Casuarina equisetifolia Linn. Family
Casuarina equisetifolia Linn. English Name
Casuarina equisetifolia Linn. Local Name
Casuarina equisetifolia Linn. Description
A large, evergreen tree, 15 to 25 m tall with a diameter of up to 1 m. The open, feathery crown is composed of leafless branchlets which act as leaves (look like pine needles). The bark is rough, brown and peels off in long strips. It is monoecious. The male is a small bunch or group of flowers at the end of the branchlets and the female roundish bunches of flowers also at the ends of the branchlets appearing in March. The fruit is a brownish woody is in cone 1.5 to 2 cm long, containing small-winged seeds. The cones mature in June and July. Seedlings are attacked by termites and other insect pests. It can be reproduced from seed. Seed can be stored at room temperature for 1 to 2 years without loss of viability. A fast-growing tree with recorded yields between 6 to 18 m3/ha/yr on a 30-year rotation. Straight to somewhat wavy grained. Sapwood color light to dark reddish brown, having specific gravity of 0.9 to 1.2 with a calorific value of 4950 kcal/kg.
Casuarina equisetifolia Linn. Distribution
The tree is native to North and Northeastern Australia. It has been successfully planted in Africa, the Subcontinent, the Pacific region and North America. In Pakistan it has been planted on the plains, in gardens and as a roadside tree especially in the province of Sindh. An intolerant tree that does not do well in shade. It grows on a variety of soils if they are well drained. It requires a precipitation zone of 700 to 2000 mm/yr or more. It prefers a warm to hot tropical/sub-tropical to a coastal maritime climate with a temperature range of 5 to 35°C at elevations of up to 1200 m. It is frost hardy and can withstand drought periods of 6 to 8 months.
Casuarina equisetifolia Linn. Uses
This is a non-leguminous tree that fixes nitrogen and can grow on waterlogged and saline sites. It can also tolerate salt spray. It is valuable for fuel and other wood products and is also useful for erosion control. An excellent farm forestry tree for areas where there are sodic, saline and waterlogged conditions. Also used as fuel, mine props, implements, erosion control, windbreaks, and wheels, spokes and axles.