Xylia xylocarpa

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These large sized trees are commonly seen in the deciduous forests. Mostly found in places located about 600 m above sea level. In the forest areas of malabar, a large number of trees having 30 m height and 2.5 m diameter can be seen. Profusely branched stem is its characteristic feature. Reddish ash bark is very rough and cracky. In dry areas stunted growth is reported. Grows well in places where annual rainfall is above 1000 mm and atmosphere is hot as well as humid. River banks and places with red soil are best suited for its growth. Lateritic soil is also found to be good for this species.Poor growth in clay soil.

 

Artificial propagation
This is effected by direct sowing, or by planting stumps and seedlings from nursery or seedlings from forest. Sun dried seeds are used for sowing in the field. This method is found to be the most efficient one. Soaking the seeds in cold water overnight enhances germination. Seeds are sown on loose soil. Avoid clay soil. Weeding is necessary during seedling stage. Soaking the seeds in growth hormones like IAA 250ppm or GA 50 ppm for 30 minutes will enhance germination to 70 per cent..


Natural regeneration
Large number of seedlings are naturally found growing in forests. They are fire and drought resistant.


Planting and management

Planting in the field is done at a spacing of 4m x 4m .Standard pits are filled with rich top soil and FYM 5 kg. In addition to FYM, from second or third year onwards, 50-70g N,50-60 g P2O5 and 50-70g K2O is also added to each plant depending on size. Growth is fast during favourable season. It attains a diameter increment of about 6 cm/year. Felling can be done after a period of 30-50 years growth. 

At the end of the winter season, leaf fall will start. Soon after new sprouts and flowers will be produced. Light yellow flowers possess a good smell. Pods are of length 10-15 cm and diameter 4-5 cm and these brownish red pods have the shape of shoes. 8-10 seeds are present in one pod. 1 kg pod contains more than 3000 seeds. During the early stages of growth, shady regions are preferred. Later they become light demanding. Root suckers are abundantly produced in certain regions. It is a very good coppicer also.

 

Plant protection
In fire damaged areas, xylia trees are found to be infected by fungi like Fomes, Polystictus etc. Stem borers and defoliators also cause severe damage. Growing of trees in healthy environmental conditions, preventing fire, grazing etc is found to be more effective than using pesticides, fungicides etc.

 

Timber
Reddish brown heartwood posses white lines. Sapwood is pale coloured. Has more strength and hardness than teak. One cubic meter timber weights about 832-944 kg. Wood is termite resistant. Sawn wood can be stored for about 10-15 years without any preservative treatment.


Uses

Due to the presence of resin in the wood, they can resist the attack of fungi, termites etc. Hopea timber was used in the manufacture of railway sleepers. It is also used in making pillars of huge building, bridges etc. It can resist damage by water. Pulp is used in paper industry. During the ancient period, the timber was used for making coal in iron furnace. Bark is having medicinal value. Powdered bark mixed with honey is a good medicine for diarrhoea, vomiting, gonorrhoea etc. Skin contains tannin also. Pod is edible. Leaves can be used as a bio fertilizer. Suitable for rearing Lac insect.

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