Back to Contents

(Ad hoc recommendations)


Agroforestry refers to land management systems that integrate agricultural crops with forest crops. It is a collective term for all land use systems and practices in which woody perennials are deliberately grown on the same land management unit as crops or animals, either in some form of a spatial arrangement or in a time sequence and in which there is a significant interaction between the woody perennials and the crops or animals.

Types of Agroforestry
The major classes of agroforestry include, agrisilviculture,silvopastoral,agrosilvopastoral and other (miscellaneous) systems.

Agrisilviculture refers to systems in which agricultural crops are integrated with trees on the same land management unit either in time or space. Examples include taungya, alley cropping, multipurpose trees either as woodlots or as scattered trees on farmlands or on farm boundaries, crop combinations involving woody perennial plantation crops, growing commercial crops in association with planted shade trees or trees in natural forests, shelterbelts, energy plantations, enriched fallow and so on.


Silvopastoralism represents land management systems in which forests including forest plantations are managed for the concurrent production of wood and livestock. They also refer to situations in which trees are scattered in pasture/grasslands, protein banks/cut and carry fodder production system involving woody perennials and the like.

Agrosilvopastoral systems, the most intensive form of land management, are systems in which the land is managed concurrently for the production of agricultural and forest crops and for rearing of domesticated animals.


In addition, there are many agricultural practices associated with forest that strictly do not fall under the above categories. These include, collection of non-timber forest products from forests, growing trees around wetlands and other water bodies in which fish culture is practised, apiculture with trees and multipurpose woodlots etc.

Trees in Agroforestry

Many tree species (woody perennials) are encountered in agroforestry. These include common timber species such as ailanthus (matti), teak, wild jack and multipurpose tree species such as mango, jack, tamarind, erythrina, gliricidia etc. Species-specific recommendations for some important timber (softwood and hardwood) trees are given below.

Top     Back to Contents

AILANTHUS OR MATTI (Ailanthus triphysa)


Ailanthus trees flower in February-March and the fruit, a reddish brown samara, ripens in March-April, which represents the ideal time for seed collection. The seeds can be stored only for a few months. Alternate wetting and drying improves seed ger-mination. The procedure involves soaking the entire quantity of seeds in cold (room temperature) water in the evening and draining the water next morning, followed by drying the seeds under shade during the day. The cycle is repeated for two to three days.

Nursery practices

Raised beds of 10 m x 1 m are formed. Preferably sand, soil and FYM (1:1:1 ratio) must form the top layer of the beds. Sowing is done after the bed is watered. Usually sowing is done by broadcast method (or dibbling) in Nov-December, for June planting and March-April, for October-November planting. After sowing, a thin layer of soil is sprinkled on the beds to cover the seeds. The beds are also mulched with green leaves to reduce the evaporation losses and dusted with carbaryl 10 per cent to prevent insect attack. Seed rate is 1 kg per bed. After sowing, watering is done with a fine rose-can twice a day for 10-15 days and once a day afterwards. The nursery beds also must be weeded as and when necessary.


Pricking out
Germination takes place in about 8-10 days after planting and the seedlings attain a height of 10-15 cm in six weeks time. They are then pricked out into polythene bags containing 1:1:1 mixture of sand, soil and FYM.


Planting practices

Containerised stock (commonly in polybags, but also in root trainers) is planted in pits (15-20 cm cube) at 2 m x 2 m spacing with the onset of rains, in the case of monospecific woodlots. To suit the requirements of intercropping, the row-to-row spacing can be altered. Ailanthus is ideal for planting in the homestead or farm boundries either in single or staggered paired rows at a spacing of 2.5 m x 2.5 m.

Two to three weedings may be necessary in the initial years to keep the plantation weed -free. Fertilizers may be applied @ 30-40 g N, 15-20 g P2O5 and 15-20 g K2O per year per sapling from the second year to the fifth year and thereafter once in three years for a pure plantation.


In case too many lateral branches are produced, pruning may be practised. The trees can be felled/harvested over a period of 8 to 10 years.


The two major pests are shoot webber (Alteva fabriciella) and defoliator (Eligma narcissus). Shoot webber is economically more important because it will damage the terminal shoot and can result in epicormic branch formation. It can be controlled by application of quinalphos at 0.05 per cent.


Young plantations: The above two are the major pests in young plantations also, but control measures may not be cost effective. If required, 0.1 per cent quinalphos can be applied using rocker sprayer. Shoot webber affects seed production. Usually control measures are not adopted but any insecticide, which is recommended under the

nursery, can be used.

Top     Back to Contents

CASUARINA (Casuarina equisetifolia)

Casuarina is a large evergreen tree with a straight bole and numerous, long, slender, drooping, jointed, leafless branchlets arising from rough woody branches. The jointed branchlets, which are partly deciduous, are green and perform the functions of leaves. Leaves are minute scale like and arranged in the form of a cup at the joints of the branchlets. Bark is brown, rough, fibrous and exfoliating in longitudinal strips. Wood is very hard, but liable to crack and split. It is used as timber, poles, pulp and paper besides fuel-wood. Casuarina is grown as an ornamental tree throughout the tropical and subtropical parts of India. In addition, it can be grown in agroforestry combinations involving diverse crops. Fodder grasses, other agronomic crops such as pulses, oil seeds and vegetables, coconut palms and tree crops such as teak and ailanthus are important in this respect.

Propagation is by seeds or through vegetative means. For seedling production, about half kg seeds are sown on raised nursery beds of 10 m x 1 m. This will produce about 10,000 good quality seedlings. If the soil is sandy, mix farmyard manure with the topsoil. After sowing the seeds, a thin layer of sand is sprinkled to cover the seeds. Usually sowing is done in Nov-December. Regular watering and shading of the nursery beds are necessary to facilitate rapid seed germination. Germination takes about 10 days and seedlings attain a height of 10-15 cm in 6 weeks. They are then pricked out into polythene bags or transplanted into beds of size 1 m x 10 m in January-February. Vegetative propagation is by branch cuttings, stump cuttings and layering. For
vegetative propagation by rooting of branch cuttings, treat 5-7 cm long cladode cuttings with rooting hormones. The hormone- treated cladodes are transferred to presoaked vermiculite and kept in a mist chamber. About hundred per cent rooting is obtained within 15 days. The rooted cuttings are then transferred to a mixture of sand, soil and farm yard manure (2:1:1) for hardening. After
15 days, the hardened propagules can be transferred to the field.

Planting and stand management
Casuarina has a wide environmental adaptability and hence occupies sites ranging from arid regions to coastal zones. Being an actinorhizal plant, casuarina is capable of biological nitrogen fixation. Therefore, it thrives best on sandy soils low in nitrogen and has the potential to improve the nitrogen capital of impoverished sites.


