Gmelina arborea (Tamil : Kumil Tree or Kumul) is a rapidly growing tree, which due to its drought tolerance and excellent wood properties, is emerging as an important plantation species. The contents I have given below are gleaned from various websites and edited for your easy reading.
Gmelina arborea From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Gmelina arborea is locally called by different names in different languages:
• Assamese- gomari
• Bengali- gamari, gambar, gumbar
• Gujarati- Shewan, Sivan
• Hindi- gamhar, khamara, khumbhari, sewan
• Kannada- kulimavu, kumbuda, kumulu
• Kasmiri- mara, shivani
• Latvian - gmelīne
• Malayalam- kumbil, kumbulu, kumilu, kumiska, pokki
• Maltese - sigra
• Marathi- shivan, siwan
• Oriya- bhodropornni, gambari, kumar
• Punjabi- gumhar, kumhar
• Sanskrit- bhadraparni, gambhari, gandhari, kasmari,
krishnavrintaka, sarvatobhadra, shriparni
• Tamil- kumla, kumalamaram, kumil, ummithekku
• Telugu- gumartek, gummadi, summadi
• Sinhala- Demata
Gmelina arborea is a fast growing deciduous tree, which though grows on different localities at altitudes up to 1500 meters and prefers moist fertile valleys with 750-4500 mm rainfall. It does not thrive on ill-drained soils and remains stunted on dry, sandy or poor soils; drought also reduces it to a shrubby form.
The Gmelina arborea tree attains moderate to large height up to 30 m with girth of 1.2 to 4.5 m with a clear bole of 9-15 m. It has a smooth whitish grey (ashy) corky bark, warty with lenticular tubercles exfoliating in regular patches when old.
It is a treat to see the Gmelina arborea tree standing straight with clear bole having branches on top and thick foliage forming a conical crown on the top of the tall stem. The bark is light grey coloured, exfoliating in light coloured patches when old, blaze thick, a chlorophyll layer just under the outer bark, pale yellow white inside.
Gmelina arborea wood is pale yellow to cream coloured or plukish-buff when fresh, turning yellowish brown on exposure and is soft to moderately hard, light to moderately heavy, lustrous when fresh, usually straight to irregular or rarely wavy grained and medium course textured. Flowering takes place during February to April when the tree is more or less leafless whereas fruiting starts from May onwards up to June.
This tree is commonly planted as a garden and an avenue tree and also in villages along agricultural land, on village community lands and on wastelands. It is light demander, tolerant of excessive drought, but moderately frost hardy, has good capacity to recover in case of frost- injury.
This tree coppices (a thicket of small trees or shrubs; coppice) very well with vigorous growth. Saplings and young plants need protection from deer and cattle.
Utilization of the species
Gmelina arborea timber is reasonably strong for its weight. It is used in constructions, furniture, carriages, sports, musical instruments and artificial limbs. Once seasoned, it is a very steady timber and moderately resistant to decay and ranges from very resistant to moderately resistant to termites.
The root and bark of Gmelina arborea are stomachic, galactagogue laxative and anthelmintic; improve appetite, useful in hallucination, piles, abdominal pains, burning sensations, fevers, 'tridosha' and urinary discharge. Leaf paste is applied to relieve headache and juice is used as wash for ulcers.
Flowers are sweet, cooling, bitter, acrid and astringent. They are useful in leprosy and blood diseases.
In Ayurveda, it has been observed that Gamhar fruit is acrid, sour, bitter, sweet, cooling, diuretic tonic, aphrodisiac, alternative astringent to the bowels, promote growth of hairs, useful in 'vata', thirst, anaemia, leprosy, ulcers and vaginal discharge.
The plant is recommended in combination with other drugs for the treatment of snakebite and scorpion sting. In snakebite a decoction of the root and bark is given internally.
GAMHAR (Gmelina arborea): Indian Council of Forestry Research and Education, Dehradun
Performance of Gmelina arborea with Vam Inoculation in Acid Soil
Result: VAM inoculated seedlings were significantly taller than the uninoculated trees. Gmelina inoculated with VAM was significantly bigger and produced higher biomass compared to the control.
Pests and diseases:
Perhaps the greatest threat to plantations of this tree is damage due to pests and diseases. Numerous insect pests and pathogens have been recorded in stands of gmelina in areas where the trees are native.
• Some fungal pathogens have been introduced into areas where the trees have been established as exotics. Among these, leaf spot caused by Pseudocercospora ranjita is most widespread although it has not caused any substantial damage. A serious vascular wilt disease caused by Ceratocystis fimbriata in Brazil has caused the most significant failure of G. arborea in plantations.
• In plantations within the natural range of the tree, insects have caused substantial damage. Among these, the defoliator Calopepla leayana (Chrysomelidae) appears to be most important. No serious insect pest problems have been recorded where G. arborea is grown as an exotic.
All indications are that pathogens and insect pests will become much more serious impediments to the propagation of gmelina in the future. However, excellent opportunities exist to resolve such problems through biological control of insects and integrated disease and pest management.
In addition, gmelina can be vegetatively propagated and thus, breeding and selection for insect and pathogen tolerance will facilitate the propagation of healthy trees.
The species has generated much interest because of its fast growth (the wood density of gmelina is approximately 410 kg/m3 at 8 years of age) and quick return on investment.
Provenance research in Gmelina arborea Linn., Roxb.
Can be seen in this link:
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