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A small evergreen tree of variable size, up to 15 cm high or more.


How does it look:

A small evergreen tree of variable size, up to 15 cm high or more with a spreading crown and stipular spines, but more commonly as a compact shrub of 3-4m height.

Silvicultural Characters:

A strong-light demander; even seeds need light for germination. Hardy and not much affected by excessive dry heat, frost, hot winds or drought; hot, dry climate is ideal for cultivation. Vigorously grows from root suckers. Coppices well.

How to grow:

Seeds are dispersed through the excreta of birds and animals, if covered or buried in loose soil till monsoon, they germinate during the first half of rainy season. Plants can be thinned out to 11-12 m or by proper pruning to 7-8 m.

  • Can be propagated from direct sowing or transplanting seedlings, stem-cutting or root suckers or stumps. Budded or grafted trees are comparatively more vigorous for commercial plantations. Seed-raised (April-May) plants should carefully be transplanted (July); even budded plants can be transplanted. Young plants respond well to irrigation when whether is hot; also irrigation improves fruiting. Farmyard manure is helpful. Addition of ammonium sulphate (0.5 kg/year-age/tree) along with FYM is recommended. Young plants are supported and trained and pruned in the early years. Regular pruning of shoots and removal of old shoots help in more yield and should be done during the dormant period.

Where to sell:

  • Wood to timber merchants.
  • Bark and fruits can be sold to pharmaceutical companies.
  • For reclamation of saline, alkaline loam, sandy gravelly alluvium, neutral soils. Recommended for arid, semi-arid regions and for agro and social forestry. Can be irrigated with saline water. Grown as windbreaks, shelter belts and live-hedge. Host for lac-insect.
  • Timber :Wells, axes, tool handles, sandals, yokes, harrows, toys, and activated carbon.
  • Good for firewood (sapwood, 4878kcal/kg) and charcoal.
  • Leaf lopped for fodder (crude protein, 12.9-16.9%); given for tasar-silkworms.
  • Bark yields tannins (4-9%); decoction given in diarrhoea and dysentery. Fruit :Eaten fresh (protein, 0.8%); dried like raisin, candied, stewed or smoked; contains vitamin-C and minerals. Cooling, anodyne, tonic. Forms a constituent of medicines for chest and leprosy.
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