Each month, Pasadena Beautiful Tree Program Chair Emina Darakjy presents a ‘tree of the month’ in order to educate Pasadenans about the trees around them. Many people drive by trees they admire, but have no idea what they are called, or what their growing habits are. Pasadena Beautiful was founded in 1960 by a group of volunteers who saw a need to beautify their city and enhance its tree canopy.
The Coral Gum tree is a small, evergreen, fast-growing tree in the Myrtaceae family, of which the Eucalyptus tree is prominent. It is native to Western Australia and is considered an ornamental tree.
The tree grows to about 20 feet tall with an equal spread.
The word “eucalyptus” comes to us from the Greek words “Eu”, meaning well, and “Kalyptos”, meaning well-covered, which describes the caps that cover the flowers.
The leaves are alternate, spear-like, narrow and long, light gray to yellow-green. When the tree is young, the branches are a pretty red color.
The trunk/bark is rough, gray-black, and furrowed.
The tree blooms from October through early summer. Colorful buds with caps that resemble tiny lanterns are first to appear. The caps then drop, exposing a dazzling display of dainty fringed flowers in shades of white, pink, red and coral.
The Eucalyptus torquata is considered drought-tolerant, can do well in any type of soil conditions, prefers full sun, and tolerates pollution. There are no significant pest problems to report at the present.
Other than some staking and light pruning when the tree is very young, this tree requires hardly any maintenance after that.
The Eucalyptus torquata makes a good street tree, even in very narrow parkway widths. It also makes a good ornamental tree in a garden, grown in a standard form, or as a large shrub.
This is a beautiful, small, long-blooming tree that attracts bees, birds, butterflies, and all nectar-loving wildlife.