Forest EcologyGeneral SilviculturePlant Taxonomy

Sapium sebiferum (L.) Roxb.

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Sapium sebiferum (L.) Roxb. Family


Sapium sebiferum (L.) Roxb.English Name

Chinese tallow, Hilly Shisham

Sapium sebiferum (L.) Roxb. Local Name

Charbi, Pahari shisham

Sapium sebiferum (L.) Roxb.

Sapium sebiferum (L.) Roxb. Description

A small-sized deciduous tree 6 to 12 m tall with a diameter of 0.2 to 0.3 m. The crown may range from low spreading and multi-forked to slender columnar with small pendant branches. The leaves are simple, heart-shaped and 2 to 7.5 cm across. The bark is rough and light grey. It can be monecious but in some cases the flowers have both male and female parts. The yellow flowers occur in small, drooping bunches 5 to 20 cm long. The flowers occur between May and October. The fruit is a capsule, and the fruiting period is between November and January. It has no known insect or disease problems. It is reproduced both from seed and by vegetative means. A moderately fast-growing tree, it has been reported to have a diameter growth MAI of 0.85 cm. In a plantation it is reported to have produced 22 m3/ha/yr over a 4 year period. Grains are straight to rather deeply interlocked to wavy, weak and soft having specific gravity of 0.5 and a calorific value of 4100 kcal/kg.

Sapium sebiferum (L.) Roxb.

Sapium sebiferum (L.) Roxb. Distribution

The tree is native to China and Japan. In Pakistan it is planted in the plains and in gardens. Grows naturally along stream beds in Abbottabad. Used extensively in Islamabad for landscaping. An intolerant tree that grows on a variety of soils, including wet and saline sites. It can be successfully grown on alkaline or poor soils. It requires a precipitation zone of 500 to 1.200 mm/yr or more. It prefers a sub-humid to semi-arid, cool-warm sub-tropical monsoon climate with a temperature range of -10 to 40°C, up to an elevation of 1200 m.

Sapium sebiferum (L.) Roxb.

Sapium sebiferum (L.) Roxb. Uses

It is frost hardy and coppices readily. This is a potentially useful tree in farm forestry programs. It can also be planted in watershed areas to help control erosion. Fuel, candles and soap (from wax on seed coat) ornamental, erosion control, apiculture, and crates and boxes.

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