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

Growing Acacia stenophylla:
Shoestring Acacia

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Form: Tree.
Lifespan: Less than 50 years.
Leaf retention: Evergreen.
Growth rate: Rapid, 3' (1m) per year in favorable circumstances.
Mature Size: 20-40' (6-12m) high and 15-30' (4.5-9m) wide.
Flowers: Cream colored fuzzy balls, fragrant.
Bloom: Fall, winter, spring.
Fruit: A long edible seed pod with constrictions between the edible seeds, looking like a necklace. The pods persist on the tree for months, providing an exotic appearance.
Leaves: Leaf-like leaf stems (phyllodes), long and narrow, give the tree a weeping look. This tree provides light shade.
Stems: No thorns. New growth has maroon bark. The branch ends are pendulous.
Roots: Nitrogen-fixing*. This plant tends to produce suckers from its roots.
Wildlife: Attracts butterflies, bees, birds.
Toxic / Danger: No.
Origin: Australia.

Cultivation and Uses
USDA hardiness zones: 9-12.
Heat tolerant: Yes.
Drought tolerant: Yes.
Sun: Full sun.
Water after becoming established: Monthly, deeply, at the drip line and away from the trunk to encourage sideways root growth.
Soil: Well drained, pH 6.1-8.5 (slightly acidic to alkaline). This tree is subject to root rot with excessive moisture. It is very saline tolerant. *Do not use a nitrogen fertilizer.
First Year Care: Water weekly until one month before frost keeping water away from the trunk.
Prune: Shape to force an upright tree form. Remove root suckers as soon as they arise.
Litter: Moderate to high. Leaf drop tends to occur year-round and becomes more noticeable with a taller tree. Bean pod drop in fall.
Propagation: Seed. This tree reseeds itself in favorable conditions.
Pests: A mistletoe infection is possible when it receives insufficient water during drought.
Uses: Ornamental, filtered shade, edible seed pods. The seeds and pods can be roasted and eaten.

This tree is a member of the Legume family (Fabaceae). Its roots must be encouraged to grow sideways away from the trunk, through proper watering, to form a wider root system. This keeps it from being toppled by strong winds.

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Acacia stenophylla: Shoestring Acacia - flowers

Acacia stenophylla: Shoestring Acacia - seed pods

Acacia stenophylla: Shoestring Acacia - seed pods

Acacia stenophylla: Shoestring Acacia tree

Latest update: December, 2023
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