Casuarina glauca Sieber
Source: James A. Duke. 1983. Handbook of Energy Crops. unpublished.
- Folk Medicine
- Yields and Economics
- Biotic Factors
Has been recommended as a good candidate for restoring Haiti's eroded
mountainsides and providing charcoal, fuelwood, and poles so desparately needed
there. Grown as an ornamental, windbreak, and for cattle shade in southern
Florida (but some Florida counties have laws banning its planting). In South
Africa it is used for firewood, poles, reclamation, shelterbelts, timber, and
windbreaks. Egyptians use the trees in rows for shelterbelts. To check spread
by root suckers, they dig a ditch between the crop and the shelterbelt,
allowing their goats and sheep to eat the exposed shoots before they become
pests. The brownish timber is nicely marked and is used for fencing rails,
shingles, and salt water pilings.
No data available.
Modulated seedlings of C. glauca increased their shoot N-content
(proportional to protein content) by a factor of about 13 following the
appearance of the nodules. Pollen may be allergenic.
Erect tree 1015 (-30) m tall, the main stem moderately straight, often
buttressed and fluted, the bark often cracked and flaky, the crown relatively
sparse and narrow. Slender deciduous branchlets (ca 1 mm diameter) have 920
leaf teeth in remote whorls, short and broad, always tightly appressed. Male
spikes dense, 12 1/2 cm long. Cones more or less cylindrical, ca 12 cm in
diameter, much broader than long; valves 35 mm wide, in only 2 or 3 wheel-like
rows. Seeds ca 700,000970,000/kg.
Reported from the Australian Center of Diversity, swamp sheoak, or cvs thereof,
is reported to tolerate high pH, limestone, low pH, salt and sanddunes,
waterlogging, weeds, and wind. According to NAS, (1983e), this is a pest, in
Florida. In Hawaiian pastures, where it spreads by root suckers, it is less
cold-hardy than C. cunninghamiana. Still, it is said to be hardy to
drought and frost in South Africa (NAS, 1983e). In fine-textured clays, even
in waterlogged soils, C. glauca can develop a deep root system, while
C. cunninghamiana and C. equisetifolia develop shallow roots and
grow poorly. (2n = 18)
Found in a narrow belt hugging the coast of eastern Australia from Bega in New
South Wales to Rockhampton in Queensland. It has also been successful in the
marshes and saline soils of Israel, Cyprus, India, Kenya, Malawi, South Africa,
Florida, and Egypt. Most common at edges of swampy flats near estuaries and
tidal rivers; sometimes found on or near beach fronts. The flats may be only
marginally above tidal limits; the water table is usually close to the surface
(often with 30 cm of the surface).
It grows naturally on estuarine plains that are flooded with brackish tidal
water, and also thrives on dunes at the seaside, often in the path of ocean
spray. Ranges from sea level to 900 m in Hawaii. Reported to tolerate annual
precipitation of 5 to 40 dm, estimated annual temperature of 18 to 28°C, and
pH of 5 to 8. Rarely tolerates temperatures lower than -3°C. It has grown
in Israel under a soil crust of salt (50,000 ppm). Although most natural
stands are on acidic soils, it has grown well on alkaline clay-loam soils with
shallow water tables in hot, semiarid areas of Central Australia. Thailand
seedlings have tolerated high Ca levels and as much as 30% limestone. In
southern Florida it flourishes on oolitic limestone. In Hawaii it is
frequently planted on much weathered parent basalt in eroded blowouts,
sometimes in holes blasted by dynamite. It also does well in pure limestone
sand (NAS, 1983e).
In Hawaii seed are broadcast in spring and covered lightly with less than one
cm soil. A seedling density of ca 200325/m2 is recommended, but
final densities should of course be much thinner (Ag. Handbook 450).
In continental U.S., seed bearing age is 45 years and flowering peaks from
AprilJune, fruiting from SeptemberDecember. Good seed crops occur annually
(Ag. Handbook 450). Timber can be harvested as needed. Litter and firewood is
often gathered as the accumulation justifies.
In Israel this outperforms other Casuarinas, reaching 20 m in 1214
years, even on saline water tables. Based on what I read about other species,
I would expect about 4 MT of litter and at least 4 MT wood per hectare per year
under moderate management.
Casuarina spp. have very dense wood, with specific gravity 0.81.2,
calorific value of ca 5,000 kcal/kg, splits easily, and burns slowly with
little smoke or ash. It also can be burned when green, an important advantage
in fuel short areas. From their fourth year, trees shed ca 4 tons cones/year.
These, too, make good pellet-sized fuel (NAS, 1983e). Although N-nodulation is
most successful at pH 6 to 8, some natural stands are well nodulated in acid
soils (pH ca 4). Some of the root-suckering Casuarinas are discouraged
except where the wood is needed. But in fuelwood plantations, cut trees
rapidly regenerate from root sprouts and do not have to be replanted.
Browne (1968) lists the fungus Fomes badius. This species is reported
to be less susceptible to the wilt and dieback attributed to the bacterium
Pseudomonas on Casuarina equisetifolia.
Complete list of references for Duke, Handbook of Energy Crops
Agriculture Handbook 450. 1974. Seeds of woody plants in the United States.
Forest Service, USDA. USGPO. Washington.
Browne, F.G. 1968. Pests and diseases of forest plantations trees. Clarendon
N.A.S. 1983e. Casuarinas: nitrogen fixing trees for adverse sites. National
Academy Press, Washington, DC.
Last update Tuesday, December 30, 1997