Albizia lebbek (L.) Benth

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Albizia lebbek (L.) Benth. Family

Leguminosae

Albizia lebbek (L.) Benth. English Name

Black Siris

Albizia lebbek (L.) Benth. Local Name

Kala Sirin

Albizia lebbek (L.) Benth

Albizia lebbek (L.) Benth. Description

A fast growing deciduous tree 12 to 30 m tall. Diameters to 1 m are not uncommon. The crown is open flat, and umbrella-like. Foliage is feathery-like and the leaves are compound. Leaflets are small 3cm long. The bark is dark grey, rough and irregularly cracked. The fragrant flowers are yellow or greenish white, in dense clusters, appearing between April and May. The pods are broad, flat and about 25cm long. They are yellowish brown when ripe. The pods mature between June to September. Several fungus diseases attack the leaves and pods of this tree. Indarbela quadrinotata, a bark beetle, is a serious threat to plantations and roadside plantings. Grazing can be a problem with this tree. Seedlings are susceptible to frost damage. It can be reproduced both from seed and by vegetative means. Pre-treatment of seed by an overnight soak in water will increase germination. Relatively fast growing. Yields of 5 m3/ha/yr, depending on the site, have been recorded over rotations of 10 to 15 years. Grain is figured, attractive, interlocked, texture medium to coarse. Sapwood is yellowish-white, heartwood is dark greyish brown turning to rich dark brown on exposure. Dense with a specific gravity between 0.55 and 0.64, and a calorific value of 5100 kcal/kg. Wood is very strong, resilient.

Albizia lebbek (L.) Benth

Albizia lebbek (L.) Benth. Distribution

This tree is native to the sub-Himalayan tract. In Pakistan it grows in a narrow belt from Sialkot to Hazara. Bajaur, Buner and Malakand. It has been planted throughout the plains of Sindh & Punjab. A moderately intolerant, tree that grows on a variety of moist sites. It favors well drained loamy soils but will tolerate saline and sodic conditions (pH 8.7 to 9.4). It requires a summer precipitation zone of 400 to 1000 mm/yr. It prefers a sub-humid, cool, warm, sub-tropical and tropical climate with a temperature range of 4 to 40°C and an elevation range of 0 to 1600 m. This tree is adapted to a variety of moist sites and soils. It is best suited to well drained, alkali soils.

Albizia lebbek (L.) Benth

Albizia lebbek (L.) Benth. Uses

It coppices readily. It is a good nitrogen fixer and has the potential as a good erosion control tree. With care this would be a useful farm forestry tree. Young plants need protection from grazing and frost. It also has potential as a tree for saline, sodic sites. Heavily lopped for fodder. Can be used for fuel, land stabilization, nitrogen fixing, poles agricultural implements, shade, and apiculture.

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