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Stradbroke Island, Qld

Stradbroke Island, Qld

Natural populations

Allocasuarina torulosa is widespread in mainland eastern Australia, extending from the south coast of New South Wales, north to Cape York in Queensland [1,2]. Most occurrences are east of the Great Dividing Range on hilly terrain, but may extend to subcoastal plains or inland for 200-400 km. This species may attain up to 30 m tall on favourable sites but more often it is around 15-20 m tall. It grows on a wide range of geological substrates, mainly on well-drained soils.

Flowering and seeds

This species dioecious with male and female flowers on separate plants which flowers during autumn [1,2,3,4]. Female plants may hold cones in an indehiscent state throughout the year. There are over 200 viable seeds per gram; seeds start to germinate in about 5 days if grown at 20°C with no pretreatment required [4].

Cultivation and uses

Allocasuarina torulosa is a relatively slow growing, nitrogen-fixing tree. Its dense, attractively figured wood has potential for making speciality furniture. In the past, the wood of A. torulosa has been used for flooring, parquetry, cabinetwork, turnery, veneer and roof shingles [1,2]. It is considered useful for amenity plantings and in shelterbelts.

Key descriptors:Climate parameters
Mean annual rainfall (mm): 950-2000 mm
Rainfall distribution pattern: summer or uniform
Mean annual temperature: 12-27 °C
Mean max. temperature of the hottest month: 25-30 °C
Mean min. temperature of the coldest month: 0-15 °C
Frosts (approx. no. per year): frost free or more or less frost free or up to 20
Frost intensity: light to moderate (0 to -5°C)
Altitude: 0-1000 metres
Tolerance of climate extremes
Drought: known to be drought sensitive
Fire: regenerates foliage after damaging fire
Frost: tolerates frosts in the 0° to -5°C range
Wind: known or has attributes to make an excellent windbreak
Soil factors
Texture: clay loam, heavy clay (greater than 50% clay), light to medium clay (35-50% clay) or loam, sandy loam, sandy clay loam
Soil pH reaction: acidic (less than 6.5) or neutral (6.5-7.5)
Soil depth: skeletal to shallow (less than 30 cm) or moderate to deep (30-100 cm or greater)
Drainage:  well-drained
Salinity: non-saline
Tolerance of adverse soils
Extremes in pH: acidity
Extremes in texture: clayey
Salinity: nil - sensitive to saline soils
Soil waterlogging tolerance: nil - sensitive to waterlogged soils
Biological traits under cultivation
Habit: evergreen tree 10-30 m tall, usually produces a clear trunk
Longevity: moderate to long lived (>15 years)
Growth rate: slow to moderate
Root system: moderate to deep, shallow and spreading, fixes nitrogen via root symbiot
Erosion control potential: excellent for clayey sites
Windbreak potential: excellent (known or has good attributes)
Wood density: mod. to high (greater than 600 kg/cubic metre)
Carbon sequestration potential: moderate
Uses
Potential farm use: excellent windbreak, good ornamental attributes or shelterbelt or shade for stock
Specialty products: pollen has value for apiculture
Urban use: good as an ornamental or amenity plant or suitable as a screen or hedge
Wood products: craftwood (for turnery etc.), flooring (including parquetry), high quality fuelwood, industrial charcoal, light construction, panelling, speciality timber for quality furniture
Potentially undesirable attributes
Foliage: highly susceptible to browsing by animals

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] 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]

[3] Clemson A (1985) Honey and Pollen Flora. Inkata Press, Melbourne.

[4] 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]

Internet links

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

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

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