Thursday, June 4, 2009

Melia dubia ( Tamil: Malai Vembu )

Cultivation of Melia dubia ( Tamil: Malai Vembu )

Name of the Tree : Melia dubiaMalai Vembu in Tamil, Hebbevu in Kannada, Konda Veppa in Telugu)

Have a look at cultivation details of 'Melia Dubia' in the following links also:


Melia Dubia is the fastest growing tree and the wood from this tree is used in Plywood Industry. 400 trees can be planted in an acre that fetch 15-20 lakhs in 6 - 7years.MELIA DUBIA cav.
Synonym: Melia composita willd. Family: Miliaceae.

A large tree, attaining a height of 20 m. with a spreading crown and a cylindrical straight bole of 9 m. length X 1.2-1.5 m. girth found in Sikkim Himalayas, North Bengal. Upper Assam, Khasi Hills, hills of Orissa, N.Circas, Deccan and Western Ghats at altitudes of 1500 – 1800 m.
It grows rapidly and is used for reforestation purposes. (Troup, I 186: Burkill, II 1443: Bor, 253) and yields a useful timber.

In its natural habitat the absolute maximum shade temperature varies from 37.5–47.5 C and the absolute minimum from 0–15 C. It does well in moist regions, with a mean annual rainfall exceeding 1000 mm. The mean relative humidity in July varies from 70–90% and in January from 50–80 %.

It is commonly found in the hills at elevations ranging from 600 – 1800m.
The rooted saplings are planted onset of the monsoon or during the monsoon.
The suggested pit size is 2’ x 2’- 0.60m Cube.
Espacement of 3.5 m x 3.5 m is recommended. This will give better girth in shorter duration.

The growth is rapid. GAMBLES’s specimens gave 8 – 12 rings/dm of radius (mean annual girth increment 5.3 – 8 cm) for a Tamil Nadu specimen, and 28 rings/dm (mean annual girth increment 2.3 cm) for a specimen from Bengal. North Kanara in Karnataka specimen showed 12-16 rings/dm of radius (TALBOT, 1909) giving a mean annual girth increment of 4 –5.3 cm. Trees grown in the Calcutta Botanical gardens from specimen from Malbar origin are said to have reached in 7 years an average height of 14m and a girth of 112 cm at breast height. This rate of growth is equivalent to 4 rings/ dm of radius. Even in comparatively dry regions with a rainfall of 750 – 1000 mm, a height of 3 – 4.5 m is obtained in plantations, against 6-7.5 m in more favourable locations.
Physical and Mechanical Properties of the Wood
The sapwood is grayish-white, usually with a yellowish cast; the ‘ heartwood ’ is light pink to light red when first exposed, ageing to pale russet brown, subject to grey stain. It is lustrous and without characteristic odour or taste.
It is very light (, approximately 0.34, weight at 12 5 moisture content about 336 kg/m3), straight-grained, coarse and somewhat uneven-textured. Annual growth rings are distinct but not conspicuous and number 12-16 / dm of radius.
Seasoning and Preservation behavior

The timber seasons well if the logs are converted in a green state, though if left long in the log, it is liable to develop end splitting and decoration. Like many other meliaceous timbers, it contracts very considerably across the grain while drying out. The best method of dealing with the timber is to convert the logs as soon after felling as possible and to open stack the sawn material, preferably undercover to avoid grey stain.
Present day uses
The wood is used for packing cases, cigar boxes, ceiling planks, building purposes, agricultural implements, pencils, math boxes, splints and kattamarans. In Srilanka, it is employed for outriggers of boats. It is suitable for musical instruments, tea boxes and the most importantly in making plywood, as the wood is anti-termite by itself.
The details of quality & technical specifications are as follows.
1) The logs had very high moisture contents and were green.
2) All logs were round and good for peeling. Roundness seems to be inherent quality of this tree.
3) Logs peel easily.
4) Outturn is excellent – 70% & better in fresh cut logs.
5) Veneer strong and firm.
6) Two small logs were peeled for faces. Quality obtained was acceptable.
7) M.R.Grade Plywood pressed with these veneers and in combination with other veneers gave excellent results.

(Pearson & Brown, I 243; Macmillan, 96, 213; Cameran, 64; Trotter, 1944, 217; Rama Rao, 73; Indian For., 1948, 74, 279)
Sudhir e-mail; sudhir

Melia Dubia trees at my farm:

For more pictures of Melia Dubia : Click here.

7 Comentários:

Vishnu Sankar A said...

A private mail from Mr.Anonymous,

Respected Sir,

Thank you very much for your valuable guidance. Sir, I went thru your blog. Sir, as I have few clarifications could you also pls similarly guide regarding melia dubia. Sir, based on your experience could you pls tell if it is recommended to go in for bulk plantation of gummadi/kumil or melia dubia or can 1 go in for intercropping of gummadi/kumil with melia dubia. Sir, what in your experience is the ideal no of trees to be planted for gummadi & melia dubia per acre. Sir, could you pls give a rough reasonable expectation of yield in tonnes/acre from a 10 year plantation of kumil/gummadi & also from melia dubia?

