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Booklet No. 511 Forestry: FS-14

Contents Preface I. Introduction II. Botanical Description III. Classification of the Species IV. Climate and Soil V. Phenology VI. Natural Regeneration VII. Artificial Regeneration VIII. Diseases and Pests IX. ar!esting X. "ro#th XI. $ses. Preface Ba%ul is a nitrogen fi&ing tree found gro#ing in tropical arid and semiarid regions in India. It is an e&tremely useful tree for fuel' tim%er' fodder' tannin etc. It is drought resistant and sur!i!es on difficult sites. It is a good tree for sil!i(pastural systems. It is considered to %e a !ery suita%le tree for de!eloping social and agro forestry. Dr. K T. Chan y! "#r$cultural % &n'$ron(ental & ucat$on ). )ntro uct$on Ba%ul is an e&tremely !alua%le tree for fuel' tim%er' fodder' charcoal tannin etc. It %elongs to the family )eguminosae. It is *no#n as %a%ul' *i*ar in indi' +ali in ,annada' ,ara!elum in -alayalam and Neliatumma in .elugu. It is indigenous to the Indian su%continent and mostly found in .ropical Africa' Burma' Srilan*a' Saudi Ara%ia' /gypt and in 0est and /ast Sudan. In our country' natural %a%ul forests are generally found in -aharashtra' "u+arat' Andhra Pradesh' Ra+asthan' aryana and ,arnata*a. o#e!er' these trees occur naturally and also #idely planted in almost all the states. l). Botan$cal Descr$*t$on Ba%ul is scientifically *no#n as Acacia nilotica. It is a medium si1ed tree up to 23 mts in height #ith 43(53 mts cro#n diameter. .he cro#n is flattish or um%rella shaped #ith feathery foliage. It is easily identified %y its yello#' s#eet scented flo#ers and dar* %lac* %ar*. .he %ar* is #ith longitudinal fissures. .#igs carry stout.stipular spines' 2.6 (6 cms long' straight' #hite' sharply pointed. )ea!es are %ipinnate' 7.6 (6 cms long and leaflets are small' linear' gla%rous and 23(73 pairs in num%er. 8lo#ers are yello#' fragrant in a&illary glo%ose heads generally appear during rainy season %et#een 9une to Septem%er %ut sometimes in Decem%er and 9anuary. Pods are :uite distincti!e. .hey loo* li*e a' string of %eads and flattened. .hey are solitary' ;(26 cms long' 2.7(2.6 cms %road full si1e %y 8e%ruary(-arch and ripe in -ay(9une. ))). Class$f$cat$on of the S*ec$es

Acacia nilotica is a comple& species and has a num%er of su%(species. Presently nine su%(species are *no#n. .hese su%(species ha!e %een differentiated mainly on the %asis of the shape' si1e and degree of pu%escence of the %ranches' pod characteristics' shape of the cro#n and tree ha%itat. 1. Acacia nilotica sub sp. nilotica .he %ranchlets of this su% species are generally gla%rous to su%(gla%rous or rarely pu%escent. .he arrangement of pods is nec*lace li*e' regularly constricted %et#een the seeds ha!ing a smooth surface de!oid of hair. +. A. nilotica sub sp. indica .he young %ranchlets of this su% species may !ary from su%(gla%rous to thinly pu%escent. Pods are arranged nec*lace li*e' narro#ly clogged %et#een the seeds and are densely #hite tomentose. ,. A. nilotica sub sp. cupressiformis .his su%(species %ears a characteristic cro#n #hich ma*e it conspicuous and identifia%le from other su%(species of A. nilotica. .he tree has a narro# erect cypress li*e cro#n. .he %ranches tend to go up#ards and ma*e a narro# angle #ith the main stem. 4. A. nilotica sub sp. tomentosa .he young %ranchlets of this species are densely #hite tomentose. .he pods are arranged in the form of a nec*lace' slightly constricted %et#een the seeds. 5. A. nilotica sub sp. adstringens .he young %ranchlets are !ery hairy and only rarely pu%escent. .he arrangement of the pods differ #ith other species. .hey are not nec*lace li*e' margins distinctly and often irregularly crenate and its #idth !aries from 2.7 (77 centimetres. .he surface of the pod is densely tomentose. 6. A. nilotica sub sp. subalata .he %ranches are densely pu%escent to su% tomentose. .he pods are not nec*lace li*e. .hey are o%long #ith their margins flattened' straight or sometimes slightly crenate' usually 2.6( 7.6 cms #ide' densely and persistently su%(tomentose allo!er. It differs from the su% sp. adstringens ha!ing longer indumentum ha!ing co!ering on the %ranchlets. 7. A. nilotica sub sp. kraussiana .he %ranches of this are generally more or less densely pu%escent. .he pods are not nec*lace li*e. .hey are o%long #ith margins more or less superficially crenate. .he s.eeds are initially gla%rescent and %ecome hairless and shining %lac* #hen dry. 8. A. nilotica sub sp. leiocarpa .he young %ranchlets of this are gla%rous and sometimes pu%erlous. Pods are not nec*lace li*e. .hey are o%long #ith straight margins or rarely crenate' hairless' narro#' 2( 2.< mtrs #ide. -. ". n$lot$ca sub s*. he($s*her$ca .he tree has a hemispherical cro#n' trun* is not clearly demarcated and the %ranchlets are pu%escent only for some( time. .he pods are not arranged in the form of a nec*lace' %ut o%long #ith straight margins to slightly crenate' 2.2(2.< cms #ide' #ith !ery short simple pu%erulence.