Site preparation includes ploughing the land 2-3 times and making 30 cm x 30 cm x 30 cm pits before the onset of monsoon. The pits are filled with FYM and topsoil. Planting is done immediately after the first rain. Block planting, row planting and line or strip planting are common. Spacing varies depending on the objective and the end product. Usually a spacing of 75 cm x 75 cm is adopted. One or two weeding is done immediately after the rains. When the trees are about 3 m in height, the lateral branches are pruned to a height of about 2 m. Pruning is usually done at the end of the second year or after the beginning of the third year. In plantations established at close spacing (75 cm x 75 cm), one thinning in the second year or third year depending on tree growth is desirable, where 25-50 per cent of the trees are felled. In mixed species systems such as agroforestry, spacing and thinning practices are mainly dependent on the cropping systems and the nature of the associated species. If the associated crops are shade intolerant generally wider spacing and or intensive thinning are recommended. Fertilizers may be applied at the rate of 20-25 g N, 15-20 g P2O5 and 15-20 g K2O per seedling per year from the second year to the fifth year.

Injuries and protection
Damping off, seedling blight, stem canker and seedling rot are encountered in the nurseries. Stem wilt or bark blister disease caused by Trichosporium vesiculosum is a serious disease in the

plantations. The disease affects trees of 3-4 years and causes mortality up to 80 per cent. Maintaining a soil pH of 6.5 to 6.8 and treating the plantation with fungicidal sprays can control this disease. Other diseases include stem canker and dieback caused by Phomopsis casuarinae, pink disease caused by Corticium salmonicolor, root rot disease caused by Ganoderma lucidum and heart rot caused by Polyporus glomeratus, Fomes fastuosus and F. senex. Stem canker and dieback can be controlled by carbendazim @ 0.01per cent.


Insect pest problems to the tune of regular epidemic infestations inflicting extensive economic losses rarely occur in casuarina.



Casuarina seedlings growing rapidly at the rate of about 1.2 to 1.5 m per annum during the initial seven to eight years are usually harvested in about 7-10 years. Yield of high density fuel-wood plantations varies from 10-20 tonnes per ha per year on 7-10 years rotations. Higher yields are reported from irrigated and fertilized sites.

Top     Back to Contents

EUCALYPTUS (Eucalyptus spp.)


Eucalyptus is an Australian genus comprising of 140 species. They are evergreen species, all more or less aromatic and containing oil glands in their leaves. Mysore gum (Eucalyptus tereticornis), flooded gum (Eucalyptus grandis), blue gum (Eucalyptus globulus) and lemon-scented gum (Eucalyptus citriodora) are the important eucalyptus species grown in Kerala. Of these, Mysore gum and flooded gum are important timber species in the low- and mid-altitudinal zones of the state, respectively. The cultivation practices of these two species are described below.


E. grandis grows best in deep, permanently moist, well-drained soils. E. tereticornis also prefers moist and well-drained soils such as loamy sands or alluvial loams, with high nutrient availability. A certain degree of salinity is tolerated, but strongly acid soils are ill suited. E. tereticornis adapts to a variety of sites, but responds poorly to excessively long dry periods. It is very easy to regenerate both species and they are good coppicers. The number of seeds per kilogram for E. grandis is 2.5 million, whereby roughly 630 viable seeds can be expected per gram. In the case of E. tereticornis one gram contains approximately 540 seeds.


Planting stock

Three-month-old containerized stock (polybag seedlings or root trainer seedlings) is recommended for planting. For seedling production, sow the seeds in seed tray in February. Trays should be kept moist with a fine spray of water until germination begins. Germination begins 7-9 days after sowing. The seedlings should be pricked out when they have two pairs of leaves into polybags of size 22 cm x 10 cm or root trainers. Planting stock of high yielding disease resistant clones are available at the KFRI / Kerala Forest Department nurseries.

Planting and stand management
Best time for planting is the beginning of rains. Planting is usually done in 20 cm x 20 cm x 20 cm pits (for clones use 30 cm cube pits) at 3 m x 3 m spacing. For production of pulpwood and fuel-wood, 6-10 year rotations are used without thinning. Depending on site conditions, E. grandis and E. tereticornis may respond to mineral fertilization with accelerated growth. Fertilizers may be applied at the rate of 30 g N, 30 g P2O5 and 15g K2O per sapling per year during the second, third and fourth years.

Injuries and protection

Polyphagous insects seem to attack the nursery stock. Quinalphos or malathion 0.05 per cent is recommended against them. Drenching the containers with chlorpyrifos is a preventive measure against termite attack in plantations. Quinalphos 0.05 per cent solution is recommended to control stem borer attack.


Cylindrocladium leaf blight and pink diseases are common in eucalyptus trees. To control Cylindrocladium leaf blight, drench the nursery with carbendazim 0.05 per cent. Bordeaux paste is recommended against pink disease. Use disease tolerant clones for, preventing the incidence of both diseases.

E. grandis wood is pink to pale reddish brown in colour. It has good bending properties. It is used for housing construction, floors, furniture, crates, and veneers, in the paper industry and as fuel-wood. E. tereticornis produces dark red wood. It is hard, strong, tough, heavy, very durable and resistant to termite attack. It is used for a wide range of construction applications, suited for trench linings and fuel-wood. E. globulus and E. citriodora leaves are used for commercial production of Eucalyptus oil.


Top     Back to Contents

MANGIUM (Acacia mangium)


Mangium is a major fast-growing tree species in forestry plantation programmes in Asia and the Pacific. It tolerates varied site conditions and has adaptability to different planting objectives. Mangium shows most vigorous growth on well-drained, fertile soils in high rainfall areas (>2000 mm annually) in the humid tropics.

Flowering in mangium is precocious. It starts to flower and produces seeds 18-20 months after planting. Pods can be collected from the trees in January-February under Kerala conditions, when the pods turn very dark-green to light-brown in colour. Seeds are extracted manually after sun-drying. Pods and seeds should not be left to dry in the sun for long. Store the seeds under dry and insect/rodent-free conditions. The number of seeds in one kg of pure seed varies among trees (mean: 125,000 seeds per kg).


Pre-sowing treatment and nursery practices

To break dormancy of mangium seeds, hot water treatment is recommended. The seeds are tied in porous cloth and immersed in near boling water (90°C) removed from the heat source for not more than 30 seconds. Pour off the water. Add cold water (room temperature) 20 times of the seed volume. Let stand overnight to imbibe and sow the seeds in the nursery beds/seed trays. Seed inoculation with appropriate rhizobial strain is recommended before sowing. Mangium seedlings are ready for pricking out in 6-10 days after sowing. Polythene bags are the most common containers used in thetropics for pricking out. Mangium seedlings attain a target size of 25-40 cm height in about 12 weeks. Seedlings are hardened by progressively reducing watering and removing shade in the nursery. If the seedlings have grown larger than the target size in the nursery, they may be lopped.


Planting and stand management

Planting is usually done in pits of 20 cm depth and 10-12 cm diameter. In monospecific stands, spacing of 2 m x 2 m or 2.5 m x 2.5 m is common. However, if saw log production (large diameter stems) is the objective, wider spacing (3-3.5 m between rows and between plants) should be followed. In agroforestry situations, spacing within rows and between rows must consider the effect of shade and root competition on the yield of associated crops. Shade tolerant crops such as turmeric and ginger can be intercropped with Mangium trees planted at 2 m x 4 m or 4 m x 4 m spacing. The crops can be raised in one meter wide beds laid in between the planting rows of Mangium.

