Casuarina (she oak) trees

AllRound offers advice for owners of casuarina or she oak trees

In praise of the humble she oak!

At AllRound Tree Services we are fans of the familiar she oak. Also known as casuarina, this hardy native grows along the coastline from northern New South Wales to north of Gladstone. And it’s not just us – birds love them too!

After a season of popularity in the 1970s as a street tree, the she oak is having a comeback. It responds well to pruning, so please get in touch with your pruning needs for your she oak.

Birdsong and tree whistles

Some folk mistake the she oak for a pine, as the she oak leaves have pine-like grey-green needle-shaped foliage. (In fact, the name casuarina derives from the Malay word for cassowary – as the wispy leaves look a little like the feathers of the tropical bird.) The she oak also bear a fruit that looks a little like a small conifer cone, which is full of tiny seeds. They are very desirable food for native birds, if you are keen on attracting birdlife to your garden.

She oaks will attract willie wagtails, pee wees and butcher birds for nesting, and finches and rainbow lorikeets for the tasty seeds. If you are extremely lucky, you might even catch a glimpse of the rare and endangered black cockatoo, which feeds exclusively on the she oak cone and its seeds.

And for those who grew up by the beach, who could forget the gentle whistling sound of wind blowing through that distinctive foliage in a whole bank of casuarinas?

A natural stabiliser and fertiliser

There are even more reasons to love the she oak. One is that the foliage makes fantastic mulch that will keep weeds at bay and prevent erosion.

Another, surprising, one concerns the roots of this wonderful tree. They feature nodules that extract nitrogen from the atmosphere and return it to the soil, much like those of legumes.

This makes the iconic coastal she oak tree a winner for difficult and sandy soils.

Contact AllRound Tree Service today with all your questions about growing, pruning and caring for your she oak tree.