Thanking you in advance for your valuable tips.


Vishnu Sankar A said...

Dear Mr.Anonymous,

Thank U for visiting this blog. Both Kumil and Melia Dubia trees have more or less same maturity age of approx. 10 to 12 years. So in my opinion better select any one variety for bulk planting. Provide a min spacing of 10' x 10' for Melia Dubia and 12' x 12' for Kumil / Gummadi.

Vishnu Sankar

Vishnu Sankar A said...

A private mail from Mr.Anonymous
Dear Mr.Vishnu Sankar !

This is ******.

I have seen all of your stuffs in your blog.They are very nice.

Here I need a suggestion.We started a small tree Plantation project with Malai Vembu and Kumil at Chengalpattu area. The tree spacing is 10 ft. I am thinking to plant Malai Vembu and Kumil in alternate rows. i.e One Row Malai Vembu and the next row will be Kumil followed by Malai vembu.I am planning to harvest Malai Vembu at 6 th Year .I believe cutting of Malai vembu trees will be helpful for Kumil growth in 7th and 8 th years. I am not an agriculturist, so I don't know any adverse effect due to this method of planting alternate crops.

Please provide your valuable suggestions at your earliest convenience.

Thanks and Regards,

Vishnu Sankar A said...

Dear Mr.*****

Thank you for visiting my blog.

Normally, short and long duration tree crops are advised to plant in alternate rows so that the later establishes well after the removal of short duration trees.
But I regret to note that you have selected Malai Vembu and Kumil, both of which are short duration crops. Also u will not be able to harvest Malai Vembu in 6th year and Kumil in 7th year as you have planned.
Both of them will take about 10 years in irrigated conditions to attain enough maturity to get a reasonable timber size and sale value. Under unirrigated conditions and in poor soils, trees need more years to attain maturity.
Otherwise, Malai Vembu and Kumil trees can be planted in alternate rows with a spacing of 10' to 12 feet as there is found to be no noticeable root competition among them and can be harvested at the same time.

Vishnu Sankar

Unknown said...

Dear Mr. Vishu Shankar,

Thanks for providing useful information. I was searching this kind of information for past one year. Luckily got information now.

My name is Shanmugaraja. I am having form land in Tripur District. I want to go for bulk planing. Currently i have planted 500 trees from 12 varieties (including Malai Vembu, Kumil, Kaya, Vakai, Venkai, Pencil etc...). It is 3 months old. Based on growth i am planning to select 4 varieties and planning to plant for 10 acre. My intention is to check which tree is suitable for my plant.

I am planting tree for 2 cause. First is for selfish cause i.e. to earn money and Second is Nobel cause i.e. to contribute for Green environment.

Sir, I request you to address following question in your block.

1. I hope timber woods are sold based on cubic feet but not based on weight of (ton) woods. Please correct me if i am wrong.
2. What is current market price of timbers woods?. Malai vembu and Kumil etc
3. Where do we get market price of these woods?.
4. How and Where do we sell these trees. Like can we put agreement with some plywood company for Malai Vembu. Currently we can put agreement with paper mills for Savukku.
5. What about future/ market for agro-forestry?. Because we get profit after 10 years.
6. Once we cut tree whether tree shall grow from that Or do we have to plant again?.
7. How to irrigate tree? is trip method is effective?

I hope by addressing above issues, your block shall become encyclopedia for agro-forestry.

Sir, also please update deatils about Eucalyptus and Peyyan Trees in your block.

I request you to address these queries whenever you have time

Thanks and best regards,

Vishnu Sankar A said...

A private mail from Mr.xxxx

Dear VS,
In additioon I'm interested in agri,livestocks.
I've 20 acres of Coconut farm and a stallfed goat farm(with 500 goats- Boer, Sirohi, Telliserry, Jamnabari).

Coming to the point, I have an idea of going for another 20 acres of irrigated agroforestry with Malaivembu, Savukku, Teak.
No paln of intercropping or silvipasture.
Purely planned for future returns after 10 - 15 years.
As I've gone thro' your blog, I'm much inmpressed with your detailed work.
May I request you to guide me for the following questions.

1.What will be legal problems in tree felling for these trees?
2.What are the common problems in tree cultivation - like diseases etc
3.What will be cost of drip system?(As you have mentioned, there is no subsidy)
4.What is poplar tree?

Hope I'm not disturbing you.

microkarthi said...

Dear Vishnu,
I would like to share my experience regarding melia dubia with paper mills. recently i have made a phone call to ascertain the price and contract farming with farmers with paper mills such as TNPL and seshasayee paper mill. to my disappointment, TNPL told me that they are not taking contract farming or any thing with farmers for melia. they would accept it only at factory gate @ 3200 per ton. In case of seshasayee, they told that they are doing contract farming only with two district farmers that is erode and namakkal on experimental basis. For other districts, they accept @3500 at their factory gate price. In such a case it seems to me that selling melia for paper industries is ruled out. the only option left to farmers is to sell for timber or firewood. Kindly clarify me regding this

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