First weeding must be carried out two months after planting and thereafter at regular intervals depending on weed growth. On favourable sites, mangium plants emerge and dominate the weeds within two years, thus not requiring any further weed control. Fertilizers may be applied @ 30-40 g N, 15-20 g P2O5 and K2O per seedling per year from the second year to the fifth year. Mangium needs regular pruning and thinning if the plantation objective is to produce quality saw logs on 15 to 20 year rotation. These operations in general are not required for pulp wood production on 6 to 8 years rotation. However, multi-stemmed seedlings may be `singled'. In pruning, branches are carefully removed in one or more steps along the bottom trunk up to about 6-7 m height. For saw log production regimes the following silvicultural schedule is recommended. The average wood yield per tree on a 15 years rotation is about 0.7 to 1.0 m3.

Table 26. Silvicultural management schedule for mangium saw log regime




4 months after planting

General slashing

Uproot all climbers within 45 cm radius of each plant.  Remove branches at height less than 30 cm from the ground.

6 months after planting

General slashing

As above

12 months after planting

General slashing and first pruning

Remove all branches up to 1.5-2.0 m height.

2 years after planting

First thinning and high pruning

Remove 300 trees/ha, retaining 600 trees/ha.  Prune branches up to 6 m height of the 200 selected trees (to be retained till end).

4-5 years after planting

Second thinning

Remove another 200 trees/ha retaining 400 trees/ha.

8-9 years after planting

Final thinning

Remove another 200 trees/ha.


Injuries and protection

Although root rot disease caused by Ganoderma sp. (red rot), Phellinus sp. (brown rot) and Rigidoporus lignosus are major problems in mangium stands, there are no specific control recommendations against these fungi. Signs of the disease are evident on the roots after the tree has fallen or upon excavation. Depending on, which fungus causes the disease, there may be dark reddish granular rusty brown encrustation or white thread-like rhizomorphs on the surface of the rots. The usual method of controlling root rot caused by fungi that spread by root contact is to remove and destroy all diseased roots and woody debris.

Chemical protection against pink disease (Corticium salmonicolor), especially in endemic areas, can be achieved by using copper fungicides. The best way to prevent pink disease, however, is to plant tolerant varieties.


Progressive decay of the heartwood (heart rot) is another malady afflicting mangium trees. Normally, fungi that decay heartwood do not attack sapwood; such trees continue to grow to maturity and may outwardly appear healthy and vigorous. However, since heart rot is progressive, there will be considerable decay cull at the end of the rotation. A variety of basidiomycete fungi have been associated with this malady. At present there are no control measures against mangium heart rot. The best way is to avoid injury to trees and wound dressing.

Although about 30 insect species are reported to be pests of mangium, only a few such as root feeders, branch and stem borers and the red coffee borer are considered economically important. Root feeders (Sternocera aequisignata) can be controlled by chlorpyrifos application to the soil or seedbeds. To prevent branch and twig borer (Sinoxylon anale) occurrence, remove and burn all broken branches in which breeding takes place. The only effective method to control red coffee borer (Zeuzera coffeae) damage is to inject insecticide into the holes where larvae push out their frass.

Utilization of mangium wood
Timber is used for a variety of purposes like wood-based panels, pulp and paper industry etc. Mangium wood gives attractive furniture, cabinets, moulds and door/ window components. However, the presence of flutes and incidence of rots and termite attack will detract both the quality and quantity of sawn timber from mangium logs. Therefore, mangium has greater potential as a component of composite wood products such as veneer and plywood, laminated veneer lumber, fibre boards etc. and for chemical uses such as pulp, paper and tannin production, besides fuel-wood.


Top     Back to Contents

TEAK (Tectona grandis)


Teak is the paragon among Indian timbers. It is a large tree that attains a height more than 30 m. Teakwood is extensively used in construction, for making door/window shutters and frames, furniture, cabinets, railway coaches and wagons, and ship/boat building. It is an ideal wood for parquet and decorative flooring and excellent wood for wall panelling. The species is indigenous to India and the Southeast Asian region. In India teak is distributed naturally in the peninsular region. It prefers a warm moist tropical climate with mean annual precipitation of 1100-2000 mm and a well-drained fertile soil. Being a strong light demander it does not tolerate overcrowding and does not withstand waterlogging.


Seeds (fallen fruits) should be collected from vigorously growing middle-aged trees characterized by straight boles, desirable branching habit, good form and less fluting. Freshly fallen intact fruits with inflated calyx from such trees can be collected during December-February. The ground must be cleared before hand by removing litter and other materials to facilitate seed collection.


After cleaning and drying the seeds may be safely stored in gunny bags or sealed containers. Seeds of diameter greater than 9 mm are usually collected. For convenience in storage and transport, the bladder like calyx of the fruit is removed. This is done by half-filling a bag with the fruits and vigorously rubbing and shaking it or by beating with sticks, after which the remains of the calyces are separated from the nuts by winnowing. Due to hard seed coat, germination of one-year old seeds is better than that of fresh seeds.


Pre-sowing seed treatment
1. Teak seeds kept in jute sacks should be soaked in water during night time and dried in sun during day time. This practice is to be continued for one week.
2. Termite feeding: Spread the teak fruits on the ground in a 5 cm layer immediately after collection. After about five weeks the termites remove the exocarp and subsequent germination after

alternate wetting and drying is found to be better.


Nursery practices

Raised beds (30 cm high, supported with split areca stems) of 10 m x 1 m are formed. Sand and soil mixed with FYM form the top layer. Sowing is done after the bed is watered. Usually the sowing is done by broadcast method or dibbling in April-May. Seed rate is 3-5 kg of seeds per bed. After sowing, the seeds may be pressed into the beds. A thin layer of soil also can be sprinkled to cover the seeds. The beds are also mulched with green leaves to reduce evaporation losses. The bed is then dusted with carbaryl 10 per cent to prevent insect attack.

One-year-old seedlings of 1-2 cm (thumb thickness) at the thickest portion below the collar are uprooted from mother beds and used for making stumps. Stumps with 1520 cm of root at 2-3 cm of stem prepared with sharp knife are commonly used for planting. Teak seedlings can be produced in shorter duration by using polythene bags or root trainers. Three to four month old teak

seedlings are pricked out from the germination beds into polythene bags (30 cm x 20 cm) in the month of March/April. Three-month-old root trainer seedlings are also popular, of late.



With the pre-monsoon showers, stump planting is done in crowbar holes during April-May (four to six weeks before the onset of regular monsoons). The site must be cleared of stubble or other competing vegetation, if any. If containerized planting stock (polybags, root trainer) is used, then optimal time of planting may be after the onset of southwest monsoon in June-July. They are usually planted in pits of size 30 cm x 30 cm x 30 cm. Spacing recommended for monospecific woodlot is 2 m x 2 m. However, if intercrops are proposed to be raised, then row-to-row distance can be altered. For one or two row strip plantings at farm boundaries, a closer plant-to-plant spacing of 1 m could be employed initially and later thinned to attain better size.


