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Casuarina Equisetifolia, Australian pine tree - 0.5 Kg Seeds

Common names include coast sheoak (coast she oak, coastal she-oak), beach casuarina, beach oak, beach sheoak (beach she-oak), whistling tree, horsetail she oak, horsetail beefwood, horsetail tree, Australian pine, ironwood, whistling pine, Filao tree, and agoho.
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Casuarina junghuhniana has become a preferred crop of farmers in South India because of its following characters:
C. junghuhniana clones are fast growing both in coastal and inland sites.
Nitrogen fixing capacity, shorter gestation period of only 4 years, good fuel wood, good value when harvested for poles, preferred in construction industry for scaffolding and for supporting Banana plants because of its inherent character of giving straight polls, drought tolerance capacity, high calorific value of wood (preferred crop for Biomass power plants), and good pulping traits for manufacture of paper.

Before further reading, readers are requested to go through my previous posts on this subject in this link.

Common name: she oak,red-tipped ru,mountainru,forest oak, kasuari, cemara gunung, ajaob, adjaob
Height: 25 to 35 feet
Difficulty level: Easy

Planting & Care
Casuarina junghuhniana is a fast-growing, deciduous tree 15-25 (max. 35)m tall; trunk diameter 30-50 (max. 65) cm; crown somewhat open.
Branching dimorphic with normal woody branches and determinate,deciduous branchlets.
Leaves reduced to scales, in whorls of 9-11 (max. 13) that define articulations.
Flowers unisexual. Male inflorescence a cylindrical or slightly clavate spike, 3-8 cm long, borne on the apex of a deciduous branchlet; sheathing bracts hairy outside. Female inflorescence in the axil of scale leaves on permanent shoots, cone-shaped, ellipsoid, truncate, 1-2 cm long, reddish; bracts 18-20-seriate, broadly obtriangular; bracteoles oblong-obovate, rounded or very obtuse, thick, 5-6 x 2.5-3 mm.

Infructescence a woody conelike structure. Fruit a grey or yellow-brown winged nut (samara), small, 2-3 mm wide and 4-5 mm long including wing. Seed solitary.

Sunlight: Full Sun

Soil: The tree thrives best on loose sandy soils, laterite, rich loamy soils & some marshy places in open areas, where pH varies between 4.8 and 8.4. It prefers sandy soil with high water table during the summer. The species can also grow in saline & alkaline soils. Heavy, clayey soils & soils with poor drainage are detrimental to its growth. This may be because of the reason that the activity of nitrogen fixing bacteria in the root nodules is inhibited in such soils. Good plantations can be seen on laterite soils and well drained sandy loams. The tree is able to survive on poor soils because of its capability to trap atmospheric Nitrogen. The soil includes coastal sand, shifting sterile sand, river alluvium, sandy loam with high water table, red loam, red gravelly loam and hard laterite etc. Topography ranges from coastal flats, to very gently undulating terrain.

Water: It has been planted successfully in areas with annual rainfall as little as 200-300 mm or as much as 5,000 mm. Altitude : This is a low land tree that can be planted from sea level upto 1,500 m.

Temprature: It is mainly planted in areas with tropical & hot subtropical climates with the mean annual temperature being 28 C. It is light demander requiring bright sunshine for best growth and development. The monthly mean maximum temperature in its native area is 15 C - 33 C, but it is adapted to a wide range of temperatures. On the coasts of the Indian Peninsula, where it thrives well, the absolute maximum shade temperature varies from 35.56 to 41.11 C and the absolute minimum ranging from 7.22 to 17.22 C.

Fertilizer: The fertilizer applications must be continued till the third year of planting.

  • A plant of fairly moist tropical areas, usually found at higher elevations above 1,500 metres and as high as 3,100 metres, though it can succeed almost at sea level.
  • Rainfall in its natural habitat is monsoonal, with a well-defined summer maximum and a reported annual range of 700 - 1,500 mm.
  • The mean maximum temperature of the hottest month ranges from 25 - 28°c, whilst the mean minimum temperature of the coldest month ranges from 19 - 22°c.
  • Succeeds on a wide range of soils, from light volcanic and sandy soils to heavy clays.
  • It is tolerant of a wide pH range, from 2.
  • 8 in acidic clays to 8.
  • 0 in limestone-derived soils.
  • Established plants are drought-tolerant and can also survive prolonged periods of water logging.
  • Plants growing in a plantation have shown tolerance of saline soil conditions.
  • A fast growing species, seedlings can grow 3 metres per year for their first 2 - 3 years after planting out.
  • Once trees reach a few metres in height they are fire resistant and re-sprout readily after being damaged by fire.
  • Weeding is necessary only during the first few years, after which the trees shed large amounts of branchlets to form a thick and dense mat of litter that suppresses weeds.
  • Trees respond well to coppicing and pollarding.
  • They produce strong root suckers.
  • Trees are poor self-pruners, manual pruning in plantations up to a height of 2 - 2.
  • 5 metres is often necessary to make the plantations more accessible for general maintenance.
  • Plantation-grown trees can be harvested throughout the year.
  • In Thailand, a harvesting cycle of 5 years is used for poles and fuel wood.
  • A mean annual increment of 10 - 15 cubic metres per hectare is generally obtainable.
  • The plant fixes atmospheric nitrogen by nodulation with actinomycete bacteria of the genus Frankia.
  • The nodules are woody and perennial and can form large masses in the root system.

Special Feature:
Casuarina have root nodules containing nitrogen-fixing actinomycetes micro-oganism called Frankia. They are, therefore, not dependent on soil nitrogen for good growth. The species is moderately tolerant to calcareous and slightly saline soils and is a very poor performer on heavy soils such as clays. It can withstand partial water logging for a very short period.

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