a harder frost than you do when the cold fronts come down. I saw one that took snow last year in temecula and it only took 21/2 months to completely bounce back.  It was about 12' tall with a trunk the size of a tennis ball. Impressive to see how fast they grow.

 

I just planted out 3 1 gal plants 2 months ago that were 8" tall and now they are almost 20"'s tall. (doubled in size) once they get big you will have no problems.

 

rocket ship fast.

We'll find out, Josh.  I am thinking maybe I will grow out to good 15g size in a pot to give it a good chance.  Perhaps I'll plant out the spring after next?

Just make sure you don't keep it in a pot for to long. Eucs tend to root girdle.

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missi, how far away are you from the coast?

Ben , if you are on a hill in the east bay, yup... you are probably a degree or 2 warmer than me for winter lows.

Only, these guys see damage at 32f.... they recover fast , but ?????

 

 

Jeff

I am 14 miles inland :crying:

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I have two that we planted a year apart. They are rockets. In two years our largest went from about 8' to at least 25'. The smaller went from 6' to nearly 20'. We've had a couple of mild winters in the past - the lowest last winter was 37F; in 2013/14 41F. Our all-time low was 28.5F on 1/11/10 in the infamous winter of 2009/10. I suspect my rainbows are large enough to recover from a cold night if temps rebound the next morning.

Rainbows were impossible to find even a few years ago, but now even the BBs carry them.

I really need to visit soon! Mom is bouncing back surprisingly quickly so maybe in a week or so. I'll message!

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I had a small rainbow eucalyptus and it got frozen back, I think during the severe winter of 2010. It's still living but it's only about six feet high. It never regrew normally again.

I found two very large rainbow eucalyptus trees up on US 27, just south of Avon Park, Florida. These are growing on the Lake Wales Ridge and at elevation it is warmer there during the severe radiational freezes. I think that is why these trees have survived so long. I first noticed these trees at least 10 years ago and they were big trees then. I didn't know what a rainbow eucalyptus tree even was, but I was amazes when I saw the colorful trunk -- and knew I just had to have one.

While not rainbow in color, I was given a few Eucalyptus grandis trees about five years ago. I planted my first one about a year later. It was about 3-4 feet tall. A year later it was about 25 feet tall. The second year it was about 50 feet tall, then the growth rate started to slow down. Today it's about 75 feet tall after four years. My trees are sterile, as they were left over trees (no used) as a test patch by my local extension office to see if these trees would make a candidate for bio fuel. They were obtained sterile so as to prevent a possible invasive spread, since the trees aren't native.

I plan to get another rainbow eucalyptus, but this time I will plant it in a warmer area of my property.

At the below link is a photo of my Eucalyptus grandis (then and now).

http://members3.boardhost.com/eucalyptus/msg/1437530222.html

WOW! It is stately & beautiful! Good luck with your new rainbow euc! Protect it for the first 2 winters with refrigerator boxes (2 taped together the second winter?) on frosty nights.

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missi, how far away are you from the coast?

Ben , if you are on a hill in the east bay, yup... you are probably a degree or 2 warmer than me for winter lows.

Only, these guys see damage at 32f.... they recover fast , but ?????

My lowest lows the past two winters have been right on 30 degrees up here in the hills, so significantly warmer than the surrounding valleys...but still sounding problematic for this euc.

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"I am 14 miles inland"

That's pretty far inland. I would venture your zone is closer to 9b. The central spine of FL gets much colder than the coasts. Your Naples location is misleading to non-residents, who believe the whole city sits on the Gulf. Fourteen miles inland from me is Lehigh Acres, which is a solid 9b - no coconuts, Adonidia, etc. except in extreme micro-climates.

I'm several miles from the Gulf, a couple miles west of the Caloosahatchie River and most of my property sits on a freshwater canal (the world famous Isabelle Canal). So I derive some moderation effect from nearby water. In addition, my palms are densely planted so they shield one another. I have the world's smallest jungle - about 30' x 30', give or take. My cats love to pretend they are tigers lurking within.

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Imagine an 800 pound gorilla, done up for Mardi Gras

That's a rainbow gum.

Be careful out there.

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You'll want to plant these out from a 1 gallon pot.  They will do best when planted out small.

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"I am 14 miles inland"

That's pretty far inland. I would venture your zone is closer to 9b. The central spine of FL gets much colder than the coasts. Your Naples location is misleading to non-residents, who believe the whole city sits on the Gulf. Fourteen miles inland from me is Lehigh Acres, which is a solid 9b - no coconuts, Adonidia, etc. except in extreme micro-climates.

I'm several miles from the Gulf, a couple miles west of the Caloosahatchie River and most of my property sits on a freshwater canal (the world famous Isabelle Canal). So I derive some moderation effect from nearby water. In addition, my palms are densely planted so they shield one another. I have the world's smallest jungle - about 30' x 30', give or take. My cats love to pretend they are tigers lurking within.