Weeding and fertilization

Six or seven weeding may be necessary during the first two years. Teak is very susceptible to weed competition. Fertilizers may be applied @ 30-40 g N, 15-20 g P2O5 and 15-20 g K2O per plant per year from the second year to the fifth year and thereafter once in three to four years for 10-12 years. In agroforestry situations, if the intercrops are fertilized, the quantities of chemical
fertilizers applied to teak can be proportionately reduced or even skipped. Providing life-saving irrigation during the summer season favours teak growth.



For a fifty-year rotation, monospecific teak plantation on a good site (initial spacing 2 m x 2 m), thinning may be carried out at 4, 8, 12, 18, 26 and 36 years after planting. Thinning in short rotation (25-30 years) high input plantations can be at 4, 8, 12 and 16 years. The thumb rule governing thinning is that trees should not be allowed to compete with each other for site resources, as intense competition may depress teak growth. Therefore, considering the site characteristics, tree growth rate and merchantability of the thinned out materials, a flexible thinning schedule can be adopted. A teak density management diagram can be used for this purpose. In general thinning is delayed on poor sites.


Mixed plantations
Fruit/spice/medicinal trees also can be successfully intercropped with teak throughout its growth. Additionally, inclusion of nitrogen fixing trees such as Gliricidia or Leucaena (subabul) either in alternate rows or every third row not only improves teak growth but also saves chemical nitrogenous fertilizers. However, manage (by lopping or pruning) the nitrogen fixing tree component in such a way that it does not compete with teak for light.


Pests, diseases and their control
White grubs feed on roots in the nursery. Vascular wilt disease (Burkholderia solanacearum) is noticed in nursery and young plantations. As preventive measures against this disease, maintain proper drainage and avoid root injury. Leaf spot disease (Phomopsis sp. and Colletotrichum gloeosporioides) in nursery and young plantations can be controlled by mancozeb 0.05 per cent or carbendazim 0.05 per cent application. Against pink disease (Corticium salmonicolor) in young plants, apply Bordeaux paste


Defoliators (Hyblaea purea) and skeletonisers (Eutectona machaeralis) can be controlled by quinalphos 25 EC 0.05 per cent spray. However, only in small plantations / woodlots chemical control through insecticide spray is advocated. For controlling stem borer (Sahyadrassus malabaricus) apply 0.2 per cent quinalphos at the site of infection after removing the frass. Avoid
injury to root and collar to prevent bud rot and heart rot occurrence. Cut and remove the parasitic plants (Dendrophthoe falcata var. pubescens) before fruiting.

Top     Back to Contents

THORNY BAMBOO (Bambusa arundinacea)


Bamboos are woody perennial grasses that occur in the tropical and subtropical evergreen and deciduous forest formations of Asia-Pacific. Important uses of bamboo include paper and pulp industry, fuel, food, feed, house construction, and scaffolding, making several articles of everyday use, besides controlling soil erosion. One hundred and thirty wild and cultivated bamboo
species are reported to occur in India. They exist under diverse ecological conditions, often as an under-storey in many forest types. In agroforestry, thorny bamboo is perhaps the most important species in Kerala.


Bamboos are propagated either by seeds or vegetative means (offsets, division, culm/ rhizome cuttings or layering). In general, bamboos are monocarpic, i.e. they flower only once and die after producing seeds. Most of the economically important bamboos flower gregariously at long intervals of 30-40 years. Although large quantities of seeds are produced during gregarious flowering, they are viable only for about six to eight months. Seeds can be germinated in nursery beds and pricked out into polybags of size 18 cm (flat width) x 22 cm. One year-old seedling can be used for planting. However, when seeds are not available, bamboos are propagated vegetatively.


Propagation by offsets is the common method of vegetative propagation. One-year-old culms in a clump are given a slanting cut at about 90 to 120 cm above the ground. The rhizomes to which they are attached are dug out with the roots intact. The shoot portion is then cut off to a length sufficient to include a well-developed bud. These offsets are planted out sufficiently deep in the soil to cover the first two or three nodes. Planting should be carried out immediately before the rainy season. During extraction care must be taken to avoid damage to roots and rhizomes of mother clumps.

Work at the KFRI has shown that using rooted culm cuttings is a viable alternative to the laborious offset method. For vegetative propagation using culm cuttings, extract 2 to 3 year old culms from healthy clumps by cuttings just above the first node during March-April. Trim the leaves and side branches without injuring the axillary buds. Prepare two-node cuttings (leaving about 57 cm on either side of the nodes) using a sharp knife or saw. Make a small slit (about 2 m long and 1 cm wide) or drill holes (about 7 mm diameter) in the middle of the inter node. Wrapping in moist gunny bag or embedding in boxes containing moist saw dust might minimize exposure of the cuttings. Pour about 200 ml of NAA (1naphthalene acetic acid) solution (100 ppm) carefully into the culm cavity through the slit and close the slit/hole by wrapping with a polythene strip. Ensure that the polythene wrapping is tight so that the solution does not leak out. After extraction, the culm cuttings should be treated with NAA as quickly as possible.


Prepare raised nursery beds of 10 m x 1 m and fill with a mixture of soil and sand (3:1). One week prior to planting, drench the nursery bed with 30 litres of carbendazim 0.05 per cent to prevent fungal attack. Place the cutting horizontally (the opening facing upwards) across the nursery bed. About 5060 cuttings may be conveniently planted in a raised nursery bed. Cover the cuttings with a thin layer of soil. Provide shade and water the beds regularly till the onset of monsoon but avoid waterlogging. Rooted cuttings can be transplanted to the field in about four months.Cuttings sprouted and rooted at both the nodes of a culm cutting must be separated carefully through the middle to get two plants.

Propagation by division is usually done in the case of dwarf bamboos, which are easy to handle. It involves splitting / dividing the mass of rhizomes and planting out the culms in small clumps with two or three culms attached. Other methods of vegetative propagation include rhizome cuttings and air layers. Sections of fresh living rhizome of the preceding year about 15 to 30 cm long containing at least one bud and air layers form successful means of propagating some bamboo species.


Planting and fertilization

Spacing recommended for mono-specific bamboo plantations is 10 m x 10 m. Propagules can be planted in pits of size 45 cm x 45 cm x 45 cm. Fertilizers may be applied @ 40 g N,

10 g P2O5 and 75 g K2O per plant per year in 1-2 year old plantations.

Competitive interactions in bamboo-based agroforestry
Being perennial grasses, bamboos have higher root length densities than dicots. Thus in mixed species system, bamboos may out-compete the field crops or other tree crops grown in association. However, interspecific competition in bamboo-based agroforestry systems can be overcome by planting crop 8-9 m away from the bamboo clumps. Trenching (30-40 cm wide and 50-60 cm deep at 5-6 m away from the clumps) to spatially isolate bamboo roots from the rest of the crops is recommended, if crops are to be planted at shorter distances. Bamboo root competitiveness is usually a function of its rooting intensity with crown radius. Larger clumps have wider foraging zones usually extending to about 8 to 9 m. Therefore canopy reduction treatments such as pruning and culm thinning are appropriate to surmount interspecific competition. Pruning up to a height of 1.5 above the ground is recom-mended in plantations of four year and above. Also remove the dry and dead culms from the centre of the clump to reduce congestion.


