Form pruning early in the life of a planting is a crucial operation.  If you want to grow eucalypts for posts, poles and sawlogs, your trees need to have a single straight stem. Eucalypts may form double leaders and occasional large branches. Form-pruning removes these defects.

Timely form pruning of young eucalypts is quick and easy, and ensures trees develop a single straight stem. We recommend form pruning all trees in the first instance; following this you will be able to select crop trees for future form pruning and clearwood pruning operations.

Six top form pruning tips

  • Reduce double-leader trees to one leader by removing the smaller or more crooked leader, or the one on the windward side.
  • Better to leave a 15mm branch stub than damage the branch collar or main stem.
  • Remove or shorten any large branches (ramicorns), so the tree is well-balanced.
  • Remove steep-angled branches (stem/branch angle less than 30 degrees).
  • Multi-leadered or damaged trees can be cut right back almost to ground level as long as enough foliage is left for them to survive and produce a new leader.
  • Try not to remove more than 40% of the total foliage; leave trees enough ‘green engine’ to grow.

Form pruning removes competing leaders

Form pruning removes competing leaders

Potential competing leaders removed

Potential competing leaders removed

Videos for growers

Check out these videos for some tips on practical form pruning techniques:

Best practice form pruning

Form-pruning and low-pruning  - Eucalyptus argophloia

Guidelines for growers

Guidelines for growers can be downloaded here: 

Form Pruning Guidelines