Interim profile, incomplete information
Taxonomic name: Tamarix aphylla (L.) H. Karst.
Synonyms: Tamarix articulata Vahl, Thuja aphylla L.
Common names: Athel tamarisk, athel-pine, athel-tree, desert tamarix, farash (India), saltcedar, tamaris (French), tamarisk, Tamariske (German), tamarix, taray (Spanish), woestyntamarisk (Afrikaans)
Organism type: shrub
The athel pine, Tamarix aphylla (L.) Karst., is native to Africa and tropical and temperate Asia. It is an evergreen tree that grows to 15 m, and has been introduced around the world, mainly as shelter and for erosion control. Seedlings of T. aphylla develop readily once established, and grow woody root systems that can reach as deep as 50 m into soil and rock. It can extract salts from soil and water excrete them through their branches and leaves. T. aphylla can have the following effects on ecological systems: dry up viable water sources; increase surface soil salinity; modification of hydrology; decrease native biodiversity of plants, invertebrates, birds, fish and reptiles; and increase fire risk. Management techniques that have been used to control T. aphylla include mechanical clearing - using both machinery and by hand - and/or herbicides.
Tamarix aphylla Is thought to hybridise with the smallflower tamarisk, T. parviflora. (National Athel Pine Management Committee 2008).
Native range: Africa, Temperate and Tropical Asia (USDA-ARS, 2010)
Known introduced range: Australasia, Northern America and the Pacific Region (USDA-ARS, 2010)
Management techniques that have been used to control Tamarix sp. include mechanical clearing - using both machinery and by hand - and/or herbicides. Hand-pulling is a very suitable control method when there are a few scattered seedlings, whilst other methods are more suitable for dense trees (excavation) and dense seedlings (stick raking, blade ploughing, ripping, root raking). In terms of chemical management techniques, options include foliar sprays, cut stump application, basal bark application and flooding. (National Athel Pine Management Committee 2008).
The Athel Pine National Best Practice Management Manual brings together the best management practices available to date on control options for athel pine (Tamarix aphylla), tamarisk (Tamaraix ramosissima) and smallflower tamarisk (Tamarix parviflora). It also illustrates successful control programs with case studies that demonstrate how these weeds are managed effectively in Australia. Included are pointers to identify the Tamarix species you are dealing with as each of them are managed using differrent strategies. The manual includes a 'Decision Support Tree for Tamarix control' to develop a control program for athel pine, tamarisk or smallflower tamarisk based on the type of infestation you have to treat and the options available to you.
The Weed Control Methods Handbook provides you with detailed information about the tools and techniques available for controlling invasive plants, or weeds, in natural areas. This Handbook is divided into eight chapters, covering a range of different control methods: manual, mechanical, promoting competition from native plants, grazing, biocontrol, herbicides, prescribed fire, solarization, flooding, and other, more novel, techniques. Each control method has advantages and disadvantages in terms of its effects against the target weed(s), impacts to untargeted plants and animals, risks to human health and safety, and costs.
Compiled by: IUCN SSC Invasive Species Specialist Group with support from the Overseas Territories Environmental Programme (OTEP) project XOT603, a joint project with the Cayman Islands Government - Department of Environment
Last Modified: Thursday, 7 October 2010