Gum tree is a common name of any of the many species of eucalyptus trees, which are native to Australia. Most people know of gum trees because their leaves contain an oil that has been used in medicines and foods for hundreds of years. Eucalyptus oil is the main ingredient of most cough drops, and it also has antimicrobial, insecticidal, and pest repellent properties. The oil is also commonly used as a fragrance in many products such as soaps and lotions. The leaves of the tree are also known for being a favorite food of the koala.
Although gum trees are native to Australia, they can be grown successfully in other locations and even indoors. The trees are easy to tend to, but they do require large amounts of water. The good news is that gum trees do not like fertilizers or soil improvements that most other plants thrive in. In fact, the phosphorous in most fertilizers can end up killing the tree.
In one sense, all plants and trees require air in the soil to grow. While many crops benefit from aerating the soil by turning it and loosening it up, most trees do not require this. The primary component of air is nitrogen. Nitrogen is absorbed through the roots of plants and is used to produce chlorophyll, the green chemical in the leaves that allows the plant to convert sunlight into energy. Most nitrogen in the soil, however, does not come from the air. It gets in the soil as a byproduct of the breakdown of organic matter by bacteria and other microbes.
So, the answer is yes, gum trees need air in the soil to grow, but the majority of soil has enough air in it already. They need nitrogen, but the level of nitrogen present in most soil is sufficient. Additionally, gum trees need water movement. This means the soil should not have any spongy material like peat in it that holds water. It should also not have a lot of clay in it that will prevent water from getting to the roots or allow water to drain further down.
The best method for planting a gum tree is to plant it in its permanent location when it is less than 18 inches tall. Dig a hole just slightly larger than the root system, usually no more than 2 inches deep. The soil does not need to be broken up. Plant the tree, fill the hole, and gently pat down the soil. Some marble chips, lava rocks, or other small stones can be put around the tree for added stability.
Posted 3192 day ago