Thursday, November 26, 2009

Some Ppt presentations and Photos from the TDTGA seminar conducted on 20/11/2009 at Tirunelveli:


A sample slide from the above presentation:

Augur Demo:

Demo of "Tractor Mounted Post Hole Digger":

Presentation by Agri. Engn. S.E., Er.Tamilselvan:

Section of the crowd:

F.E.O' s of Tirunelveli and Tuticorin:

Address by Conservator Sri.Rampathy, IFS.,:

Chief Guest planting a tree:

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Fast growing tree species for economically important commercial timber cultivation:

Dear friends,

The Forest Department of Tamilnadu, India., recommends the following list of economically important fast growing tree species for commercial timber cultivation.

Before further reading, please have a look at our list in this link which was shortlisted in consultation with T.N forest college scientists, IFGTB scientists and some reputed forest officials of CCF, APCCF and PCCF cadres.

Forest Department's recommendation comes in the FAQ section of their website (Click to view).

What are economically important fast growing tree species?

  1. Ailanthus excelsa - (Perumaram, Pee maram, Peematti in Tamil)
  2. Melia dubia - (Malai Vembu in Tamil)
  3. Kaya senegalensis - (Kaya or Senegal Mahogany in Tamil)
  4. Anthocephalus cadamba - (Vellai Kadambu in Tamil)
  5. Alstonia scholaris - (English - Blackboard tree, Indian devil tree, Ditabark, Milkwood pine, White cheesewood, Seven-leaved milk plant and Pokok pulai, Tamil - Ezhilai-Palai)
  6. Albizia richardiana - (Tamil name: ???? Readers are requested to help)
  7. Acrocarpus fraxinifolius - Common name: Pink Cedar, Acrocarpo, Australian ash and Indian ash. Tamil: Kalingi, Kurangadi, Malai konnai, Mallaykone, Mallekone and Nelrai.
  8. Casuarina junghuhniana - (Tamil: Indonesian savukku or Junguniana Savukku)
  9. Bamboo (Varieties: Malocanna baccifera, Bambusa nutans, B. Bamboos, B. tulda, B. vulgaris, B. Balcooa)
Other than the above, the following tree varieties are also classified as fast growing and economically viable for commercial timber cultivation:

10. Gmelina arborea (Kumil, Perungumil, Kumula maram in Tamil)
Grewia tiliaefolia (Thadasu, Sadachi in Tamil)
12. Albizia falcataria (Kattumaram in Tamil)
13. Acacia auriculiformis (Pencil Tree. Tamil: Kathi savukku,Elai karuvel)
14. Eucalyptus - (Tamil: Thaila maram)

The following trees though not comes under fast growing category, are strongly recommended for their timber value:

Pterocarpus santalinus - (Red Sanders.Tamil: Sivappu Santhanam)
16. Pterocarpus marsupium - (Indian Kino Tree. Tamil: Vengai)
17. Santalum album
- (Sandal wood. Tamil: Santhana maram)

You might have noticed that most of the trees listed above were already find mentioned somehow or other in this blogspot. The unrepresented ones will be given due importance in the coming months.

Some readers may be wondering why I have not included,

Tectona grandis - The common Teak,
Rose wood,

Haldinia Cardifolia (Tamil : Manja Kadambu ),
Caesalpinia sapppan (Tamil:
Swietenia macrophylla
- The Peruvian Mahogany,
Thespesia populnea -
(Tamil: Poovarasu)
Hardwickia binnata - (Tamil: Aachaa)
and so many other trees of some reasonable value in the above list.

Dear friends, that is a different story, worthy enough to allocate a separate post for each variety.

Vishnu Sankar


afforestation: The establishment of a forest or plantation in an area where the preceding vegetation or land use was not forest – compare with “Reforestation”.

agroforestry: Agroforestry is the practice of combining agriculture and forestry technologies to create more integrated, diverse, productive, profitable, healthy and sustainable land-use systems.

biodiversity: The variety and abundance of life forms, functions and structures of plants, animals and other living organisms on earth. It includes genetic differences among species, the variety of species that live within a particular area (ecosystem) and the many such ecosystems or homes that exist on the planet.


