Acacia estrophiolata F. Muell.

 

Mimosaceae

Common name(s): Iron Wood (in Australia)

 

Description:

Under favourable circumstances, it forms a tree which may reach 15 m in height and 45 cm in diameter. The graceful shape of the adult tree is due to the suppleness of the small terminal braches, which, when foliage is abundant, resemble the habit of a weeping willow. The habit of young trees, however, is erect, with longer and broader leaves. The high palatability of the foliage and twigs determines the shape of young trees. On many trees, all accessible browse is eaten, which gives them a characteristic form.

Distribution:

The species is a native of Australia. It is mainly found to the southern arid part of the Northern Territory, under rainfalls of 220-350 mm without a concentration of rain in a single season, particularly around Alice Springs and in the mountain ranges at the border of the Western and Southern states. It occurs in the Everard and Musgrave ranges in the northernmost parts of South Australia and it may withstand 8-10 days of frost a year. A. estrophiolatsa likes sandy, well drained soils. It is found as isolated individuals in open woodlands, sometimes associated with Mulga or Gidgee (Acacia georginae).

Products and uses:

It is considered complementary forage in its native area. Moreover, as it is one of the largest trees in the hot arid zone, its value as shade and shelter is by no means negligible. As in the case of many other acacias, the wood is hard and heavy with a thin, whitish sap wood and dark coloured heart. The wood is strong and sufficiently long-lasting to serve as fence post, although the regions where it occurs are characterized by an extensive fenceless type of cattle-raising.

Main References:

Baumer, M. 1983. Notes on Trees and Shrubs in Arid and Semi-arid Regions. FAO/UNEP programme “Ecological Management of Arid and Semi-Arid Rangelands in Africa, Near and Middle East” (EMASAR Phase II). 270p.