Yep. Sucks to be me but you can't really find agricultural zoned land any closer inland & I have lots of noisy animals so...14 miles inland I am. Well we try to get large cover plants. My ceiba spectabilis trees aren't bothered with the frosts & grow like weeds. My moringa trees get zapped but grow back 10 times stronger & super quick. My friend less than a mile from me has lots of tender tropicals (it's basically a rainforest there) that are protected by his pines, oaks & sabals. I was going by the USDA plant hardiness zone map. For some reason they still have all the central area down here at 10a.

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Ceiba speciosa* I don't know where I got spectabilis from :blush:

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Once they get some size to them they can tolerate upper 20sF with little or no damage. They do grow super fast. We lost a 200+ year old Southern Live Oak a couple years ago that provided a huge canopy. Planted a 3ft Rainbow Gum and it grew 15ft the first year.

 

We also have one around 60ft tall that was planted back in 2001.

 

 

 

 

 

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I saw a giant one in Miami and it was thriving there. However, Miami stays MUCH warmer than the temperatures that Missi is talking about. 

A giant rainbow eucalyptus is an impressive sight.

It will be interesting to follow this thread over the years and see what the climate-pushing experiments prove, e.g. Ben's up in northern California. Didn't Keith in Louisiana say that he was planting one too?

 

 

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On 12/10/2015, 4:37:32, Sandy Loam said:

I saw a giant one in Miami and it was thriving there. However, Miami stays MUCH warmer than the temperatures that Missi is talking about. 

A giant rainbow eucalyptus is an impressive sight.

It will be interesting to follow this thread over the years and see what the climate-pushing experiments prove, e.g. Ben's up in northern California. Didn't Keith in Louisiana say that he was planting one too?

 

 

I have 3 in the ground at my Vista garden. I plan on planting may more this coming spring

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I planted them out as 1 gal's. There are a total of 3 in the ground and I plan on planting at least 4 more in the spring.

IMG_3310.JPG.f5ca435822227d8ef516de661b0

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7 minutes ago, Josh-O said:

I planted them out as 1 gal's. There are a total of 3 in the ground and I plan on planting at least 4 more in the spring.

IMG_3310.JPG.f5ca435822227d8ef516de661b0

You don't think that one will eventually eat that fence?

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7 minutes ago, Ben in Norcal said:

You don't think that one will eventually eat that fence?

it's 2' away. I hope not but time will tell. I probably should move it another foot to the right.

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1 minute ago, Josh-O said:

it's 2' away. I hope not but time will tell. I probably should move it another foot to the right.

Rainbow+Eucalyptus+Trees+in+Kailua,+Hawa

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38 minutes ago, Ben in Norcal said:

Rainbow+Eucalyptus+Trees+in+Kailua,+Hawa

hahahaha!

they don't get that big here in cali.

tropics, yes

the one at the catamaran hotel is a good example of a 40 yr old specimen may be 3' wide from end to end

cool picture though:greenthumb:

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Just now, Josh-O said:

hahahaha!

they don't get that big here in cali.

tropics, yes

the one at the catamaran hotel is a good example of a 40 yr old specimen may be 3' wide from end to end

cool picture though:greenthumb:

This one looks like it's reaching out to grab you.  And eat your fence.

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Just now, Ben in Norcal said:

This one looks like it's reaching out to grab you.  And eat your fence.

(expletive) it does :o

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Any updates on folks' rainbow eucalyptus plantings? Would love to see pix of older ones in CA and FL.

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Here are two specimens growing at a nursery in Bayview, Texas:
rainboweuc1.thumb.jpg.2c4bc86fd7a051c2a1raiboweuc2.thumb.jpg.1170d7abed249c91db6

Wonder how they are doing after the recent freeze...low in that area was around 30F.

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I'm going to get one of these provided I can find one for sale. Does anyone happen to know of a nursery selling these in Sarasota County?

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Mine had some leaf damage @28F this past January but otherwise is thriving 

60560473-DE99-432A-82B1-FCF68FAE9F42.jpeg

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Trunk pic 

9B37CCDD-8379-4DF8-907F-D2B9ED14AAA2.jpeg

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The nicest Rainbow Euc I saw was at the Dole pineapple plant on Oahu. It wasn't the biggest tree but it had amazing color.

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15 hours ago, TexasColdHardyPalms said:

The nicest Rainbow Euc I saw was at the Dole pineapple plant on Oahu. It wasn't the biggest tree but it had amazing color.

I saw the same tree at the Dole Pineapple plantation back in 2007- that's where I first discovered them, one of the best examples there. When I and my family were visiting in Aug that year, Hurricane Flossie was off to the southeast and creating high winds over Oahu- we were on a garden tour at the Pineapple plantation and there was a gust of wind. Branch snapping could be heard from the rainbow eucalyptus and the tour guide ushered people away from the tree. 

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