When you consider planting a eucalyptus tree, the first factor that must be taken into account is climate. There are many species of eucalyptus, but most do not take kindly to frost or freezing. As a rule, this tree will not survive in a region where the temperature drops below 20 degrees Fahrenheit (6.66 degrees Celsius). There are, however, a few very hardy varieties that can handle temperatures as low as minus five Fahrenheit (-20 degrees Celsius). Thus, before planting, it is wise to speak with a qualified botanist or agricultural extension service.
Also, because the eucalyptus takes in far more water than the average tree, it will not do well in an arid or desert area. In this case, if you seek an ornamental tree with a menthol aroma, a eucalyptus can be grown in a pot and kept indoors, Generally speaking, however, the eucalyptus tree thrives best in a temperate climate. In such a region the tree will grow with reckless abandon, sometimes as much as ten feet (3.04 meters) per year.
If you live in a cooler climate, it is best to plant a eucalyptus tree in mid to late spring. This will allow the tree to achieve suitable root growth before the onset of winter. If your location is hot and dry, the exact opposite is true. Plant the tree in the fall, so that the ensuing rainy season will aid in the tree’s maximum growth before a dry summer sets in. The eucalyptus should always be planted in its permanent location, as it will not transplant well.
Once species and climate considerations have been settled, planting a eucalyptus tree is not much different than planting any other tree. Assuming you have purchased a small, potted, starter tree, dig a hole that is considerably larger than the pot. Till the soil in the hole until it is very fine, removing rocks and breaking up any large clods of dirt. Carefully remove the young eucalyptus tree from the pot, untangle the roots, and set it in the hole.
The next step is to fill the hole. With a eucalyptus, you can add a bit more soil than that which was removed. Again, these trees like water, and extra earth will help to bring in and hold additional moisture. Water the tree, and let nature take its course. With good weather, and any luck at all, the freshly planted eucalyptus tree will soon begin the rapid growth for which the species is noted.