1. Ecology The total dry organic matter at a given time of living organisms of one or more species per unit area (species biomass) or of all the species in the community (community biomass)
2. The living or dead weight of organic matter in a tree, stand, or forest in units such as living or dead weight, wet or dry weight, etc.
3. Harvesting the wood product obtained from in-woods chipping of all or some portion of trees including limbs, tops, and unmerchantable stems, usually for energy production.

board foot: (bd ft) The amount of wood contained in an unfinished board 1 inch thick, 12 inches long and 12 inches wide (2.54 cm x 30.5 cm x 30.5 cm).

carbon offset: The planting of trees on non-forested land such that the uptake of carbon dioxide from the growing trees will offset the production of carbon dioxide from industrial sources.

carbon sequestration: The incorporation of carbon dioxide into permanent plant tissues.

co-management agreements: The sharing of power, responsibility and benefits between the Government and resource users; provides a middle ground upon which the two can meet and cooperate.

community forest: A forest owned and generally managed by a community, the members of which share its benefits.

community forestry: Managing forests with the expressed intent of benefiting neighbouring communities. See also “social forestry”.

cubic metre: A unit of volume that measures 1 x 1 x 1 metres, most often used for volumes of standing timber or otherwise unsawn timber.

database: A collection of data stored in a systematic manner such that the data can be readily retrieved, modified and manipulated to create information, most often computerised.

deforestation: The removal of a forest where the land is put to a non-forest use.

dendrology: the scientific study of trees and woody plants, A branch of botany devoted to the study of trees and their identifying characteristics.

ecosystem: A self-regulating natural community of living things interacting with one another and with their non-living physical environment.

ecotourism: Travel undertaken to sites or regions of unique natural quality, or the provision of services to facilitate such travel.

forest: An ecosystem characterised by a more or less dense and extensive tree cover, often consisting of stands varying in characteristics such as species, composition, structure, age classs, and associated processes, and may include meadows, streams, fish, and wildlife. (Note that forests include special designations such as industrial forests, nonindustrial private forests, plantations, protection forests).

forest inventory: A set of objective sampling methods designed to quantify the spatial distribution, composition and rates of change of forest parameters within specified levels of precision for the purposes of management.

forest reserve: An area designated under a forest act in which timber production is allowed but not conversion to agriculture or other non-forest uses.

forestry: The profession embracing the science, art and practice of creating, managing, using, and conserving forests and associated resources for human benefit and in a sustainable manner to meet desired goals, needs and values. (agroforestry, urban forestry, industrial forestry, non-industrial forestry, and wilderness and recreation forestry).

fuelwood: Wood used for conversion into some form of energy, eg, cooking fires, charcoal production, energy-generating plants.

greenbelt: A park-like strip of unoccupied land with little or no development, usually surrounding or partially surrounding urban areas.

greenhouse effect: The warming effect exerted by the atmosphere upon the earth because the atmosphere (mainly its water vapour and carbon dioxide) absorbs radiant energy from the earth and re-emits infrared radiation or heat.

lumber: The sawn product from a tree – synonym is sawn wood.

natural forest: A forest in nearly natural condition, without any direct human intervention.

plantation forest: A forest or stand composed mainly of trees established by planting or artificial seeding.

reforestation: The re-establishment of forest cover either naturally or artificially. Note reforestation usually maintains the same forest type and is done promptly after the previous stand or forest was removed.

roundwood: A length of cut tree generally having a round cross section, such as a log.

silviculture: The art and science of controlling the establishment, growth, health and quality of forests to meet the diverse needs and values of society.

social forestry: Forestry programmes that purposefully and directly involve local people, their values and their institutions (also called development forestry, community forestry).

sustainable development:
1. Development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs
2. Sustainable development is used to mean: improving the quality of human life while living within the carrying capacity of supporting ecosystems .

timber Wood: other than fuelwood, potentially useable for lumber.

tonne 1000 kg: in the context of “tonnes of fuelwood” in this document for air-dried hardwood, 1 tonne is approx. 1.38 cubic metres of wood.

urban forestry: The art, science and technology of managing trees and forest resources in and around urban community ecosystems for the physiological, sociological, economic and aesthetic benefits trees provide society.

watershed: A region or land area drained by a single stream, river, or drainage network.

(to continue)

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Workshop on selection and cultivation of Tree crops

Dear Friends,

TDTGA's main objective is to impart knowledge about tree cultivation to the farming community by conducting periodical meetings, seminars and workshops. It acts as a bridge, connecting the hapless farmers with scientists, forest officials, nursery people and wood based industries of both public and private sector.

