Online Manual for the Forest Tree Seeds of Kerala

A Kerala Forest Department Funded Project


Dr. K Sudhakara
Professor & Head of the Department
Dept. of Silviculture & Agroforestry
College of Forestry, Kerala Agricultural University, Thrissur 680 656
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Scientific Name  Acacia mangium Willd.
Vernacular name  Mangium (Malayalam); Mangium, Mangium wattle, mange, forest mangrove (Duke, 1983; PIER, 2003; Chacko et al., 2002).
Common name  Black wattle, Brown salwood, Mangium (Chacko et al.,2002; Bose et al., 1998).
Synonyms  Racosperma mangium (Willd.) Pedley (Chacko et al., 2002).
Family  Leguminosae
Subfamily  Mimosoideae
Origin  Native to Queensland, Australia, Molluccan Islands, Papua New Guinea, and Indonesia.
Distribution  It has been introduced in India; Nepal; South American states; Bangladesh; Philippines; Malaysia and in many other tropical countries for plantation. It was introduced into Kerala during early 1980s (Awang and Taylor, 1993; Chacko et al., 2002; PIER 2003; Bose et al., 1998).
Description  Fast growing moderate sized evergreen tree attaining a height of 25 to 35 m and breast height diameter 60 cm (Awang and Taylor, 1993; Chacko et al., 2002).
Flowering season  October to January (Bose et al.,1998).
Fruiting season  January to April (Chacko et al., 2002).
Flowers  Small, pentamerous, white, cream or light yellow in loose axillary spikes up to 10 cm long solitary or paired in the upper axils. Calyx 0.6-0.8 mm long, with short obtuse lobes, the corolla twice as long as the calyx (Duke, 1983; Bose et al., 1998).
Fruits  Initially straight 8 mm long and green, glabrous, later twisted, inter twined and become irregularly coiled and blackish brown when ripe with depressions between the seeds (Bose et al., 1998; Chacko et al., 2002; Duke, 1983).
Fruit type  Pod.
Seeds  Seeds are smaller, lustrous, black, ellipsoid, ovate or oblong, 3.5-2.5 mm, the orangish funicle forming a fleshy aril beneath the seed in size, black in colour and with a hard seed coat (Duke, 1983).
Seed length  3-5 mm (Awang and Taylor, 1993; Chacko et al., 2002).
Seed width  2-3 mm (Awang and Taylor, 1993; Chacko et al., 2002).
Seed thickness 
Seed weight  1,03,000 seeds/kg (Chacko and Pillai, 1995).
Seed dispersal  Birds.
Seed Collection  Ripening pods change in colour from green to brown (Awang and Taylor, 1993; Chacko et al., 2002) and are collected from the tree. Seeds collected from 9-yr-old trees give 68% germination, but all seedling parameters are better for seeds from 6 yr old trees (Rohayat and Mindawati, 1997).
Transportation of seeds  Pods are packed in cloth bags and transported (Chacko et al., 2002).
Seed processing  Ripe pods are spread in the sun for 5 to 9 days until they open out to release seeds. The seeds are dried well before storage (Chacko et al., 2002).
Seed storage  Seeds are orthodox in nature, retain viability up to two years under cool dry conditions in airtight bottles, tins, and earthenware pots (Chacko et al., 2002). The use of storage media help to increase the percentage of seed viability (Khomane and Bhosale, 2003).
Viability period  Seeds are viable for one year or more under natural conditions in sealed tin (Chacko et al., 2002).
Seed emptiness  No information (Chacko et al., 2002).
Seed pre treatment  Soaking in hot water for (80oC) two minutes followed by tap water for 24 hrs (Chacko et al., 2002). Seed lethal temperature is around 150oC, while a temperature of 76oC cannot break seed dormancy (Saharjo and Watanabe, 1997). Soaking the seeds in boiling water until the water turns cold for 24 hrs increase seed germination. Treatment in boiling water, without posterior immersion in ambient water result in good germination by overcoming seed coat hardness (Smiderle et al., 2005). Treatment with concentrated sulfuric acid also break seed coat dormancy, but result in abnormal growth of seedlings (Dayan and Reaviles, 1996). Germination value, germination energy and germination relative index are high in seeds inundated with hot water (Swaminathan and Swarnapiria, 2001).
Germination type  Epigeal (Chacko et al., 2002).
Germination percentage  53 (Chacko and Pillai, 1995).