Pests and diseases
The bamboo plantations in Kerala do not face any serious insect problems. Young plants, however, are likely to be affected by shoot borers and sap suckers. In bamboo nurseries, damping off caused by Rhizoctonia solani is a major disease. It can be controlled by prophylactic fungicidal treatment and by regulation of shade and watering. In young plantations, rhizome bud rot (Pythium sp., Fusarium sp.), rhizome decay (Pseudomonas sp.) and basal culm decay (Fusarium sp.) are important.


Extraction of bamboo culms
Either all the old culms, i.e. those more than three years old (six years in the case of clumps regenerated from seedling) or a certain number of mature culms are removed annually. Older culms in the interior of the clumps should be removed in a horseshoe pattern. The height of cuttings is usually at 30-50 cm above ground. It is necessary that cuttings should leave at least one node above the ground to prevent rainwater soaking into the rhizome.

Top     Back to Contents

WILD JACK OR AINI (Artocarpus hirsutus)


Ideally suited for boundary planting and as scattered trees on the farm field.


Performance under monocultural  situations is not promising. Seeds or wildings (scattered seedlings found profusely on the farm fields) can be collected during the monsoon season and planted at the desired spots in the field. On farm boundaries, closer plant-to-plant spacing (1 m) can be adopted.

Top     Back to Contents

ROSEWOOD (Dalbergia latifolia)


Rose wood is an important timber yielding tree of South India. It is the costliest timber in the world trade. It varies in size according to locality and attains its maxi mum growth in the southern region of Western Ghats. It reaches to a maximum height of 40 m and a girth of 6.0 m. Uncontrolled felling caused the widespread removal of rose wood from our forests. Wayanad district of Kerala is famous for the abundance of rose wood trees.

Artificial Propagation
Propagation is possible both by direct sowing and by planting seedlings, root suckers and sections of lateral roots. Stump planting of nursery seedlings is favoured, particularly in the west coast. Mature pods are collected from the trees during November-December. For direct sowing it is advisable to break the pods into one seeded parts. It can be stored up to 6 months after sun drying. Seed weight is 18000 seeds/kg. Soaking in cold water for 24 hours before sowing will result in 80 per cent germination. Instead of direct sowing, nursery raised seedling or stumps are also used to raise plantations. Seeds are sown in raised nursery beds during rainy season. Seeds start germinating within one week. The beds are regularly watered and weeded. One year old seedlings are used to prepare stumps. Stumps are prepared by pruning shoots having a diameter of more than 3 cm and roots at a length of 30 cm. Seedlings of 30cm tall, 3cm collar diameter, 30-40 leaves, 10-15cm root length are normally transplanted. Through tissue culture, good planting materials can be produced which was proved by the research work carried at the Kerala Agricultural University, College of Forestry. During initial years, the seedlings should be protected from weeds, cattle and fire.

Natural regeneration
Under natural conditions, regeneration by seeds and root suckers takes place. Wind dispersed seeds will germinate in the early part of the rainy season. The conditions favourable for seed germination and seedling growth are moderate shade, loose and fairly moist soil. For the further development of saplings overhead light is necessary. The seedlings should be protected from fire, weeds and cattle. The tree produces a large number of root suckers from its long, horizontal, superficial root branches. Root suckers can also be used for propa gation.Wounding of roots by digging around trees stimulates root sucker production.


Planting and stand management

Saplings of rosewood can be planted in pits of 30cm cube made at a spacing of 5x5m. Pits are taken before the onset of monsoon and filled with 5 Kg of FYM and top soil. Initial growth of tree is found to be relatively low. Even though habitat is deciduous, it is evergreen in the moist zone of its distribution. In dry areas it shed leaves during February-March and then flushes soon. White flowers will be produced during January-February. Fruit will start developing during March and takes 7-8 months to mature. It is drought resistant. It stands a fair amount of shade, especially when young, but benefits greatly by overhead light. In too open situations, it tends to become crooked and branchy. Though it can withstand fire, fire protection measures are beneficial for the economic development of Indian rose wood forests. The growth of the tree is very slow . It thrives best on well drained, deep, moist soil, particularly in the neighbourhood of perennial streams. Weeding particularly during the early stages are recommended. Depending up on the age and size, about 50-70g of N.,30-50 g P2O 5 and 30-50g K2O along with 30 Kg of FYM per plant is applied from second year onwards during monsoon.


Plant protection
Fungi belonging to the genus Polystictus, Schizophyllum, Trametes etc. produce rot diseases. Damping off disease by phytophthora is also common particularly in nursery which can be controlled by carbendazim 0.05 per cent. Pests of Coccidae and Membracidae family also attack these plants. Shoot webber Atteva sp and defoliator Eligma is seen in some places which can be controlled by Quinalphos 0.05 per cent.


The sapwood is narrow and pale yellowish white in colour, often with a purple tinge. The heart wood ranges in colour from golden brown through shades of light rose, purple with darker streaks to deep purple with rather distinct black lines, darkening with age. It is fragrant, heavy, narrowly interlocked grained and medium coarse textured. The timber is stronger and much harder than teak and has a slightly higher elastic limit than Burma teak. Harvesting is done after 60-70 years. One cubic meter wood weighs about 880 kg.

Indian rosewood ranks among the finest woods for furniture and cabinet work. It is also a valuable decorative wood suitable for carving and ornamental ply boards and veneers. It is used for making windows, doors, agricultural implements etc. It is grown in coffee plantations as a shade tree. The bark of the tree contains tannin. Parts of the tree are reported to be useful as stimulant and appetiser and also used for the treatment of dyspepsia, diarrhoea, leprosy, obesity etc. Leaves are used as fodder. It increases the soil nitrogen content. So it is use in agro forestry and social forestry programmes.

Top     Back to Contents


SANDAL (Santalum album)


Sandal is a beautiful sacred tree and has been widely described in the ancient Hindu scriptures and epics. The tree is a native of India. This crooked thin branched evergreen tree is one of the costliest timbers. The world famous sandal wood oil is extracted from its heartwood. Full grown trees will attain about 12-13 m height and 1-2 m diameter.It is found in most parts of India. Sandal, which is distributed from sea level up to about 1800 m height, is found to grow in a variety of soils. Sandal which grow on sandy soil are more fragrant. Places where average annual

rainfall is about 700-1600 mm is best suited for its growth.

