General Description: A spreading, leafless tree, with needles similar to a pine tree, to 10 m tall, with fine, curved, drooping, grey-green branchlets, and woody cones. In open situations has a well branched, dense crown almost as wide as the tree is high.
Flowers and Fruit: Males and females separate. Males: a narrow spike, consisting of orange stamens emerging from branchlets. Females: a dense, red tuft of styles, about 1 cm wide. Seed cones are cylindrical, up to 5cm long, with sharp valves. Flowers from March to December.
Site Preference and Tolerances: Level to undulating country, rocky outcrops and dry ridges, often in exposed situations. They are generally found on poorer, well drained and often rocky sites but used to be found across most of the state. Hardy on most soil types, including alkaline or saline soils, clays and poor coastal sands and will grow on dry sandy or rocky ridges.
Life Span: Long-lived (80+ years)
Wildlife Value: Attracts seed-eating birds, particularly larger parrots and cockatoos. Foliage is very palatable to stock, rabbits and native animals like Kangaroos so protection is essential when the plants are small.
Other Values and Uses: Excellent firewood with little flame and a glowing charcoal fire. Heavy, reddish timber which splits easily. The timber was formerly used for wheel spokes, bullock yokes, axe handles, staves, shingles, cabinet work and mine props. Produces large root nodules which house microorganisms that fix atmospheric nitrogen. Aboriginal people made implements and weapons from the wood and ate young shoots and cones. Good windbreak tree because the abundance of highly branched twigs absorb wind energy very well but should be planted in multiple rows or mixed with other species. Useful for erosion control as it has a fine root system.
Other Scientific Names: Casuarina quadrivalvis, Casuarina stricta, Casuarina verticillata
Other Common Names: Coast She-oak, Drooping Sheoke, Hill Oak, Mountain Oak, River Oak, Shingle Oak
Germination Information: Usually grows well in a few weeks without any treatment.