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Allocasuarina torulosa 23

Posted: May 22nd, 2020, 9:40 am
by Rory
Progression thread : Allocasuarina torulosa 23

I Purchased this Casuarina from Leong at Bonsai South
Cost $30

This thread had to be restarted since the upgrade here, as the pictures are now hosted externally rather than on this site.

This was initially going to be a telegraph pole, but nature had other plans. I accidentally let it dry out too much over summer 2018, and the top 1/3 died back. That top telegraph pole is now deadwood and has broken off since the last photo. (Casuarina deadwood doesn't last long, especially with high humidity). It has since developed the side branches. It was also shaded for 6 months as I wasn't sure if I wanted to keep it and moved it into the 'not sure' area of my garden, which has resulted in very creepy, twisted growth as it struggled to find light. Now I adore it.

I'm attempting to develop it as a natural styled Casuarina.

There are many natural traits that a lot of growers dislike with Casuarina which ironically are what make this iconic species so immediately recognizable. Yet many growers remove or discourage this, such as crossed branching, bar-branching, multiple trunks that do not start at the very base, and their long beautiful arching branches with no taper. (This is perfectly understandable as we've always been discouraged from allowing this, but I adore these traits on Casuarinas). It isn't actually that easy to maintain sweeping branches with no taper as the branching will thicken fast if you allow the branch to strongly develop, so you have to occasionally reduce the number of branchlets, but keep enough to maintain good health.

I find it is best to cut-and-grow to develop the sweeping branch movements, as opposed to wiring, as wiring doesn't give it that iconic look.
And another iconic trait of these guys is that they generally don't have a uniformed branching style on the one tree.

These species make aesthetically beautiful trees. The weeping foliage and very thin needles make this the most visually stunning of all the Casuarina species in my opinion.

DO NOT let these dry out. I recommend adding about 30-35 % washed course river sand for better drainage to your mix.
Don't let the lower branches get heavily shaded.


This photo was taken 01 Nov 2014
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This photo was taken 30 April 2015
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This photo was taken 17 Feb 2016
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This photo was taken 17 Mar 2017
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This photo was taken 28 Feb 2019
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This photo was taken 15 Apr 2020
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Re: Allocasuarina torulosa 23

Posted: May 22nd, 2020, 9:08 pm
by boom64
Hi Rory ,If I had a choice I would take this one ,loosing that top one third has certainly been a blessing for you. Those two leaders with there lively unorthodox movement look fantastic. I know you prefer the clip and grow but...….I would be wiring some tighter bends, drops and any haphazard movement I could get on some of those thinner branches. But that's just me. Keen to see how this one turns out.
Cheers John.

Re: Allocasuarina torulosa 23

Posted: May 23rd, 2020, 7:42 am
by Rory
boom64 wrote: May 22nd, 2020, 9:08 pm Hi Rory ,If I had a choice I would take this one ,loosing that top one third has certainly been a blessing for you. Those two leaders with there lively unorthodox movement look fantastic. I know you prefer the clip and grow but...….I would be wiring some tighter bends, drops and any haphazard movement I could get on some of those thinner branches. But that's just me. Keen to see how this one turns out.
Cheers John.
Hi John,

Thank you for your opinion. Yes I prefer clip-and-grow, that just means to develop more natural looking growth yes, but I still occasionally might use wire (though not usually on casys), but I use anchoring a lot, for example in this one.... What you can't see is a 3rd branch that is behind the viewer in that last photo, that grows downwards, albeit because of me anchoring it down with a tie. I definitely like the downward droop you see on some wild casys too, and that branch will follow suit along that logic.

Next update I'll take a different side view, as there is some really cool growth from a 90 degree view from the right.

Re: Allocasuarina torulosa 23

Posted: May 23rd, 2020, 8:08 am
by TimS
Hi Rory, I really like the development and movement you’ve created here because it puts me in mind of the allocasuarina groves on my uncle’s property. That unpredictable left branch in the 2020 photo that grows flat out then hard upward especially reminds me of some of the quirky growth I’ve seen occurring where they are more exposed to winds.