Heart-leaved Silver Gum (Eucalyptus cordata)


Eucalyptus cordata, commonly known as the Heart-leaved Silver Gum, is a magnificent evergreen tree endemic to Tasmania. It has a restricted distribution in the south-east of Tasmania, growing at intermediate altitudes such as on the foothills of Mount Wellington, on the Snug Plains and around Port Arthur and Moogara. The tree makes an attractive ornamental with its large, glaucous juvenile leaves, which often persist in the crown. Subspecies cordata mainly occurs south of Triabunna and is found on Bruny and Maria Islands. Subspecies quadrangulosa is centred on the Wellington Range but is most prolific on the Snug Plains.

Eucalyptus cordata is a tall and stately tree that can reach impressive heights of 3 to 25 meters and a spread of 3 to 4 metres in its native habitat. However, when cultivated, it typically attains a more moderate height of around 3 to 10 meters and a spread of 3 to 4 metres. The tree exhibits a symmetrical and dense crown with a spread roughly equivalent to its size.

Eucalyptus cordata thrives in well-drained soils with a preference for loamy or loamy-clay textures. It is essential to ensure that the soil offers excellent drainage to prevent waterlogging, which can harm the tree’s health. This species is adaptable to a wide pH range but typically performs best in slightly acidic to neutral soils, with an ideal pH range between 6.0 and 6.5. Regularly testing the soil pH can help maintain optimal growing conditions for Eucalyptus cordata.

Eucalyptus cordata is well-suited to temperate climates. It prefers areas with mild to cool summers and tolerates a wide range of annual rainfall levels. While it is not drought-resistant during its establishment phase, mature trees exhibit higher drought tolerance. This tree species is also relatively cold-hardy and can withstand light frosts, making it adaptable to various locations.

Eucalyptus cordata thrives in full sun, with a preference for at least 6 hours of direct sunlight daily. Adequate sunlight is essential for healthy growth and the development of its iconic heart-shaped leaves. While it can tolerate partial shade, it may result in slower growth and less dense foliage.

Proper watering is crucial, especially during the early stages of growth. Eucalyptus cordata requires regular and consistent moisture, and the soil should be kept slightly damp but not soaked. Once established, it can tolerate periods of drought, but for optimal growth, it’s advisable to provide supplemental irrigation during dry spells.

Fertilisation is generally not necessary in native or well-nourished soils. However, in less fertile soils, a balanced, native-formulated slow-release fertiliser can be applied in spring to encourage healthy growth. Be sure to follow recommended dosage guidelines to prevent over-fertilisation, which can harm the tree.

Eucalyptus cordata typically requires minimal pruning. The tree naturally forms a symmetrical shape with a dense crown. However, you may need to trim away dead or diseased branches as required. Pruning is best done during the dormant season in late winter or early spring before new growth begins.

Eucalyptus cordata is highly valued for its ornamental appeal in landscaping. It is an ideal solitary tree and is widely used in parks, gardens, and other green spaces in urban areas. The heart-shaped leaves and the pleasant aroma emanating from its foliage are noteworthy features that contribute to its popularity. This graceful evergreen enhances the charm and character of gardens and open spaces while also serving as a tribute to Australia’s diverse flora.

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cordata, quadrangulosa

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2 to 4 metres, 4 to 6 metres, 6 to 8 metres, 8 to 10 metres

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2 to 3 metres, 3 to 4 metres

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