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Lake Glenbawn, NSW

flowering sprig

pods

seedling

Natural populations

This is a widespread species in eastern Australia colonising most of the Murray Darling and Lake Eyre drainage basins. Its main occurrence is in central, southern Queensland and western New South Wales but also extends over much of eastern South Australia [1,2,3]. In Northern Territory it occurs in the Alice Springs-Finke region and is restricted to northwestern Victoria. Acacia salicina grows mainly along the banks of rivers and creeks, on gentle slopes, alluvial plains and floodplains. Soils are usually moderate to heavy-textured alluvial clays. This species is usually a tree 5–12 tall, but may grow to 18 m tall at some sites. The crown has relatively long pendulous foliage often drooping to near ground level. Sapling regrowth derived from root suckering often surrounds mature trees.

Flowering and seeds

Flowering in this species usually occurs during April to June [1,2,3,4]. Pods mature mainly during September to November [5]. However, this species is known to usually be a shy seeder and it not known if this is due to cyclic flowering events over many years or if good flowering events require specific climatic conditions. Pods also mature asynchronously on individual trees which often makes good quantities of seed difficult to obtain. There are about 14 viable seeds per gram [5]. Nicking or boiling the seeds in water for a minute at 100°C is required to induce germination. The seeds start to germinate in about 4 days if grown at 25°C [5].

Cultivation and uses

Acacia salicina is a vigorous, long-lived, nitrogen-fixing tree, adapted to clayey, alkaline soils [2,3]. It is considered to be moderate to highly salt tolerant but severe frosts may limit its growth potential [6]. It is relatively drought-tolerant and will grow on a wide range of soils (acid and alkaline). Provenance variation in growth performance is poorly known but likely to be considerable as populations occur across a wide range of bioregions. The vigorous root-suckering ability of A. salicina and the potential for its seeds to be dispersed by birds, suggests its potential for weediness could be a problem in some areas. The wood of A. salicina has potential as high value furniture timber and as a source of fuelwood [7]. The heartwood is dark reddish brown, attractively marked and well suited for use as high quality furniture, joinery timber and craftwood [1,2,3,7].

Key descriptors:
Climate parameters
Mean annual rainfall: 125-650 mm
Rainfall distribution pattern summer, uniform or winter
Mean annual temperature: 15-26 °C
Mean max. temperature of the hottest month: 32-36 °C
Mean min. temperature of the coldest month: 4-8 °C
Frosts per year: frost free or more or less frost free or up to 20
Frost intensity: light to moderate (0 to -5°C)
Altitude: 5-600 metres
Tolerance of climate extremes
Drought: known to be moderately drought tolerant or known to be tolerant of protracted droughts
Fire: regenerates foliage after damaging fire
Frost: tolerates frosts in the 0° to -5°C range or tolerates heavy frosts colder than -5°C
Soil factors
Texture: clay loam, heavy clay (greater than 50% clay), light to medium clay (35-50% clay), loam, sandy loam, sandy clay loam or sand
Soil pH reaction: acidic (less than 6.5), neutral (6.5-7.5) or alkaline (greater than 7.5)
Soil depth: moderate to deep (30-100 cm or greater)
Drainage: poorly to imperfectly drained or seasonally waterlogged
Salinity: highly saline or slightly to moderately saline
Tolerance of adverse soils
Extremes in pH: alkalinity
Extremes in texture: clayey or sand
Salinity: high (9-16 dS m-1), moderate (-8 dS m-1) or slight (2-4 dS m-1)
Soil waterlogging tolerance: drainage may be sluggish at times
Biological traits under cultivation
Habit: evergreen, shrub or small tree less than 5 m tall, tree 5-10 m tall, tree 10-20 m tall, usually produces a clear trunk or multi-stemmed from or near ground level
Longevity moderate to long lived (>15 years)
Growth rate: fast
Coppicing ability: vigorous, responds to pruning, pollarding
Root system: moderate to deep, shallow and spreading or fixes nitrogen via root symbiot
Erosion control potential: excellent for clayey sites
Wood density: mod. to high (greater than 600 kg/cubic metre)
Carbon sequestration potential: moderate (mod. wood density, growth, biomass)
Uses
Potential farm use: good for fence posts
Specialty products: pollen has value for apiculture, high tannin content in bark, seeds are edible (used traditionally by Aborigines)
Traditional Aboriginal uses: bark used for tanning skins, fish poison, medicinal, seeds/fruits eaten or weapons
Urban use: good as an ornamental or amenity plant
Wood products: pulpwood (wood chips for paper pulp) (?), craftwood (for turnery etc.), high quality fuelwood, industrial charcoal, light construction, panelling, poles (building, transmission, piling), posts (including fencing), speciality timber for quality furniture, wood composites
Potentially undesirable attributes
Growth habit: mod. to strong propensity to root sucker
Susceptibility to disease or predation: foliage highly susceptible to insect predation or pathogenic leaf diseases
Foliage: low to moderate susceptibility to browsing or cases of stock poisoning have been reported
Weediness: high potential based on its biology

References

[1] Boland DJ, Brooker MIH, Chippendale GM, Hall N, Hyland BPM, Johnson RD, Kleinig DA, McDonald MW, Turner JD (2006) Forest Trees of Australia. CSIRO Publishing, Collingwood.

[2] Maslin BR, McDonald MW (2004) AcaciaSearch-evaluation of Acacia as a woody crop option for southern Australia . Rural Industries Research Development Corporation Publication No. 03/017, Canberra.

[3] Doran JC, Turnbull JW (eds.) (1997) Australian Trees and Shrubs: species for land rehabilitation and farm planting in the tropics. Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research, Canberra [ACIAR books online: http://www.aciar.gov.au/publication/MN024]

[4] Cunningham GM, Mulham WE, Milthorpe PL, Leigh JH (1992) Plants of Western New South Wales, Inkata Press, Port Melbourne, Victoria .

[5] Gunn BV (2001) Australian Tree Seed Centre Operations Manual. Internal Publication, CSIRO Australian Tree Seed Centre, ACT. [Online at http://www.ensisjv.com/Portals/0/atsc-opmanualcomplete.pdf  Accessed March 2008]

[6] Marcar NE, Crawford DF (2004) Trees for Saline Landscapes. RIRDC Publication Number 03/108, Canberra.

[7] Boxshall B, Jenkyn T (2001) Cooba, Acacia salicina, Farm Forestry Species Profile for North Central Victoria, Department of Primary Industries, Victoria (DPI).

Internet links

ABRS Species Bank: http://www.environment.gov.au/cgi-bin/species-bank/sbank-treatment2.pl?id=2006

Charles Sturt University's Virtual Herbarium: http://www.csu.edu.au/herbarium/acacsali_sws.html

PlantNET National Herbarium of New South Wales: http://plantnet.rbgsyd.nsw.gov.au/cgi-bin/NSWfl.pl?page=nswfl&lvl=sp&name=Acacia~salicina

Victorian Department of Primary Industry: http://www.dpi.vic.gov.au/ Search site as several documents may relate to this species.

Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Acacia_salicina

World Wide Wattle: http://www.worldwidewattle.com/speciesgallery/species-intro.php?id=23817 and http://www.worldwidewattle.com/infogallery/utilisation/acaciasearch/pdf/salicina.pdf

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