Common name: Forest Oak, Rose Sheoak
Allocasuarina torulosa was known as Casuarina stricta until the mid 1980s when a revision of this genus split to include Allocasuarina. A useful and decorative tree extensively planted in the 1970s and early 80s. Could be classed as a “retro” revival planting, although its good character makes it useful, whatever the fashion. Forest Oak is relatively upright growing, and this provides for a tree suitable for streetscapes and tighter planting locations. Planted en masse, this tree gives a solid screen of evergreen foliage, and is especially useful for blocking vision.
The aesthetic features of most appeal are the rusty to dark brown appearance at flowering (March through June), and the corky and deeply fissured bark. The half-yearly colour change gives the name “Rose”, and is a fantastic seasonal character.
A. torulosa is a low maintenance plant, except for some fine leaf litter that may require periodic removal. This litter is insignificant, and the small cone-like fruits also present few problems.
Elliot, R.. & Jones, D. 1986-Encylopaedia of Australian plants. Lothian Publishing Company, Melbourne Victoria (as Casuarina stricta)
Spencer, R. 1997 Horticultural flora of south-eastern Australia. Volume 2. University of New South Wales Press.
Typical mature height: 5-12m in Melbourne
Useful in: streetscapes, reserves and parks
Sites for best growth: most sites appropriate