2015

 
 

The Camden woollybutt, or Eucalyptus macarthurii, is a fast-growing tree native to Southeast Australia (where else would a tree be called woollybutt), particularly the Blue Mountains of New South Wales. Many Eucalypts are rather tall and airy, perhaps verging on gangly. The Camden woollybutt, on the other hand, has a more dense and symmetrical silhouette. It also has numerous characteristics that would recommend it to home landscapers. Even though it can reach over a hundred feet in forest plantations, it is typically 60 feet with an impressive rounded form. It’s fast growing and makes a fair-sized tree within 5 years. And it tolerates heavy soils. And for a eucalypt it achieves considerable hardiness, especially with age, perhaps to 10 degrees Fahrenheit. Aesthetically it is also exceptional. The bark is rough, fibrous, gray-brown in color and sheds from the smooth, almost gleaming, white branches in long ribbons. The leaves are green on top and silver beneath, long and tapering, lending a willowy texture to the foliage. The stems are pinkish, the pedicels are bright red, and the flowers are lovely white powder-puffs. Combining the pink, the red, the white and the silvery-blue of the leaves means that the Camden woollybutt is one of the most beautifully colored trees available. And one final asset, the leaves are fantastically fragrant owing to an oil (geranyl acetate) which in the past was commercially harvested. This oil is sweet, fruity and rosy, with undertones of spiced wood.
Camden woollybutt does well on acid or alkaline soil and is suitable for xeriscaping throughout the more arid regions of the world. It is well-suited for its native Australia, New Zealand, the American South and warmer portions of the United Kingdom. It is a popular timber tree in Spain, Portugal and South Africa. As usual, a tree this special will not be found in the popular landscape nurseries but more likely in a specialty, mail-order, plant nursery.

Camden woolybutt

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