Kampala Tree and Palm Directory

Tree Species
Common Name
Tree Description
Tree Uses

English: Swamp she oak, swamp oak, grey oak, or river oak.

+ Tree Species

Casuarina glauca

+ Tree Family


+ Ecology

A native of Australia from New South Wales to Queensland in a narrow coastal belt and also New Guinea. Casuarina glauca is most common along the edges of swampy flats, near estuaries and along tidal reaches of rivers. It has been the most successful Casuarina used in Israel. In Uganda the species is still under trial in the highlands of Kabale District. In Kampala, Casuarina glauca is located along Buganda road, Hesketh bell road, within Kibawo village, Tufnell Avenue, wampewo avenue etc.

+ Description

An evergreen tree 12-15 m (but up to 20 m) with a long straight bole with a maximum diameter of 60 cm, the upright branches forming a narrow crow. The trunk may be buttressed and fluted.

BARK: flaky, rough and thick, dark grey and hard, but branches more grey-brown and smooth.

LEAVES: droopingbranchlets quite grey-green (glauca) and relatively thick withcharacteristic "joints" widely spaced, each a ring of about 15 scaleleaves (coarser and larger than in Casuarina equisetifolia).

FLOWERS: male clusters with pollen along 2-4 cm of the tips of somebranchlets. Rounded female "cones" on stalked heads are hairywhen young, about 6 mm with dark red stigmas.

FRUIT: a woody multiple capsule, "cone-like",1-2 cm long and 1.0—1.5 cmwide, each individual fruit sharply pointed and opening to release1 pale winged nutlet.           

+ Uses

An ornamental tree.

The bark can be used to plant orchids on.

Agroforestry: the plant suckers freely and forms a good windbreak, good for fence posts or shelterbelt, the low branching habit and extensive litter production helps to reduce soil erosion, leaves, seedlings, suckers and branchlets provide fodder to the animals, provides bee forage in terms of acting as a source of pollen, helps in nitrogen fixation in the soil.

Provides light construction, poles (building, transmission, piling), posts (including fencing).

Provides timber used for turnery, tool handles, rafters, flooring, fencing rails, shingles, and salt-water pilings.

The wood provides firewood and produces an excellent charcoal. It also makes good pellet-sized fuel.

Provides shade.

+ Propagation

Seeds, cuttings, root suckers.

+ Management

Moderately fast-growing, coppices and produces root suckers vigorously. Inoculation of seedlings with Frankia is recommended when introducing the species to new areas.

+ Remarks

Its valued for its wood and its ability to stabilize and reclaim soil. While the original habitat of the species is saline soil and low altitude, in Uganda it is showing promise at high altitude and on free-draining soils. It may be particularly useful as it can be fast growing on difficult sites and fix nitrogen. It can reproduce very vigorously from root suckers. The timber is hard and strong and a good fuel but not durable in the ground.

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