Terminalia tomentosa

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This tree is known as "Crocodile barked tree" as the thick, dark coloured, spitted bark looks like the skin of a crocodile. Very suitable for afforestation purposes in open places with clayey soil. It grows to about 36 m height and attains a diameter of about 4 m if the climate is favourable. It grows well in places located at about 800 m above sea level.

 

Artificial propagation

By direct sowing or by planting nursery raised seedlings. In the case of direct sowing, seeds are sown in lines keeping a distance of 12 cm between. Soaking the seeds in cold water for 24 h will result better germination. Weeding is necessary. Thinning is also essential for their healthy growth.

 

Planting and management
Planting is done in pits of 30 cm cube along with onset of monsoon at a distance of 5mx5m. Plants are generally sensitive and watering and weeding are important during the initial years of establishment of plantation. Leaf fall occurs during January-February. Young leaves appear during March and April. Bunches of white flowers are produced during the months of May-June. Pods get matured within 5-6 months. Root system grows deeply in the soil. Small suckers are seen sprouting out from the exposed roots. Best coppicer also. Though the tree can grow in almost all types of soils, laterite soil with proper drainage is best suited. It is drought sensitive and frost resistant.

 

Plant protection

Wood rot is caused by Dacdalea flavida, Fomes melanoporus, Ganoderma lucidum etc. Metanestria hyrtaca, Denia litura etc cause premature leaf fall.Fungal diseases can be controlled by spraying carbendazim 0.05 per cent.

 

Timber

Heartwood is dark ash coloured with black spots and lines. Sap wood is reddish white. Though this is not good as that of teak, industrially it is very important. One cubic meter wood weights about 375-761 kg.

 

Uses

Wood is used for making building, furniture, railway sleepers etc. Tassar silkworm moths eats its leaves. Bark contains tannin, hence used in tanning industry. Gum from the tree has medicinal value. Juice from bark is a good colouring agent for cotton and silk cloths.

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