This is probably the most extreme tree of the Chilean desert. It can grow where no other plant grows, and the tamarugales, or tamarugo forests, as they are locally known, present an eerie sight - hundreds and hundreds of trees with no other vegetation around... This is due to the fact that these plants can reach very deeply into the ground with their roots and thus make use of underground water.
For the germination of seeds you need to break the outer protective skin of the seed. For just a few seeds use a nail-clipper or a file (you have just to scratch the surface, taking off maybe a flake). For larger batches you can use sulphuric acid, mecahnical scarificators or hot water (please see specialized literature before attempting this, as use of concentrated acid is very dangerous). Soak the scarred seeds in water for about 24 hours. They should visibly swell up. If not, you have not scratched them sufficently. This species can grow in most extreme conditions (extremely saline soil, very little watering), so you do not have to worry too much about the substrate, just keep with good drainage. This tree will withstand occasional freezing, but it is not suitable for cold climates with snow.