Forest EcologyForest ManagementGeneral SilvicultureSoil Science

Planting Trees on Saline and Waterlogged Soils

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Salinity is a common problem in irrigated agriculture, especially in areas of low rainfall and high evaporative demand (arid and semi-arid regions). Saline soils are however, not confined to the arid and semi-arid regions. They are also found extensively in sub-humid and humid climates, particularly in the coastal regions where the ingress of sea water through estuaries and rivers and through groundwater causes large-scale salinization. Since saline soils contain a major salt accumulation in the upper 30cm layer, seedlings are badly affected if planted at the surface. Sub-surface planting in holes of 15 cm diameter and 45 cm deep are dug and saplings are planted at a depth of 15 cm to minimize the adverse effects of high salinity. Another method is to plant on ridges of about 40 cm height and seedlings are planted on top of them. This method facilitates good aeration and salt leaching in waterlogged saline soils. Field observations, however, have indicated that ridges are generally unstable in the presence of excess salts, and it is difficult to irrigate saplings by a flood method to simultaneously affect salt leaching.  A list of trees suitable for saline and waterlogged soils is as given.

Tree Species Suitable for Saline and Waterlogged Soils

The following is a list of species that can grow in various levels of saline and waterlogged soils.

Scientific NameLocal NameNative/ExoticSalinity Tolerance
Albizzia lebbekBlack SirisNativeLow
Azadirachta indicaNeemNativeLow
Millettia pinnataSukh ChainNativeMedium
Prosopis cinerariaJand/KandiNativeLow
Salix tetraspermaIndian willowNativeLow
Salvadora oleoidesPiluNativeHigh
Salvadora persicaPiluNativeHigh
Syzygium cuminiJamunNativeMedium
Tamarix aphyllaFrashNativeHigh
Terminalia arjunaArjunNativeLow
Vachellia niloticaBabulNativeHigh
Ziziphus mauritianaBerNativeLow
Eucalyptus camaldulensisSufedaExoticMedium
Eucalyptus citriodoraSufedaExoticLow
Eucalyptus micothecaSufedaExoticLow
Eucalyptus tereticornisSufedaExoticLow
Leucaena leucocephalaIpil IpilExoticLow

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