The Casuarinas are a family of 17 species found in the wild in Australia and the Far East.
Common names include Australian Pine and Iron Tree but the latin is Casuarina equisetifolia
These ‘Iron Trees’ look just like many other types of tree with needles instead of leaves, but they are not the same type of tree.
Nodules can be seen on the surface of the thin, green branches and each nodule is covered with tiny leaves. Both male and female flowers appear in different areas on the same tree.
Wood from the tree is very dense and hard hence its common name ‘iron tree’ or ‘ironwood’.
In Turkey the species Casuarina equistifolia is known and used. It can withstand salt spray from the sea or from a brackish water table.
Where the water table is high and alkalinity is a problem, it grows well.
For this reason we have planted it at the Palm Centre in marshy areas as part of a windbreak.
The RHS Plant Encyclopaedia states that it cannot withstand frost, but we have found it can take temperatures down to –(6-8)C.
It can also tolerate drought.
The hard wood from the Iron Tree is used by furniture makers and builders.
It also yields good logs for burning.
The Iron Tree also has specific bacteria living in its roots which can help improve soil by increasing nitrogen.
However, dead branches which fall from the tree excrete a toxic substance which can kill plants onto which they fall.
We have observed this phenomenon at the Palm Centre.
The Casuarinas are grown from seed.
Sometimes they can be split at the roots or propagated from cuttings.
In the right conditions it is a problem-free, very quick growing tree which can reach a height of 18-20 metres.
Unlike many pine trees which do not respond well to pruning, this tree can be pruned as much as you want.
It is good for making windbreaks or sound baffling and can also be planted on its own as a specimen tree.
Particularly in this south coast region, where we often have drainage problems, it s tree which will thrive in boggy areas.
You can find two types of Iron Tree at the Palm Centre: Casuarina equistifolia and Casuarina glauca.
The Palm Centre, Koycegeiz
For a wide range of special plants visit the areas best nursery, The Palm Centre at Köyceğiz.
It is open daily between 1st June – 31st October but you can visit at any other time by appointment.
Access to plant sales is free but a fee is payable to look around the extensive nursery.
Just ring or email (English is spoken):
E-mail: : firstname.lastname@example.org
Tel : +90 252 262 28 92
Fax : +90 252 262 51 61