Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Pterocarpus santalinus (Tamil : Santhana Vengai)

Name of the plant - Pterocarpus santalinus (Red Sanders)
(Tamil : Santhana Vengai, Sivappu Santhanam)

‘N’ fixing capacity - No

Fodder Tree - Yes

Deciduous - Yes

Drought tolerance - Moderate

Soil type / pH range - Red + gravel mixed soil, mixed soils, river beds

Tolerance to water logging - No

Seeds - 900 – 1400 seed pods / tree
Germination - %

Vegetative propagation - Cloning is the best way. New shoots sprouting from the
roots around the plants can also be used.

Spacing for border planting - 3 m

For bulk planting - Initial 3 m X 3 m and then remove slow growing
trees to give 15 feet x 15 feet spacing.

Maturity Years - 25 - 30 years. Tree can be felled if the basal dia is 0.6 – 1.0 m. Heart wood hardening starts from 18th year and completes by 25 – 30 years.

Growth : Height - 19 m ( Average Ht 10 m )
Girth - 1.0 to 1.5 m
Yield - Timber Density - 1.09, Hard wood,
Reddish black heart wood Weight - 1105 Kgs / Sq.m

Uses - Wood carvings, photo frames, carved pillars

Ratoon - Allowed.

Special features if any - Very high value timber. Termite proof. Sound proof. Temp proof. Atomic radiation preventer. A red dye is extracted from its timber. Requires more sunlight and will not grow well in shades. As wind breaker. Plant it separately to avoid root competition. New shoots sprouting from the roots around the plants can also be removed and used for new plantation. Performs well in irrigated conditions.

A 8 year old piece of Red sanders log with the developing of heart wood:

When compared with high value trees like Teak (maturity 50 yrs) and Rose wood / Dalbergia latifolia (Thothakathi in Tamil) (maturity 80 yrs ), cultivation of Red sanders (maturity only 30 yrs) is more profitable because of its short duration and its physiological characters are favourable to our climatic and soil conditions.

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