Forest 48 - South Esk Pine (Australian native)

Callitris oblonga subspecies oblonga

seed cones of South esk pine Photo not from the Arboretm by L. Muldoon Young south esk pine at National Botanic Gardens Photo by L

Other common names

Tasmanian cypress pine, Dwarf cypress pine, Native cypress, River pine, Pygmy cypress pine.

Origin of the species name

Callitris is from Latin calli meaning beautiful and tris or trix meaning three, referring to the arrangement of three whorled leaves on the stems and three large bracts in the fruit; oblonga is Latin  meaning longer than wide and refers to the shape of the seed cones.



Date planted

October 2010


Lifespan unknown

General description

This is a small evergreen tree with a short trunk and fissured flaky bark. The branches are extremely dense and erect, having angled, bluish-green 'foliage'. Egg-shaped male cones are tan coloured and attached to the tips of branchlets. Seed cones are grey, conical and tightly clustered around the branches. Height 6m Spread 3m.

Natural distribution and habitat

This subspecies is native to eastern Tasmania, Australia where it occurs mainly along streams on floodplains in Eucalyptus woodlands or shrub land. Two other subspecies occur in New South Wales, Australia.

Conservation status

This species is listed as vulnerable. Two fires in close succession will eliminate it if the period between burns is less than the time it takes to produce fertile seed. Land clearance, livestock damage and invasion of habitat by weeds such as gorse and willow are threats to this species. A recovery program is now underway.

Planting pattern

Planted in a square grid of various dimensions. In parts the grid changes to a diagonal pattern, and there are some open spaces.


Being a small tree its principal use has been for ornamental plantings.

Further reading

Farjon, A (2010) A Handbook of the World's Conifers. Brill.p>