Monday, August 29, 2011

Melia Dubia ( Tamil: Malai Vembu ) plantation and veneer:

A Melia dubia (Malai Vembu in Tamil, Hebbevu in Kannada, Konda Veppa in Telugu) mother plant bed in FCRI, Mettupalayam. 

A 'Melia dubia' plantation 1 year and 8 months old in FCRI, Mettupalayam.
Veneer (a layer of plywood) is a thin sheet of wood of uniform thickness cut on a lathe by rotating a log against a knife blade in a peeling operation. Since Melia dubia is a low grade timber; it is widely being used as inner and back veneer in plywood making and it is not used as face veneer.

A rotary cut veneer from Melia dubia, 60” in Width, 4 mm in thickness on display at FCRI, Mettupalayam.
Vishnu Sankar

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Stem borer attack in Melia dubia (Malai vembu)

Dear friends,
A keen follower of this blog has sent the following queries and pictures for clarification.


I have planted around 600 Malai Vembu in my agriculture land in Salem @ a spacing of 10 feet x 10 feet. The trees are about 8 month old, drip irrigated and have attained a height of about 10 to 12 feet. I am facing two problems now. There is bulging of stem in some plants and the earlier occurred plants broke subsequently. This bulging of stem occurs at various heights of the plant. Is it Stem borer ('Thandu Puzhu' in Tamil)? Whether Phorate application controls it?

Secondly I notice branches shooting out and in some trees they fall down on their own on reaching a length of 3 to 4 feet. Shall I allow these branches to grow? Please suggest me solutions for these.

Answer: The above pictures were sent to Dr.K.K.Suresh, Prof & Head, Dept. of Forestry and Silviculture, Forest College and Research Institute, Mettupalayam, and Mr.Sivakumar, Senior Scientist, IFGTB, Coimbatore for their opinion. Replies received:

  • It looks like stem borer. You may make your observation in the point of breaking of stem for any bore hole for confirming the presence of stem borer.

  • The treatment recommended for Casuarina stem borer attack may be followed. Inserting wire through the bore hole to remove the feeding larvae and applying insecticide soaked cotton (15ml of dichlorvos). Injecting insecticide into the holes where the larvae puss out their frass is the effective method. Inject after removal of frass.

  • Application of Phorate in the soil may not be appropriate at this chronic stage. Since the pest is a borer, application of phorate in the soil around the stem disrupts its life cycle and multiplication.

  • For clear examination, send cut portion of the infected region through courier for a clear examination and for recommending the right control measure.

  • Once the stem break you will notice new shoots coming out just below the broken portion. You have to cut the tree at the base and allow the coppice shoot at the base to come up (See the picture below) and not the shoot at the top (near the broken point), as this may dislodge if there is heavy wind.

  • Breaking of branches may also be due to attack by some insects as this tree does not shed branches of its own as done in Eucalyptus.
  • Remove and burn all broken branches in which the breeding takes place.

  • If the pest attack exceeds the threshold limit, spraying of 0.2% dichlorvos with 0.2% Chlorpyrifos or Monocrotophos as foliar application followed by soil application of 20 gm of Phorate or Carbofuran per plant will give desired result.
My sincere and heartfelt thanks on behalf of all the readers to the above two scientists for giving this detailed reply.

Vishnu Sankar.

Leaf pattern of Dalbergia Sissoo (Tamil : Sissoo)

Dear friends,

I am uploading this picture to help you differentiate Dalbergia sissoo from Dalbergia latifolia (Eetti, Rose wood). Sissoo leaves have pointing tip where as the leaves of Latifolia are blunt and rounded.

Leaf pattern of Sissoo:

Intricate wood carving from Sissoo wood panel:

A Dalbergia latifolia tree:

Please click the link to differentiate between Sissoo and Eetii
or 'East Indian Rose Wood' from 'Indian Rose Wood'.

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