Artificial propagation

Usually nursery raised seedlings are transferred to field. Pods are collected during the month of April, May, September and October. Collected pods are soaked in water and dried well after removing fleshy portion.1 kg pod contains 6000 seeds. Dipping seeds in Gibberellic acid 50ppm will be effective for germination. Cold water dipping for 24 hrs will result in 30-40 per cent germination. Soil beds of size 10 x 1m are used for sowing. Before this, soil has to be thoroughly mixed with Ekalux. 2 ½ kg seeds can be sown in each bed. Beds have to be covered with hay. Healthy seedlings are to be transferred in polythene bags. If seedlings are to be retained in the polythene bags beyond one year, host plants are necessary. Host plant will help it in its early stages of growth. Branches of the host have to be cut down (removed) frequently.


Natural regeneration

Natural regeneration is by bird dispersed seeds. Seedlings are naturally seen in shrubby areas / places well surrounded by thick vegetation. This is meant for protection against sun rays, animals, drought etc. Natural propagation becomes easier if soil is wet and a host plant like Lantana is available near.


Planting and management

After a period of 8-10 months, seedlings of size of 20 cm tall, 5cm girth with 20-25 leaves with brownish stem and small branches are transferred to field. Three methods are used for field preparation. In one method, seeds are allowed to germinate by placing in small pits. This method is practiced usually in shrubby areas, where sprouting seedlings are well protected during rainy season.

In the second method, seeds are placed in large pits / soil mound along with host plants. In the third method, seeds are allowed to geminate within polythene bags and transferred to field in 50 cm x 50 cm x 50 cm pits with a spacing of 3 m between plants filled with 5kg FYM. Host plant is also planted along with each sandal seedling. This is the best method. Suitable host plants are Pongamia pinnata and Casuarina equisetifolia

Sandal is a semi root parasite. It means that during the early stages of its development, it absorbs food from another plant (host plant). Flowering begins after 2-3 years of vegetative growth. It happens twice in a year from March to May and September to December. As these two flowering seasons coincide, both buds as well as mature pods are found on the same plant. Simultaneously, shade bearing capacity changes gradually and the tree later becomes a light dependent one. Small root suckers are seen arising from the cut portions. Sunlight will produce small cracks on the outer skin surface of the plant especially in the case of young trees. In extreme conditions, the wood may get exposed and the plant will undergo total damage. In order to give protection from this, the surrounding vegetation has to be retained. Fertilization is done with 30-50 g N, 25-50g P2O5 and 30-50g K2O in addition to 40 g FYM per plant per year depending upon the size and age of plant.


Plant protection
Sandal spike disease is a serious problem. This is believed to be caused by mycoplasma like organisms.In affected plants, growth of leaves gets stunted (assumes a spike like form and hence the name "spike disease") and later premature leaf fall occurs. Within 2-3 years, plant will die. A preventive measure is yet to be known. However, removal of affected plant parts or plants as a whole from the field is recommended against spike disease. Spike disease is transferred by pests like Jassidus indicus, Moono albimaculata etc. These vectors can be controlled by quinalphos 0.05 per cent. Sandal is also affected by stem borers such as Zeuzera coffeae, Aristobia octo-fasiculata etc which can be controlled by spraying dimethoate 0.05 per cent.


Sapwood is whitish or yellowish white with no smell. Heartwood changes in colour from yellowish brown to reddish brown and has a good smell. Heartwood is produced only after 20 years of growth. Usually trees are uprooted instead of cutting from the ground level as oil content in roots is greater. One cubic meter wood weighs about 897-1137 kg. The "Kerala Preservation of Trees

Act 1986" has put restriction on cutting this tree. Permit is needed for its collection, retention or sale. One can keep up to 3 kg of sandal for domestic purposes without licence. A sanctioned certificate of ownership from Tahsildar is to be submitted before Divisional Forest Officer by people who have sandal tree at home. About 75 per cent of the selling price of a sandal tree goes to its owner. On the basis of quality, grade 1kg sandal costs about Rs. 250-500/-.



Dark red coloured oil from seeds is used in making varnishes. It is also found to be effective in skin diseases. Sandal wood oil from heartwood and roots is useful for the synthesis of powder, soap, perfumes and other cosmetic items. Sandal wood and oil are medicinal and also has religious importance. Sandal wood is used in making small boxes, stationery items, jewellery boxes etc.

Top     Back to Contents


KAMPAKAM (Hopea parviflora)


In Kerala, Kampakam is also known as Thampakam, Irippu, Irumpakam etc. This round headed huge tree is found in the wet evergreen forests of Western Ghats. Full grown tree usually attains 30-37 m height and 4-4.5 m breadth at the end of 40 years. Mostly distributed in areas which are located in between sea level and 1100 m above it. Heavy rainfall and properly drained and aerated soil are necessary for its growth. Seen abundantly along river banks and hill slopes with fertile soil.

Artificial propagation

Artificial propagation is by seeds.Seeds can be stored in sacks up to 20 days. 1 kg will contain about 2500 seeds. Both direct sowing or by transferring nursery raised seedlings to fields are practiced. It is good to sow seeds soon after collection as they are recalcitrant. In the case of direct sowing, shady and weed free localities are preferable. Shade trees should be removed after 4-5 years of growth. Usually a distance of 3m x 3m , or 4m x 4m are used. If nursery raised seedlings are used for planting, shady areas have to be preferred. After sowing, soil covering of thickness not more than 4 mm is given. If there is no rainfall, regular watering is essential. Germination takes place within 2-3 weeks.


Natural regeneration

Seen in forests by germination of wind dispersed seeds during rainy season. Only in sunny regions, seedlings are found to grow well.

Planting and management

Seedlings of 14 to 16 months old plants are to be transferred to fields. Planting is done in pits of 45 cm cube with the onset of monsoon at a spacing of 4m x 4m filled with 5kg FYM. Weeding and thinning are necessary for seedling growth. From second year onwards depending on size of plant, 50-70g N,40-50g P2O5, 40-60g K2O along with 30 kg FYM are applied to each plant.

If the area is fertile, within 40 years, timber of above 20 m height and 150 cm diameter will be obtained.

Even though Kampakam is an ever green tree, it will drop mature leaves during the months of December and April. They will produce pale yellowish flowers during January to February. Seeds attain maturity during the months of May-June. They can overcome drought as they are deep rooted. They prefer wet areas. Although they are shade tolerant during their early stages of growth later it becomes a light demander. Dense vegetation will destroy its seedlings. It is sensitive to fire and frost.

Plant protection
Usually the tree is affected by fungi like Fomes lamaocnis, Tramelies spongi pellis etc which will cause rotting. Leaf spot by Botryodiplodia theobrommae is serious in some parts. Plants are also affected by stem borers like Xyleborus, Mussicus etc which can be controlled by quinalphos 0.05 per cent.

Timber is having more strength, weight and hardness than teak. One cubic meter timber weights about 945 kg. It is not easy to differentiate heartwood and sapwood. Reddish brown timber possess white patches here and there.



As bark contains tannin, it is used in tanning industry. Termite and pest infections are rare, so it used in manufacture of furniture, railway sleeper, buildings etc.