For the month of November '09, we have joined hands with Forest Extension Division of the Dept. of Forests to conduct a workshop on tree cultivation. The program details are:

"Workshop on selection and cultivation of Tree crops suitable for Paper, Plywood and Biomass Energy Industries"

  • Venue: Tamil Valarchi Panpaatu Manram, Near Central Excise Office, NGO Colony, Palayankottai, Tamilnadu, India.
  • Date: 20 /11 / 2009, Friday, Time: 10.30 AM to 4.30PM
  • Presided by: Mr.Irulandi, IFS., Chief Conservator of Forests, Forest Extension Division, Chennai.
Programme in brief:
  • Success stories of "Tree crops in Private Lands Scheme (TCPL)" Ppt presentation of pictures taken from the fields of our members.
  • Speech by two successful tree growers of our area.
  • "Selection and cultivation of Tree crops suitable for Paper mills and Biomass Energy Industries" - Speech by the Chief Guest Mr.Irulandi, IFS., C.C.F, Forest Extension Division, Chennai.
  • "Sustainable Agriculture" - Cultivating Tree varieties suitable for 'Wood fired Biomass Power companies" - speech and Ppt presentation by Sri.K.Chidambara Manickam. Assistant General Manager, M/s. Auro Mira Energy Company P.Ltd., Chennai. (This company has obtained a 15 MW license for developing a Biomass project near Oothumalai village in Tirunelveli district and the project is expected to be commissioned by mid 2010.)
  • "Cultivation of trees under contract farming for M/s.Auro Mira Energy Company P.Ltd and the supply of seedlings at subsidized rate, availability of credit facilities, crop Insurance cover Etc.," by Mr. G.Ramasubramaniyan, Manager, Plantations Division, M/s.Auro Mira Energy Company P.Ltd., Chennai.
  • Q & A session: Members doubts on site selection, crop selection, species selection, cultivation technology, Govt. subsidies, marketing., Etc., will be cleared by the visiting dignitaries and the C.C.F.
  • Crop of this month: Cultivation of 'Green Vulgaris' Bamboo and Anthocephalus cadamba.
Members are kindly requested to participate in this workshop without fail.

TDTGA is actively lobbying for the farmers cause and represents the interests and concerns of members and enables them to take advantage of opportunities in agroforestry and in commercial timber production. So become a member now.

Nonmembers can register for membership at the venue itself and are eligible to participate.

All are welcome.

Vishnu Sankar

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Casuarina field on Fire

Dear Friends,

We all know that Casuarina sheds lot of leaves and branches. Their gradual incorporation into the soil leads to increased organic matter (O.M) and organic carbon (O.C) content of the soil. In addition to tree's natural leaf shedding, farmers used to prune the trees to allow more sun light into the field and to induce fast vertical growth of the tree.

Usually after about a year, the accumulation of these organic matter suppress the weed growth totally, saving the farmer from deweeding expenses. In my field, I liked to walk on these cushion of soft dried matter, enjoying every moment, each and every twig breaking under my feet, raised my spirits considerably.

Unfortunately, during a gale, overhead low tension power lines that crosses in a far corner of my field brushed against each other spewing a shower of fire on the dried matter below. Since this happened at night, fire spread unchecked to about 3 acres. When came to know of this next day, we copiously irrigated the field to save the crop from dehydration. Even on closer scrutiny the tree exhibits no trace of damage due to the fire. It remained as fresh and as green as it looks normally for about 10 days.

Then the drying of leaves, stems and branches started on the entire field. A second and third irrigation did not stop the crop from drying. I summoned farmers to my field, who had experienced these kind fire hazards in their crop also. They advised me to harvest the crop immediately to save it from further moisture loss. They opined that Casuarina being a very sensitive crop, it can not withstand even heat radiation, let alone fire, from nearby burning field. Some of them even attempted steps like drenching the whole plant with water in addition to normal flood irrigation. All ended in vain.

Agricultural Field Officer from TNPL, Plantations division, visited the field and declined to procure the wood since the age of the crop was 1 year and 9 months, a young crop with low cellulose content which is not suitable for paper making.

Finally the ill fated crop was harvested manually and dispatched to M/s.Dharani Sugars & Chemicals Ltd., for chipping. (See: Wood Chipper). The chipped wood is used there as substitute for the conventional bagasse for heating the boiler. The company imports raw sugar from South America hence the shortage for bagasse. They offered
Rs.2300/Ton and the payment was immediate.

Cutting, Loading and transportation costs came to about

Average yield obtained for this Casuarina at the age of 1 Year 9 months,
which bore the brunt of fire, with bone dry wood was
17 Tons/acre.

This is for the record.

  • The fallen Casuarina leaves and branches should be ploughed back into the soil using mechanical power weeders yearly twice as recommended by TNPL.
  • Never, never plant Casuarina under power lines.
  • Insure the crop without fail.
  • Harvest and sell the crop immediately after the fire and wait for none. Each and every day is crucial since the invisible loss on account of moisture will be huge.
Readers are requested to chip in their valuable comments on this subject.


Vishnu Sankar

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