Can I use eucalyptus branches to make a trellis?

Vc Ochoa
by Vc Ochoa

I have a eucalyptus tree when I trimmed it I noticed that the branches are very straight, and I wondered if I could use them to make trellises for my tomato plants and other plants but I don't know if the eucalyptus will contaminate the soil. I've searched and asked others but no one knows. Would you know where I might find an answer?

  9 answers
  • Janice Janice on Apr 14, 2019

    Hi Vc Ochoa, I searched around the internet a lot and think the answer would be no to using the branches as a trellis because the leaves and branches are such that many plants will not grow well near them. Please read the article about not including them in composting because of that. My thought would be that if it's not to be used in composting that it should be used for your tomato plants either. See what you think after reading the article here.

    • Vc Ochoa Vc Ochoa on Apr 20, 2019

      Thank you Janice for the info, this is kind of what I was thinking. So I will be checking out the websites you gave. Thanks again.

      Vc. Ochoa

  • Deb K Deb K on Apr 14, 2019

    Hello, I think you should be able to do this and it will help keep garden pests like aphids and others away from your tomato plants, natural pest control! Good luck, post a picture of your creation if you like! I would love to see it!

  • Linda Sikut Linda Sikut on Apr 15, 2019

    Hi Vc Ochoa,

    Janet did a good job of looking around to answer your question. Then I saw that Debker thought it would be a good thing to do. I'm here in the "middle". LOL Just thinking that you might need another thought.

    I did some searching too and found an article about growing vegetable plants under a eucalyptus tree. This article has a warning section at the bottom that gives advice on choosing an eucalyptus tree that will be near a garden. I thought that might be helpful. It looks like some will be fine and some will not. Here's what was written and it's source."Warnings

    • If you are planting a new eucalyptus tree, check with your local and state extension services to determine which varieties may be considered invasive or dangerous to native plants. The red gum (Eucalyptus camaldulensis) and Tasmanian blue gum (Eucalyptus globulus) trees, for example, are listed on the California Invasive Plant Inventory Database. A better choice is Eucalyptus cinerea, the silver dollar tree, which is less invasive and is more compact that other eucalyptus trees. "

    If you don't know what kind of eucalyptus tree you have look for your local Cooperative unit/service (they all have slightly different names but usually include your county name). Take off a few leaves and take them to the Cooperative - or even maybe a local nursery. They should be able to tell you if the branches are safe to use around food. Wishing you the best.

    • Vc Ochoa Vc Ochoa on Apr 20, 2019

      Thank you Linda for your help and info it's very helpful.

      Vc. Ochoa

  • Kmdreamer Kmdreamer on Apr 18, 2019

    Not strong enough try bambo

  • Lynn Sorrell Lynn Sorrell on Apr 20, 2019

    just fine...Contrary to public opinion, there is absolutely nothing wrong with using the contents of tree-trimmers chippers as mulch, even if the source is eucalyptus. All wood eventually rots and becomes part of the soil. Eucalyptus chippings make an excellent and low cost mulch. Not only does it often come free of charge, but also it is clean. It contains no weed seeds and it is highly unlikely to contain pesticides or herbicides which may not be true of mulch from other sources. Many folks suppose that eucalyptus wood or leaves will kill plants, but this is entirely untrue. The only time when wood chips or chopped leaves of any species, including eucalyptus, can kill plants is when folks unthinkingly dig these raw un-rotted materials into the ground. This practice can turn plant leaves yellow and may kill them because un-rotted wood will rob soil of nitrogen in order to rot and thus also rob nitrogen from plants. This will happen regardless of the source of the chipped wood or leaves. If you do not dig the chips into the ground but just let them lie on top as mulch, no harm is done. So definitely do not remove the mulch. Next fall you can put a layer of manure right on top as described below under clay soil. Just don’t dig it into the ground.

    The only wood products that can be used safely as soil amendment, in other words dug into the ground, are products that have been fully nitrolized (i.e.: enough nitrogen has been added to them so they can rot) or, alternatively, they have been fully composted, which means largely rotted. So the answer to your question is that your trees will be fine with raw chipped eucalyptus wood and leafy products on top of the ground as mulch where they will slowly decompose and add goodness to the soil. Meanwhile, this eucalyptus mulch will greatly reduce the growth of weeds and help to hold moisture in the ground. ( See page 29 In my new organic book for the exact amounts of nitrogen to add to raw shavings to make them safe.) No addiltional nitrogen needs to be added when using the chips only as mulch.MORE When planted in your garden, eucalyptus offers several advantages. The strong aroma of its oils can help act as a natural insect repellant, while the wood can serve as mulch to help improve soil conditions in place of other popular potting mixes, such as pine bark. To make the mulch, simply distribute chopped eucalyptus wood or bark on the soil. The oils in the mulch can help repel plant-eating pests as well.

  • Vc Ochoa Vc Ochoa on Apr 20, 2019

    Hi Lynn,

    Thank you for your answer, you gave me a lot of good & helpful info of which I will certainly use. But I am not going to use the eucalyptus for mulch, I want to make a trellis out of the branches for my tomato plants and I would be pushing the trellis into the soil. I was wondering if eucalyptus branches would contaminate the soil.

    Thank you so much for your help.

    Vc. Ochoa

  • Betsy Betsy on Aug 22, 2023

    Hi VC: There are over 700 species of "eucalyptus" trees, you would need to specify which type of tree you have. Some are very hardwood eucalypts, and some much softer. However, I'd give it a go. You have nothing to lose :)

  • Redcatcec Redcatcec on Aug 23, 2023

    I tried using bamboo for a trellis and it was not strong enough, it became like corn stalks after about 1 month, had to take it down.

    For your eucalyptus,check with your local cooperative extension, they have master gardeners and could best advise you.

  • It's probably not strong enough, so no.