Top     Back to Contents

IRUL (Xylia xylocarpa)


Locally this is also known as Irumullu, Kadamaram, Iruppool, Panka, Pankali etc. These large sized trees are commonly seen in the deciduous forests. Mostly found in places located about 600 m above sea level. In the forest areas of malabar, a large number of trees having 30 m height and 2.5 m diameter can be seen. Profusely branched stem is its characteristic feature. Reddish ash bark is very rough and cracky. In dry areas stunted growth is reported. Grows well in places where annual rainfall is above 1000 mm and atmosphere is hot as well as humid. River banks and places with red soil are best suited for its growth. Lateritic soil is also found to be good for this species.Poor growth in clay soil.


Artificial propagation
This is effected by direct sowing, or by planting stumps and seedlings from nursery or seedlings from forest. Sun dried seeds are used for sowing in the field. This method is found to be the most efficient one. Soaking the seeds in cold water overnight enhances germination. Seeds are sown on loose soil. Avoid clay soil. Weeding is necessary during seedling stage. Soaking the seeds in growth hormones like IAA 250ppm or GA 50 ppm for 30 minutes will enhance germination to 70 per cent..

Natural regeneration
Large number of seedlings are naturally found growing in forests. They are fire and drought resistant.

Planting and management

Planting in the field is done at a spacing of 4m x 4m .Standard pits are filled with rich top soil and FYM 5 kg. In addition to FYM, from second or third year onwards, 50-70g N,50-60 g P2O5 and 50-70g K2O is also added to each plant depending on size. Growth is fast during favourable season. It attains a diameter increment of about 6 cm/year. Felling can be done after a period of 30-50 years growth.


At the end of the winter season, leaf fall will start. Soon after new sprouts and flowers will be produced. Light yellow flowers possess a good smell. Pods are of length 10-15 cm and diameter 4-5 cm and these brownish red pods have the shape of shoes. 8-10 seeds are present in one pod. 1 kg pod contains more than 3000 seeds. During the early stages of growth, shady regions are preferred. Later they become light demanding. Root suckers are abundantly produced in certain regions. It is a very good coppicer also.


Plant protection
In fire damaged areas, xylia trees are found to be infected by fungi like Fomes, Polystictus etc. Stem borers and defoliators also cause severe damage. Growing of trees in healthy environmental conditions, preventing fire, grazing etc is found to be more effective than using pesticides, fungicides etc.


Reddish brown heartwood posses white lines. Sapwood is pale coloured. Has more strength and hardness than teak. One cubic meter timber weights about 832-944 kg. Wood is termite resistant. Sawn wood can be stored for about 10-15 years without any preservative treatment.


Due to the presence of resin in the wood, they can resist the attack of fungi, termites etc. Hopea timber was used in the manufacture of railway sleepers. It is also used in making pillars of huge building, bridges etc. It can resist damage by water. Pulp is used in paper industry. During the ancient period, the timber was used for making coal in iron furnace. Bark is having medicinal value. Powdered bark mixed with honey is a good medicine for diarrhoea, vomiting, gonorrhoea etc. Skin contains tannin also. Pod is edible. Leaves can be used as a bio fertilizer. Suitable for rearing Lac insect.

MAHAGONY (Switenia macrophylla)


It is an evergreen tree attaining a height of about 30-40 m and a diameter of about 3-4 m within a span of 30-35 years. This is an exotic species with bark peeling feature. Abundant growth occurs in places with average annual rainfall of 1500-5000 mm and in fertile laterite soil.

Artificial propagation

Easiest method of propagation is by using seeds.Seeds are obtained by drying the collected pods. Viability lasts for only up to 7 months. Seeds are placed in small pits at a distance of 7.0 cm x 7.5 cm or 10 x 10 cm.


Germination starts within 2 weeks. Seedlings of height of 30cm, 2cm diameter with about 20 leaves are transferred to pits in the field. Direct sowing is found to be successful. Seedlings can also be transplanted in polythene bags. Polybaged seedlings having a height of 30cm with 20 leaves are found to be better planting materials in the main field.

Natural regeneration
By the germination of fallen seeds. Removal of shade is essential for its germination.


Planting and management

Poly bagged seedlings are the best planting materials in the main field. Planting is done in pits of 35cm cube filled with top soil and 10 kg of FYM. Pits are taken with the onset of monsoon and planting is done during June-July. Unlike other species slightly wider spacing of 3m x 3m is given in the main field. Though the trees are evergreen in nature, leaf fall occurs during the months of February, March. Red coloured young leaves appear to develop at about the beginning of April-May months. Pod maturation occurs in a year. The tree is somewhat shade tolerant. Extreme shade is detrimental. Frost sensitive. Can be cultivated as a mixed crop in teak plantations. Fertilization at the rate of 30-50 g N, 40-50 g P2O5, 50-70g K2O along with 20-30 kg FYM per plant depending on size is good from second year onwards.


Plant protection

Fungi like Botryodiplodia theobromae and Coletotrichum gloeosporioides produce leaf spot disease. This can be controlled by spraying carbendazim 0.05 per cent .The stem borer, Hypsophylla robusta is also found to infect the tree. Cultivating mahagony in blocks, along with cashew tree will prevent the attack of stem borers.

One cubic meter of timber with annual rings weighs about 560 kg and is of light reddish in colour. The wood is durable, attractive and has high demand in the market.


Wood is used for making furniture and oil from seed is used in soap industry. It is one of the best materials for staining and design works.

THEMBAVU (Terminalia tomentosa)


This tree is known as "Crocodile barked tree" as the thick, dark coloured, spitted bark looks like the skin of a crocodile. Very suitable for afforestation purposes in open places with clayey soil. It grows to about 36 m height and attains a diameter of about 4 m if the climate is favourable. It grows well in places located at about 800 m above sea level.


Artificial propagation

By direct sowing or by planting nursery raised seedlings. In the case of direct sowing, seeds are sown in lines keeping a distance of 12 cm between. Soaking the seeds in cold water for 24 h will result better germination. Weeding is necessary. Thinning is also essential for their healthy growth.


Planting and management
Planting is done in pits of 30 cm cube along with onset of monsoon at a distance of 5mx5m. Plants are generally sensitive and watering and weeding are important during the initial years of establishment of plantation. Leaf fall occurs during January-February. Young leaves appear during March and April. Bunches of white flowers are produced during the months of May-June. Pods get matured within 5-6 months. Root system grows deeply in the soil. Small suckers are seen sprouting out from the exposed roots. Best coppicer also. Though the tree can grow in almost all types of soils, laterite soil with proper drainage is best suited. It is drought sensitive and frost resistant.


Plant protection

Wood rot is caused by Dacdalea flavida, Fomes melanoporus, Ganoderma lucidum etc. Metanestria hyrtaca, Denia litura etc cause premature leaf fall.Fungal diseases can be controlled by spraying carbendazim 0.05 per cent.



Heartwood is dark ash coloured with black spots and lines. Sap wood is reddish white. Though this is not good as that of teak, industrially it is very important. One cubic meter wood weights about 375-761 kg.