).. Cl$(ate an So$l .his species gro#s #ell in tropical and su%(tropical regions of India. .he ma&imum temperature under #hich it can gro# !aries from =3(=;.6>C and thri!es %est in areas ha!ing an a!erage rainfall of 733(27;3 millimetres. It is fairly resistant to drought and re:uires a%undant light for gro#th. It is sensiti!e to frost. It is mainly found gro#ing in plains or gently undulating grounds and ra!ines. It gro#s %est on the allu!ial soils in ri!erian areas su%+ect to periodic inundations. It also flourish( es e!en in al*aline soils. A considera%le amount of moisture in the soil is essential for its success. /!en the e&istence of saline #ater in the su%(soil is not in+urious. .. Phenolo#y .he ne# lea!es appear from -arch (-ay #hile the old lea!es %egin to fall +ust %efore the appearance of ne# lea!es .? %ut some old lea!es stay on as the ne# lea!es sprouts thus the tree is seldom leafless. 8lo#ering is irregular' generally from 9une(Septem%er' %ut some trees flo#er from the early age of a%out < years .and seed each rear. .he pods de!elop rapidly and attain full si1e %y 8e%ruary and -arch and ripen in April@-ay(9une. .he seeds are dar* %ro#n #ith a hard testa. 8i!e year old trees commence to %ear fruits. .). Natural /e#enerat$on Natural reproduction is through seed and seedling coppice. .he animals feeding on pods disperse the seeds #hich germinate during the monsoon months. Ade:uate light' moisture' soil conditions and #eed competition determine the esta%lishment. Soil aeration and drainage are important factors since Impeded drainage may effect the germination. Seedlings re:uire protection from %ro#sing animals. .)). "rt$f$c$al /e#enerat$on $sually the tree is propagated artificially %y seeds and rarely %y seedlings. .hough direct seeding is common' the results are not !ery encouraging' due to %ro#sing' #eed competition and inade:uate soil moisture. Plantations can %e raised %y direct so#ing or %y seedlings raised in containers %ut the former is more common. Seeds are dar*' %lac*(%ro#n in colour' smooth compressed' ;(5 mm in diameter #ith hard seed coat. Ane *ilogram seed #eigh 6633(22'4333 seeds. Ripe pods are collected' dried and thrashed to separate the seeds #hich are cleaned %y #inno#ing. .he ratio of seed to hus* #eight is a%out <B7 and ;(22 seeds #eigh a gram. Seeds if stored in airtight containers do not lose their !ia%ility for a%out < years. Pretreatment of seeds %efore so#ing softens the hard seed coat and facilitates germination. .here are three methods of seed treatment. i. By immersing in cold #ater for =5 hours. ii. ot #ater immersion at 53>C for half(an(hour. After treating #ith hot #ater the seeds are soa*ed in ordinary #ater for 7= hours prior to so#ing. iii. Soa*ing in sulphuric acid CD3EF for 23(<3 minutes #ould also soften the seed coat. After soa*ing' the seeds are #ashed and dried prior to so#ing. Aut of the a%o!e methods the hot #ater treatment is safe' :uic* and effecti!e and thus recommended.