Germination period  3 to 30 days (Chacko and Pillai, 1995). Germination percentage and germination values differ between tree ages. Increased moisture stress reduce germination. Germination is higher in seeds exposed to light than those kept in the dark. High temperature fluctuation rather than light per se promote seed germination (Hashim Md Noor and Wathern, 2003).
Nursery technique  Pre treated seeds are sown in plastic trays filled with vermiculate or in nursery beds and watered regularly. The germinated seeds are potted in polythene bags of size 20 x 10 cm filled with compost or soil based potting mixture. Seeds can also be sown directly in containers such as polythene bags, root trainers, etc. using appropriate potting media (Chacko et al., 2002). The slow release fertilizer Fertimel (which contains N, P, K, Ca, Mg, S and trace elements), significantly improve the growth of seedlings in the nursery (Masano and Mawazin, 1995). Cowdung without NPK fertilizer at a soil/cowdung ratio of 3:1 is also effective in increasing growth. NPK fertilizer alone is less effective on the growth of the seedlings (Paul and Hossain, 1997). Seedling growth increase with P dose, but the 400 g m-3 dosage is sufficient since the seedlings produced under this regime have a root shoot ratio of 0.50, which is a good quality indicator (Daniel et al., 1997). Kocide 80 AS (Spin Out (copper hydroxide) applied to the inner wall of a seedling container is effective in preventing container induced root deformation (circling and kinked roots) and increasing plant growth (Hendromono et al., 1995).
Method of propagation  Direct sowing or entire planting.
Vegetative propagation  In vitro multiple shoot proliferation using nodal explants using MS medium supplemented with BA ([benzyladenine] 3 mg/litre) and NAA (0.1 mg/litre) (Bhaskar and Subhash, 1996). Coppice shoots dipped into IBA solution (6000 ppm for 5 s) and growing in a medium of river sand give 50-70% rooting (Akbar, 1993). But it is quite difficult to propagate by cuttings obtained from mature material (Poupard et al., 1994).
Pests  No information (Chacko et al., 2002). There are problems with leaf insects (Duke, 1983). Pinhole beetles of 3 species (Xyleborus perforans, X. semiopacus [Xylosandrus crassiusculus] and an unidentified Xyleborus sp.) are observed on logs (Brazo, 1995). Carpenter ants (Camponotus sp.) form galleries in the heartwood of young trees. Wood borers of the genus Xystrocera may be a problem. Seedlings may be defoliated by Hypomeces squamosus. Scale insects and mealy bugs may also be problematic with young plants (NAS, 1983).
Diseases  Twenty five fungi and a bacterium are recorded on seeds. Epicoccum sp., Alternaria sp., Phomopsis sp., Cylindrocladium sp., are the important field fungi recorded (Mohanan and Anil Chandran, 2001; Chacko et al., 2002). Botryodiplodia theobromae, Fusarium moniliforme and F. oxysporum are the most prevalent fungi causing seed rot, seedling diseases and mortality, wilt, growth suppression, and stem deformation. Pseudomonas sp. and Xanthomonas sp. also commonly cause various seedling diseases, including dieback. Colletotrichum gloeosporioides, Fusarium moniliforme, F. oxysporum and Phoma sp. (seed transmitted as they were isolated from embryos). However, Botrytis sp., Cephalosporium sp., Curvularia tuberculata, Macrophomina phaseolina are found only on the seed coat. Trichoderma sp., when mixed with fertilizers, improve seedling growth and minimize seed-borne diseases (Abdelmonem and Rasmi, 2005). Brown root rot caused by Phellinus noxius; and laminated root rot (caused by an unidentified fungus) (Almonicar, 1992).
Medicinal properties 
Uses  Wood is suitable for light structural works, and for pulp and paper. Round shoots are browsed by buffaloes and cattle. Wood is used for furniture and cabinets, mouldings and door and window components (Chacko et al., 2002).
Wood properties  The sapwood and the heartwoods have distinct colours. The sapwood is often white or yellowish white and the heartwood is yellowish brown to golden brown when fresh, to dull brown on long exposure. The wood is hard, dense and relatively straight-grained. The green wood density ranges from 400-480 kg/rn, air-dry density ranges from 500-600 kg/m3 (Razali and Kuo 1991; Wang et al. 1989; Peh and Khoo 1984; Logan and Balodis 1982; Ong 1985).
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