Allocasuarina is a genus of trees in the family Casuarinaceae. These Australian natives are commonly called sheoaks or she-oaks. Their most notable feature are the long, segmented branchlets that function as leaves though they're actually termed cladodes and slightly resemble pine needles, although sheoaks are actually flowering plants. Another interesting feature are the spiny fruit, about the size of an acorn, that resemble a conifer cone. Allocasuarinas are also dioecious so male specimens bear no fruit and are sometimes known as "heoak".

As with most legumes, she-oaks are able to fix soil nitrogen, and thereby improve the soil which enables them to thrive in poor and infertile areas.

One of the most ornamental she-oaks is the Drooping she-oak, or Allocasuarina verticillata. It is a small to medium evergreen to about 30 feet with an elegantly pendulous form derived from the delicate, grey-green, weeping foliage. And as with most she-oaks, breezes make a calming and beautiful sound passing through the foliage. In its juvenile stage these trees are ungainly but become rounded and handsome with time. In late spring they are covered with small red flowers that put a lovely rosy haze to the tree. Not only is Drooping she-oak beautiful, but it is used extensively on difficult sites as it is adaptable to poor soils and is extremely heat and drought tolerant, once established. And its salt tolerance makes it an ideal coastal tree. And, finally, the fruit are a boon to wild-life, especially birds, and it is the preferred food of the Glossy Black Cockatoo. Drooping she-oak can tolerate most any soil-type, sand or clay, acid or alkaline, but it does not tolerate shade or waterlogged soils, so sharp drainage in full sun is best. It does well in warm-temperate and desert conditions and is tolerant of light frost.

Drooping she-oak


Trees for:  Acid soils     Clay soils      Poor soils      Seashore      Dry soils     Cold soils      Wet soils     Alkaline soilsTrees_for_acid_soils.htmlTrees_for_clay_soils.htmlTrees_for_poor_soils.htmlTrees_for_seashore.htmlTrees_for_dry_soils.htmlTrees_for_Cold-exposed_areas.htmlTrees_for_wet_soils.htmlTrees_for_alkaline_soils.htmlshapeimage_4_link_0shapeimage_4_link_1shapeimage_4_link_2shapeimage_4_link_3shapeimage_4_link_4shapeimage_4_link_5shapeimage_4_link_6shapeimage_4_link_7
Trees by size                               Special features                                Forms of treesTrees_by_size.htmlSpecial_features.htmlForms_of_trees.htmlshapeimage_5_link_0shapeimage_5_link_1shapeimage_5_link_2