Tamarix aphylla (L.) Karst. Family
Tamarix aphylla (L.) Karst. English Name
Tamarix aphylla (L.) Karst. Local Name
Frash, Ghaz, Khaggal
Tamarix aphylla (L.) Karst. Description
A large evergreen tree up to 40 m tall with a diameter of 1 to 2 m. The crown is spreading and dense. The leaves are simple, variable in size and shape, oval to oval-lance like 7 to 15 cm long, dark green, tough and leathery. The bark is smooth, and the stem may be crooked. The bark is light to dark grey, with slight depressions. The small white flowers have tassels and a sweet scent. They are arranged in bunches of threes and bloom usually between February and March. The fruit is a smooth, round fleshy berry that is purple black when ripe. The berry contains a single seed. The berries are edible and mature between June and August. It has no known insect or disease problems. It is reproduced both from seed and by vegetative means. The seeds are small and should be planted immediately after collecting and de-pulping. They lose viability rapidly and do not store. It grows very fast. Height growth rates of 0.75 m/yr for young stands have been reported. MAI of 10 to 12 m3/ha/yr is not uncommon over rotations of 20 years. Wood is reddish grey to brownish grey. Grains are interlocked, texture moderately fine. Wood is hard, heavy and resilient having specific gravity of 0.70 and a calorific value of 4800 kcal/kg.
Tamarix aphylla (L.) Karst. Distribution
The tree is native to the subcontinent including Pakistan. It has been successfully planted in many areas of the world. In Pakistan, it is found in the plains and lower hills of the Punjab, NWFP, and Azad Kashmir. A very intolerant tree that grows on a variety of soils, from sands to loams as long as they are well drained. It is adapted to a precipitation zone of up to 1250 mm/yr. It prefers a semi-humid warm hot, sub-tropical winter/monsoon climate with a temperature range of -5 to 40°C at elevations up to 1500 m. It will coppice easily. The tree is frost hardy and can tolerate hot droughty conditions if irrigated.
Tamarix aphylla (L.) Karst. Uses
It is a good tree for reforestation projects because of its fast growth and wood value. It will do well on water-logged sites, and provides a number of useful products including fruit and firewood. It is an excellent farm forestry tree ideally suited for planting on waterlogged farm sites. Also used for construction, fuel, fruit, medicinal (fruit is a carminative, seed for treatment of diabetes), tannin, shelterbelts, apiculture, paper pulp, shade, fodder and roadside planting purposes