Forest EcologyGeneral SilviculturePlant Taxonomy

Dalbergia sissoo Roxb.

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Dalbergia sissoo Roxb. Family


Dalbergia sissoo Roxb. English Name

Rose Wood

Dalbergia sissoo Roxb. Local Name

Shisham , Tahli

Dalbergia sissoo Roxb.

Dalbergia sissoo Roxb. Description

A medium size to large, deciduous tree, 30 m in height. The branches are spreading, and diameters of 3 m have been recorded. The trunk is usually crooked. The leaves are compound with 3 to 5 leaflets on an 8 cm stalk. The leaflets are between 2.5 to 6 cm in diameter, broadly oval, tough and pointed. The bark is grey and furrowed longitudinally. On older trees the bark may peel off in strips. Young branches may be covered with a grey down. The flowers occur in groups and are small. The flowers are dull white to yellowish white to pinkish, appearing between March and May. The pods are small, 5 to 8 cm long and papery. The pods ripen from June to February there are usually 1 to 4 seeds per pod. A very intolerant tree, susceptible to root diseases in irrigated plantations and attacks by a number of leaf fungi. Young trees are heavily grazed and browsed. It can be reproduced both from seed and by vegetative means. It is difficult to separate the seed from the pods. Seed (in broken pods) can be stored for 6 months without loss of viability. In irrigated plantations growth of 11 m in height and 20 cm diameter have been recorded during a 15-year period. MAI of 7.7 m3/ha/yr is achieved over a 20-year rotation. Interlocked grain with a medium to coarse texture. Sapwood white to pale brown. Heartwood is golden brown to dark brown. Wood is heavy with a specific gravity of 0.85 and a calorific value of 5000 kcal/kg, with high strength.

Dalbergia sissoo Roxb.

Dalbergia sissoo Roxb. Distribution

The tree is native to the subcontinent along a sub-Himalayan tract. It is common along rivers banks and streams. It is successfully planted in many areas of Pakistan, India and other parts of the world. It is one of the most important trees in Asia. It occurs in a dry sub-tropical, dry temperate climate and does best on well drained sandy to sandy loam soils but will tolerate saline soils. It has an elevation range of 900 to 1500 m if precipitation is between 300 to 2000 mm. It is frost hardy and has a temperature range of 0 to 50°C. Under irrigation it is grown extensively throughout the Punjab, NWFP and parts of Sindh.

Dalbergia sissoo Roxb.

Dalbergia sissoo Roxb. Uses

It grows slower than Eucalyptus and poplar but is a good farm forestry tree because it’s a good fodder tree, it fixes nitrogen and is a good long-term investment for farmers. It is also a good shade tree. Also used as fodder, furniture, fuel and charcoal, medicinal (roots and bark), railway carriages, sporting goods, farm implements, and shade.

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