Common name: Drooping Sheoak
Allocasuarina verticillata is a round-headed, small-to-medium-sized tree that will grow in a variety of sites. It is well-known as a tree tolerant of sandy, dry soils, and coastal salt spray. Although known as a coastal plant, A. verticillata also grows successfully on the heavy, cracking clays near Bacchus Marsh.
A. verticillata has been used extensively on difficult sites both in Australia and abroad. It is extremely heat-tolerant, and will grow, once established, with minimal additional irrigation.
Trees in excellent condition show long, pendulous branchlets of delicate, grey-green foliage with a horizontally-striped trunk. These slow-growing trees become rounded balls of fine foliage with age (although coarser than other sheoaks), but as young trees they can appear very ungainly and sparse. In containers of whatever size, and until the tree is over 5m tall, A. verticillata looks poorly-grown, but this appearance will change with age.
Metropolitan Tree Growers will be growing high quality A. verticillata to accommodate the market for this desirable plant.
A very difficult tree to grow in containers, frequently looking shabby if under 3m tall.
Typical mature height: variable 5 to 10m
Useful in: height-restricted poor soils, mass planting
Sites for best growth: most sites appropriate