Santalum Album Cultivation Techniques

SANTALUM ALBUM

English Name: SANDALWOOD

Habitat

This is a small evergreen tree grows wild and is cultivated in Indian states of Mysore, Coorg, Coimbatore, Kerala and in some parts of Malaysia, Australia and Newsland, when growing away from its natural habitat it tends to lose much of its essential oil from which is esteemed in medicine. In South India both wood and oil find their use in perfumes and medicines. Apart from this wood is put into use in carving. The tree is a root parasite.

Soil

Trees growing in hand, rocky, ferruginous, soils are rich in oil than those growing on fertile tract.

Climate

It grows best between attitudes of 700 to 1100m though it may go up to 1500m and descend as low as 300m.

Cultivation

Seed beds of 3 ½ ft. width and 30ft length are prepared with one part sand and 2part mud and one part dry cowdung. The seeds are spread uniformly over the bed covered with 1cm of sand and watered and mulehed with straw. The straws are removed when it starts to germinate. 2.5kg of seeds are required for l acre of land. To prevent fungal infection the beds are sprayed with 0.25% Dithane every 20 days. Application of 0.02% Ekalux in once in every month will avoid attach of nematode.

Seedling when they are 3 to 5 levies stage they are transplanted to poly bags 12 inches x 6 inches which contain 1 part cowdung, 2 part sand, 1 part red soil mixed together. Two seeds of redgram is planted into each poly bags. The redgram will be the host. The host plants are pruned periodically to check their growth. To avoid Nematode attack 2 gm of furdan is also applied poly bags. Healthy plants having a height of 1 feet are planted into pits of 60cm size at a spacing of loft into loft at the onset of monsoon.

In each pit along with sandal wood a hest plant is planted like cassurina Acacia. The host plants are pruned periodically to make maximum sunlight available to sandal tree. To get maximum heartwood side branches of the lower half of the main stem are removed.

Sandal wood tree starts to flower as early at the age of 3 to 4 years. The heart wood commences when the tree is between 30 to 70 years of age attaining to 50 to 75% of growth. The matured trees are uprooted and small branches are removed. Branches with heart woods are collected and stored.

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