". D$rect so0$n# 8or plantation on #astelands' direct so#ing is done in patches dug to a depth of 73 cms deep spaced at < & < mts distance #hich are prepared during -arch(April. In #inter' half filled pits of 63 & <3 cms si1e can %e prepared for direct so#ing. Normally direct so#ing is done %y %roadcasting Cseed rate 7.6 (< *g@haF or %y di%%ling in lines or patches or %y mound so#ing during 9une and the re:uired seed rate is one *g per hectare. "ermination is completed in a fortnight gi!ing a%out 43(;3E germination. Regular #eedings are recommended. Seedlings are thinned out #hile #eeding. So#ing on mounds and ridges a%out 76 cms high are prepared 6 mts apart #ith pro!ision for proper drainage. B. Nursery ra$s$n# 8or roadside strips and along field %unds' use of polythene %ag(raised(seedlings is recommended. Polythene %ags of C263 gaugeF 6 cms diameter and 77 cms long are filled #ith a soil mi& Csoil and compost in 7B2 ratioF and treated seed is so#n at a depth of 2.6 cms in the %ag during -ay. Ane *g of seed is sufficient for ='333 %ags. .he %ags are regularly #atered for the initial one month and #eeding is done. .he seedlings are ready for planting during 9uly. Pits of <3 cu%ic cm are dug at a distance of < & < mts Cfor stripsF and' =(6 mts for since ro# planting along the %oundaries. .hinning is done during the 6th' 23th' 26th and 73th year and spacement e:ual to the height of the trees at successi!e thinning is *ept C. 1eneral cultural *ract$ces 0atering in the nursery is done fre:uently' till the seed germination terminates. After germination' 7(< #aterings a #ee* are sufficient. 0atering is one of the most important operation #hich decides the gro#th rate of seedlings. Goung seedlings ha!e to %e #eeded regularly for 7(< months. Shade is pro!ided in the early stage in the nursery. ardening is a necessary process for seedlings de!eloped in the nursery. Seedlings are *ept in the nursery under constant care #hile they de!elop. .he good seedlings are selected and placed in separate %eds #hen they are gi!er. )ess #ater and e&posed to the sun gradually to condition them for planting out Normally seedlings attain <3(=3 cms of height in 4 months. /&periments indicates that medium si1ed stoc*' %et#een <3(=3 cms tall #ith #oody root collar' has a %etter sur!i!al. .he seedlings should %e transplanted at this stage #hen the root(shoot ratio is optimum. 8urther gro#th of shoot leads to im%alance in root shoot ratio. .))). D$seases an Pests Ba%ul is lia%le to %e damaged %y many groups of insect pests and diseases. ". D$seases In diseases "anoderma root rot' collar rot' die%ac* and charcoal rot are important. "anoderma root rot can %e controlled %y clear felling' remo!al of old stumps and residual roots and rootlets. Soil drenching #ith car%enda1in fungicides #ould control the collar rot. Die %ac* is pre!ented %y using copper fungicides li*e %lito& at the rate 3.7 per cent. A spray #ith dithane or %a!istin C3.2EF #ill control charcoal root rot. A!oiding #ater logging condition #ill a!oid the onset of root rot. B. Pests .here are se!eral pests that attac* this tree. 2. Stored seeds may %e damaged %y the adult forms of Aracerus suturalis #hich can %e controlled %y spraying endosulfan or malathion. 7. )ar!ae of Celosterna scabrator damages the roots of young trees. .his can %e controlled %y drenching #ith 3.<E aldrin.

<. 8oliage feeders li*e Diapromorpha balteata can %e controlled %y %road spectrum insecticides li*e malathion' se!in' endosulfan' monocrotophos at the rate of 3.32( 3.2 per cent. =. Nymphs of Hamaspidoproctus cineres feed on the sap of lea!es and shoots. Drenching of roots #ith 3.<E emulsion of aldrin or spraying of 3.2E car%aryl and 3.37E monocrophos can pre!ent this pest. 6. Pods and seeds are affected %y the lar!ae of Cryptophelebia illepida #hich feed on them. Spray #ith endosulfan or tetrachloro!in(phos may control this damage. )2. 3ar'est$n# Ba%ul forests are generally managed on a rotation of <3( =3 years. .rees planted in agro(forestry plantations are generally har!ested on shorter rotations. In forests' the trees are generally mar*ed for felling during Decem%er(9anuary and felling is carried out from 8e%ruary to April. .he tim%er and fire#ood is sorted out and tim%er is transported to depots %y April(-ay. ar!esting should %e completed %y 9une %efore the onset of the monsoons. 2. 