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Local Tree Profile - Western She-oak


In this blog series we look at the indigenous trees of the Peel/Bindjareb region. This month we profile the Western she-oak or Allocasuarina fraseriana - kondil in the local language. Western she-oak is found throughout Mandurah and the Peel region. The genus Allocasuarina has several species represented in WA, with most being an important food source for black cockatoos along with other native birds and mammals. The trees bear cones, hence the name she-oak, however the leaves resemble more closely a pine tree’s. She-oaks are unusual in having separate male and female plants.

The timber and foliage of western she-oak were utilised by Nyoongar people in various ways. The needles were used for bedding in shelters, often covered with a kangaroo skin cloak, and the hard, dense wood was used to make shields, clubs and boomerangs. Western Australia’s early white settlers used she-oak timber for roof shingles and to make kegs and casks. In modern times the decorative timber is prized for wood-turning.

Though Western she-oaks are often overlooked, they are a distinctive part of many West Australian coastal and riverine landscapes and worth retaining if you have them growing on your land.

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