Garden Oracle / Drought and Heat Tolerant Gardening / Tucson - Phoenix - Arizona - California

Growing Acacia salicina:
Willow Acacia

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Form: Tree.
Lifespan: 15-50 years.
Leaf retention: Evergreen.
Growth rate: Rapid.
Mature Size: 30-40' (9-12m) high and 15-20' (4.5-6m) wide.
Flowers: White to yellow-white puffballs, fragrant.
Bloom: Any time during the year, especially late winter or spring.
Fruit: A brown seed pod, usually over 3" (8cm) long, containing edible seeds.
Leaves: Leaf-like stalks, linear, blue- to dark-green. Moderate shade.
Stems: Young branches, and the top portion of older branches, are pendulous. The wood is weak and without thorns.
Roots: Nitrogen-fixing*, deep. This tree often produces suckers from its roots.
Wildlife: Attracts pollinating insects and birds. The seeds attract mammals.
Toxic / Danger: The leaves are slightly poisonous. The bark has a high tannin content.
Origin: Australia.

Cultivation and Uses
USDA hardiness zones: 7-11.
Heat tolerant: Yes.
Drought tolerant: Yes.
Sun: Full sun to part shade.
Water after becoming established: Deep water every one or two months at the drip line (furthest extent of the branch tips at an equal distance on all sides), or just beyond, to establish a strong root system. This forces the roots to grow deep, following soil moisture as it evaporates from the top down. Frequent shallow watering results in rapid growth and weak wood that is prone to break in strong winds.
Soil: Well drained, dry, low in organic content, pH 6.1-9.0 (slightly acidic to highly alkaline). This plant is saline tolerant. *Do not use a nitrogen fertilizer.
Mulch: No. The soil should dry as quickly as possible.
First Year Care: This tree should be staked in its first year to establish an upright growth pattern.
Prune: Remove excess and crossing branches to reduce wind resistance. Remove small trees that sucker from the roots. This tree responds well to pruning.
Litter: Seed pods.
Propagation: Scarified seed. This plant depends on animals, including cattle, to disperse its seeds.
Uses: Ornamental.

Acacia salicina is a member of the Legume family (Fabaceae). It is very hardy and adaptable when the soil is well-drained. Its disadvantages are branch breakage in strong winds and frequent suckering.

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Acacia salicina: Willow Acacia - flower

Acacia salicina: Willow Acacia - leaves

Acacia salicina: Willow Acacia - seed pods

Acacia salicina: Willow Acacia

Latest update: March, 2024
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