1ro0th .he gro#th statistics of Acacia nilotica are a!aila%le and the data is gi!en in ta%le 2. Sl.No 2 7 < = 6 4 2). 4ses Almost e!ery part of the %a%ul tree is utili1ed for some purpose. 1. F$re0oo .he #ood is a popular fuel and charcoal #ood. .he sap #ood is #hite and heart#ood is pin*ish %ro#n turns reddish %ro#n on ageing. .he calorific !alues for sap#ood and heart( #ood are =533 *cals and =D63 *cals per *g #ood respecti!ely. .he #ood is hea!y ha!ing specific gra!ity 3.4;(3.45. .he fast gro#ing tree under irrigation is har!ested on a 73 year rotation and adds a%out 7(< cms in diameter each year. A protecti!e forest raised #ith Acacia nilotica sp. in ra!ined area of Agra ga!e an yield of a%out 7 tonnes per hectare per year of fuel #ood from around 653 trees of 2=3(2333 crns height. +. T$(ber 0oo .he #ood is hard' tough' resistant to termites and imper!ious to #ater. It is #idely used for construction as posts' rafters' %eams and indoor frames. It is used for car!ing' %oat %uilding and turnery. It is a fa!ourite #ood for sugar and oil presses' pers+an #heels tent pegs and hammer handles. It is one of the most fa!oured tim%ers for all types of agricultural implements li*e ploughs' harro#s' crushers and rice pounders. Characteristics A!erage diameter CcmsF -a&imum diameter CcmsF -ain a!g. height CmtsF No. of trees@ha .otal !olume .otal yield Ccu.mts@haF Crop age CyearsF 6 23 ;.<4 2<.;2 27.2D 73.5< 5.77 22.65 6<5 7=4 23.2D 77.35 22.=4 74.65 26 25.;D 74.D7 2=.37 266 <6.6< ==.DD 73 77.4 <2.D7 24.26 273 =6.=D 42.== 76 76.2= <=.7D 2;.4; DD 63.74 ;<.<D

Regarding the #or*ing and finishing properties of #ood' it is an easy #ood to con!ert and resa# #hen green' %ut it %ecomes harden and tougher #hen seasoned. It #or*s #ell %y hand machines and finishes to a good surface. Its #or*ing :uality inde& %ased on :uality of #or*ed surface and ease of #or*ing is 5= compared to 233 for tea*. ,. Tann$n# (ater$al .he %ar* and pods are used #idely in the leather industry. .he %ar* is o%tained mainly as a %y product #hen trees are felled for tim%er or fuel. It is separated %y %eating the logs #ith #ooden mallets and the strips o%tained are dried in the open chipped into smaller pieces and sent to tanneries #ithout grading. .he proportion of %ar* to #ood is roughly 2B6 %y #eight. A 26 year old plantation of a%out 473 trees per hectare may yield a%out 6 tonnes of %ar* per hectare. .he #hole pod of %a%ul contains a%out 27(2DE tannin and that de!oid of seeds #ill ha!e 25(7;E tannin. 4. 5e $c$nal uses .he lea!es' %ar*' gum and pods are used for medicinal purposes. .he tender gro#ing tops and lea!es are used as a douche ill cases of gonorrhea' dropsy and leucorrhoea. Pulp of lea!es' decoction of %ar* and the gum are prescri%ed in diarrhoea' dysentery and dia%etes. A paste made of the %urnt lea!es #ith coconut oil ma*es a !ery efficacious ointment for itching. .he lea!es and the gum are used for gargling for rela&ing sore throat and spongy gums. Decoction of lea!es is also usHd as #ash for %leeding ulcers and #ounds. 5. Fo er an fee $n# 'alue .he palata%ility rating of lea!es is good and thus used as fodder. .he tree lea!es and pods form the chief diet for sheep and goats. )eaf analysis #as done on a dry matter %asis sho#ed that the lea!es contain 2<.DE crude protein' D.7E crude fi%re 4D.5E nitrogen free e&tract' ;.2 E ash' 3.2 E phos( phorus' 7.4E calcium and 3.=E magnesium. .he pods of %a%ul are a fa!ourite fodder for goats. Ripe pods on a drymatter %asis contain 22(26E crude protein' 5.=(72.=E crude fi%re' 62(;2E nitrogen free e&tract' 6(;E ash' 3.52(2.3DE calcium and 3.2( 3.7E phosphorus. 6. 7ther uses It has got lot of other important uses. a. .he gum o%tained from this tree is *no#n as IIndian "um ara%icaI. %. .he #ood from Acacias is good for paper and pulp ma*ing. But %a%ul #ood %eing !alued in ma*ing agricultural implements and house construction is rarely a!ail( a%le for pulp ma*ing. c. In Ra+asthan' during acute scarcity' the %a%ul seeds are roasted and eaten. Air dry seeds contain moisture 5.5<E crude protein' 74.=E crude fi%re 7.;E' free e&tract 47.DE' total ash =.;' calcium 4;< mg@233 gm' phosphorus =73 mg@233 gm and iron =.D mg@233 gIn. d. Dry stuffs can %e prepared %y %oiling the pods' lea!es and %ar* in !arying proportions and occassional additions of #ood e&tract. Variety of colours from yello# to %lac* through %ro#n can %e o%tained. e. .horny %ranches of %a%ul are useful as fencing material. EEEEEEEE