Know about Sandalwood (Santalum album)


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    Santalum album or Indian sandalwood is a small tropical tree, and is the most commonly known source of sandalwood. It is native to India, Indonesia, and the Malay Archipelago. This species has historically been cultivated, processed and traded since ancient times. Certain cultures place great significance on its fragrant and medicinal qualities. It is also considered sacred in some religions and is used in different religious traditions. The use of Santalum album in India is noted in literature for over two thousand years. It also features as a construction material in temples and elsewhere.

    Santalum album has been the primary source of sandalwood and the derived oil. The central part of the tree, the heartwood, is the only part of the tree that is used for its fragrance. It is yellow-brown in color, hard with an oily texture. The outer part of the tree, the sapwood, is unscented. The sapwood is white or yellow in color and is used to make turnery items. The high value of sandalwood has led to attempts at cultivation, this has increased the distribution range of the plant. Harvest of the tree involves several curing and processing stages, also adding to the commercial value. These wood and oil have high demand. Indian sandalwood still commands high prices for its essential oil.

    The Indian government has banned the export of the species to reduce the threat by over-harvesting. In the southern Indian states of Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana all trees of greater than a specified girth are the property of the state. Until 2002, individuals in India were not allowed to grow Sandalwood, Cutting of trees, even on private property due to its scarcity. The government issued a notification on July 11, 2008 which gives ownership and selling rights to private owners and institutions. State Forest Officer (SFO) grants specific permission to officials who then can cut down the tree and sell its wood. Sandalwood gives the profit on average Rs.60 Lakhs/ tree in 10 years Know more..


Know about Malabar neem (Melia Dubia)


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    Melia Dubia originates from the Meliaceae family and is an indigenous species of tree to India, South East Asia and Australia, where it has been cultivated as a source of firewood. Melia Dubia is commonly found in the hills at elevations ranging from 600 - 1800 meters and grows well in rainfall areas of 25” to 35”. It is fastest growing tree and is used for reforestation purposes. The wood of this tree is used majorly in Plywood Industry and also paper, matches, packaging etc. The fruit of the plant is bitter. It is considered anthelmintic. Melia Dubia grows on a variety of soils; however, it grows well in deep, fertile and sandy loam soils. Today the agro industry and agriculture sector is passing through difficult times due to ever increasing input costs, non availability of labor, soil degradation and climate change issues. The land values are increased and income from agriculture is reduced due to various unfavorable conditions resulting in that the farmers are selling away their lands, shifting in to other fields and migrating to urban habitations. Since many of the short term crops are risky, less remunerative and uncertain, it is time to cultivate medium to long term agro forestry crops like Melia Dubia, Sandalwood, Casurina, Eucalyptus etc. which are cost effective also guaranteed better revenue.

    The wood is used for packing cases, match box sticks, photo frames, pencils ( Nataraj pencil company using the melia dubia wood) mini furniture like stools, benches, wooden tables, interior decoration, window doors, wooden racks & packing industries, musical instruments, tea powder boxes, cigar boxes, building purposes, ceiling planks agricultural implements, 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 wood of Melia dubia is in high demand in Veneer, Plywood, Pulp, Match stick and Packing case industry. This tree is suitable as hosting plant. There is a high demand-supply gap in these industries. Each tree of appropriate girth can fetch up to Rs.10,000 per tree over a 6-7 year period.


Why invest on trees


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    The majority of the world's wood supply is sourced from native forests, which are not sustainably managed. Even though large areas of plantations have been established in many countries, the rate of planting has been insufficient to meet current and projected future demand. As the present scenario the Timber Demand in India is at very high hence, the need of commercial agro forestry is ever increasing. Melia Dubia is one of the fastest growing species among timber varieties on this planet. Melia Dubia originates from the Meliaceae family and is an indigenous species to India. These trees can be cultivated in all types of soil and requires less management practices.

    The Australian Bureau of Agriculture and Resource Economics (ABARE) research report “Global Outlook for Plantations 1999” forecasts that "Plantations are expected to meet 35% of projected global demand for industrial wood by 2000, rising to 44% by 2020 and 46% by 2040. This level of production would require a significant increase in plantation area and the substantial gains possible through plantation productivity in all the regions globally."

    The industrial demand for wood in Round wood equivalents in India is predicted to increase from 74 million Cubic meters in the year 2005 to 153 million Cubic meters in the year 2020 and side by side it is estimated that more than 50 percent of the total wood supply in the country will come from non-forest sources. There are several options available to bridge the gap such as import of timber which is purely a short-term measure and generating tree resources within the country which could be a better idea as a long-term measure in sustainability terms, as well as a source of carbon stocking which is important from the ecological and environmental viewpoints.