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Products > Allocasuarina torulosa
Allocasuarina torulosa - Forest Oak

[2nd Image]
Habit and Cultural Information
Category: Tree
Family: Casurinaceae (She-oaks)
Origin: Australia (Australasia)
Evergreen: Yes
Flower Color: Brown
Bloomtime: Spring/Summer
Synonyms: [Casuarina torulosa]
Height: 40-60 feet
Width: 15-25 feet
Exposure: Full Sun
Irrigation (H2O Info): Medium Water Needs
Winter Hardiness: 20-25 F
Allocasuarina torulosa (Forest Oak) - An evergreen medium-sized tree (40-60 feet tall) with pendulous bronze-colored fine-textured foliage (technically segmented branchlets called cladodes) that is clustered gracefully near the branch tips. Also attractive is the pale chestnut colored bark that is corky and deeply fissured. The fallen cladodes form a dense, soft mat beneath this tree which is attractive and has allelopathic properties that prevents weeds from growing beneath these trees. Grow in full sun and water moderately to occasional with deep irrigation. Hardy to around 20F - The specimen in our garden froze in our garden in the historic Christmas week freeze of 1990 when temperatures dropped below 20 F but resprouted to again become a beautiful tree within a few years. With needle-like foliage woody cone-like fruits Casuarina are often mistaken for a conifer but are actually true flowering plants in their own family, the Casuarinaceae. They are dioecious, meaning that plants are either male or female, with a natural distribution limited to Australia, the Indian Subcontinent, southeast Asia, and islands of the western Pacific Ocean. This species is a forest plant of Queensland and New South Wales, Australia, growing from south coast of New South Wales, north to Cape York in Queensland. It was long called Casuarina torulosa but reclassified to its current genus in 1982 based on differences in the fruit and is the type species of the genus Allocasuarina. It is also commonly called Rose She-oak because of the quality of its wood, which is used for firewood or timber and used extensively for roof shingles. Its dense attractively grained wood for furniture use. The name for the genus comes from the Greek word 'allo' meaning "other" combined with the genus name Casuarina, which comes from the Malay word for the large flightless bird, the cassowary (in the genus Casuarius) which alludes to the similarities between the bird's feathers and the thin drooping stems and leaves of plants in this genus. The specific epithet is a combination of the Latin words torulus meaning "the muscular parts of the body" combined with the adjective suffix meaning "plenitude" or "notable" with the inferred meaning being "cyclindrical, and marked with swellings" in refence to the leaf cladodes. This is a beloved tree that we first introduced in 1988 and grew until 2007, but disontinued. After seeing a couple really attractive specimens we finally decided to grow it again in 2019. There is a very nice tree on the University of California Santa Barbara Campus and a beautiful grove of them in the University of California Santa Cruz Arboretum. We thank Jo O'Connell at Australian Native Plant Nursey for helping us put this plant back into production!  The information on this page is based on research conducted in our nursery library and from online sources as well as from observations made of this plant as it grows in our nursery, in the nursery's garden and in other gardens that we have observed it in. We also will incorporate comments received from others and always appreciate getting feedback of any kind from those who have additional information, particularly if this information is contrary to what we have written or includes additional cultural tips that might aid others in growing Allocasuarina torulosa.