Wood is used for making building, furniture, railway sleepers etc. Tassar silkworm moths eats its leaves. Bark contains tannin, hence used in tanning industry. Gum from the tree has medicinal value. Juice from bark is a good colouring agent for cotton and silk cloths.

Top     Back to Contents

VENGA (Pterocarpus marsupium)


Venga is one of the largest trees of deciduous forests. Highly branched (spreading) crown is its characteristic feature. Reddish gum is seen flowing through the timber. It attains a height of about 30 m and diameter of about 2 ½ m. Grown in steep hill slopes and plain areas. In Kerala, it is found in regions located about 1070 m above sea level. Even though they grow in almost all types of soil, good drainage is essential. Regions having rainfall 75-200 cm is best suited. This light dependent tree becomes frost sensitive during the later stages of growth.


Artificial propagation

Artificial propagation is by seeds. Seeds are collected from full grown trees and soaked in cold water for about 2-3 days before sowing. Germination stars with in 10-15 days.Seedlings of 10cm height are transplanted in polythene bags filled with potting mixture. Bagged seedlings are kept under partial shade in nursery. One kg of seed lot contains about 1000 seeds.


Natural regeneration

Natural propagation is by seeds. In the seedling stage, shade is necessary. Protecting trees from animals and fire and also ploughing the soil enhances natural propagation

Planting and management

Site preparation includes ploughing the land and making 30 cm cube pits before the onset of monsoon. Pits are filled with red soil and 5 kg FYM. Planting is done at a spacing of 4m x 4m along with south west monsoon. Fertilizer mixture of 60-70gN, 50-60g P2O5, 50-70g K2O along with 25-30 kg FYM per plant is recommended from 2nd or 3rd year onwards. In the seedling stage shading is necessary. Lateral branches are pruned from third year onwards.

Plant protection
The fungi, Polyporus gilvus,Ganoderma lucidum, Fomes fastuvosue etc are commonly found to infect this tree. Common fungicides can be used to prevent their attack.


Sapwood is pale white. Yellowish brown heartwood possess dark lines. 1 m3 timber weighs about 800 kg. The timber is highly durable upto or more than 20-22 years. Drying of timber in sun light, after soaking in water for about 6 weeks is effective in improving durability and also useful for removing stains.

This tree is best suited for agroforestry and social forestry. Used as a shade tree in the tea and coffee plantations of South India. Gum-keno obtained from Pterocarpus is used for dyeing, printing, tanning etc. Leaves are used as cattle feed and green manure. Flowers and bark have medicinal properties also.Timber is used for the manufacture of posts, buildings, beams, furniture, boat, agricultural instruments etc.

Top     Back to Contents

CHADACHI (Grewia tilifolia)

Chadachi, also known as Uthi, has the timber looks like that of teak and is most commonly found in the moist deciduous forests of Kerala. Usually they attain a height of 12 m and 1.5 m diameter. But remarkable growth is seen in trees growing along the Western ghats which possess a height of 24 m and a diameter of 2m. This grows well on soil which is best suited for teak plantations. Even though best growth occurs in full sun light, they are shade tolerant. It is also frost sensitive. Root suckers are produced abundantly. This species is also a good coppicer. Leaf fall occurs during the month of March, and new leaves are produced during the month of April. Flower production is in February and seeds begin to mature during May.


Artificial propagation
Seeds can be collected during the months of June-August and can be stored up to 4 months. Artificial propagation is possible by direct sowing or by planting stumps or nursery raised seedlings in the field. Warm water treatment of seeds are found to be good for better germination.


Planting and management
Planting and management practices are similar to that of venga.


Plant protection

In the case of old trees, wood rot is caused by the fungus Ganoderma sp. Therefore, aged trees have to be cut and removed as early as possible. Grown up trees are also affected by stem borers and defoliators, which can be controlled by spraying quinalphos 0.05 per cent.

Heart wood is reddish brown with black patches. Brown colour of sapwood deepens with age. More strong and elastic than Teak. One cubic meter timber has about 785 kg weight. Easy for felling and sawing.


Timber is used for making furniture, vehicle parts, windows, doors etc. Skin and timber have some medicinal property. Coir is made from skin fibres. Seeds are edible. Leaves are good cattle
feed. Mucilaginous extract from leaves is good for hair health.

Top     Back to Contents

PUNNA (Calophyllum ionophyllum)


This is a medium sized evergreen tree best suited for protecting sea shores. Ash coloured or dark green leaves are its characteristic features. Grown well in sandy and alluvial soils. Mostly distributed along sea shores and also in the tropical evergreen forests. Cultivated as shade giving plants along road sides and also as ornamental one.


Artificial propagation

Artificial propagation is by direct sowing or by planting nursery raised seedlings. Pods are collected during the month of March. One kilogram contains about 250 seeds. Hard coat is to be removed. Soaking the seeds in cold water for 12 hours or warm water for 40 minutes is recommended for enhancing germination. Soaking in dilute sulphuric acid for 20 minutes is also found to enhance germination.


Planting and management

Planting is done mainly during the monsoon season. Pit planting is recommended at a spacing of 3m x 3m. It prefers a sandy loam soil. Watering is essential in summer months particularly during initial stages of development. It can be raised both as pure crop and also interplanted with banana or pepper. Two to three weeding are necessary during the initial stages of development.

Fertilizers at the rate of 25-30g N.,15-20g P2O5 and 20-25 g K2O can be applied depending up on size and age. There is regional variations in flowering seasons. In Kerala, flowers are produced during the months of March-April. Pods get matured at the time of May-June. This is a light demanding tree. Fire and wind will cause severe damage.


Plant protection

Rotting is caused by fungi belonging to the genus Fomes. Young plants are also infected by fungi like Trichosoma which can be controlled by spraying 1 per cent Bordeaux mixture



Sapwood has pale reddish white colour. Heartwood is reddish brown with mottled dark lines. Felling and sawing are very easy. It can be kept in water for a long period of time without any damage. One cubic meter timber weighs about 655 kg.



Wood is used for making posts, beams, furniture etc. Used in plywood industry also. Dark green coloured oil from seeds is a good fuel and used for making soap, varnishes etc. Oil cake is a fertilizer. Saponin in the leaves is detritus to fishes

Top     Back to Contents


Agrisilvicultural systems


Shade loving crops such as ginger perform better in the inter-spaces of tree species such as ailanthus (at four years of age, planted at a spacing of 2 m x 2 m; with 60 per cent of the light in the open).


Multipurpose tree species like ailanthus, teak, vellapine, silver oak and green manure yielding trees can be successfully interplanted in the older coconut plantation (preferably above 30 years of age), often in association with other field crops including medicinal plants such as kacholam. Depending on the space available (between coconut palms), one or two rows of multi-purpose trees can be accommodated in the middle (spacing 1-2 m between plants). Tree management such as lopping / pollarding etc. is important to prevent any possible inter-specific
competition between the multipurpose tree component and the coconut palms.

Top     Back to Contents

Kerala Agricultural University. 2011. Package of Practices Recommendations: Crops.

14th Edition. Kerala Agricultural University, Thrissur. 360p.