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January 31, 2022

Some common trees include:

  • banyan (bat́)
  • ámlá (Emblica officinalis)
  • Acasia babul (gond)
  • shiriish
  • kusum (Oleosa schleichera)
  • arjun ((Terminalia arjuna)
  • Indian laburum (sondál, Cassia fiftula)
  • Palásh
  • Acasia catechu (khayer)
  • screw pine (ketakii, keorá, Pandanus)
  • Tál Kát́ál (Thai ragam, dalacca)
  • Tamarind (teṋtul)
  • Indian rosewood (shál, Daldergia latifolia)
  • piyá shál (Pterocarpus marsupium)
  • garjan (Dipterocarpus alatus)
  • betel nut (supári)

Banyan (Bat́)

The banyan tree is sometimes known as “the pillar tree” in English because aerial roots which look like pillars grow from the branches down into the ground.

When the aerial roots are fully grown, one banyan tree can look like a dense forest. No other plants can grow amongst the aerial roots of old banyan trees which often extend over a large area.

The soft tip of the aerial root (juri) is a good medicine for blood dysentery, mucus dysentery and leukemia when it is ground with water that has been used to wash rice.

Banyan may be planted at:

  • the end of a slope
  • beside rivers
  • in extremely rocky areas.

Banyan should be planted 20 feet from each other along the line where a slope ends and the sandy bank of a river begins.

When banyan is planted in this way it helps check soil erosion, although Chinese banyan does not check soil erosion as well as Indian banyan.

Between every 2 banyan trees, one Indian palmyra (tál) tree should be planted.

  • The Indian banyan lives for 2,000 to 6,000 years.
  • The Indian palmyra lives for 120 years.

The Indian palmyra also checks erosion. Banyan and Indian palmyra should be planted together on all integrated farming projects to prevent riverside erosion.

The method for planting banyan is as follows.

Make a small pit and plant the banyan seedling in it. Water the plant regularly for one month, but when new leaves appear the watering can be discontinued. However, bonsai banyan and Chinese banyan require continued watering after the first month. If the seedling dies, replace it with a larger one.

Ámlá (Emblica Officinalis)

Ámlá bears a fruit which is similar to a plum. Oil can be pressed from the seed. Scented ámlá oil can be made by adding floral fragrances.

Acasia Babul (Gond)

Acasia babul is common in India.

The sap can be mixed with other ingredients to produce glue. Lozenges can also be made from the juice after it has been refined.

Shiriish

Shiriish is a boundary plant which produces good quality wood.

Kusum (Oleosa Schleichera)

Kusum is sometimes referred to as “the lac tree” in English because it is a host to lac insects. It should not be confused with safflower, the kusum flower.

Arjuna (Terminalia Arjuna)

Arjuna can be used as a roadside tree. Tasar silk worms can be grown on it, and the wood is often used for furniture.

Indian Laburnum (Sondál, Cassia Fiftula)

The fruit of Indian laburum is called “banda lathi” in Bengali because it looks like a large lathi or stick. It can be used as a boundary plant.

Palásh

Palásh is an important lac host.

Acasia Catechu (Khayer)

Acasia catechu is also known as “the cutch tree” in English. The gum should not be used for making lozenges, but is an ingredient for making glue. Kattha, one of the ingredients for making pán (betel leaf for chewing), can be made from it.

Screw Pine (Ketakii, Keorá, Pandanus)

Screw pine is known as “ketaki” in Saḿskrta and “keorá” in Hindi and Bengali. There are many varieties, such as ram ban kewada and naga ketaki. Both these varieties help to prevent soil erosion.

The screw pine lives for 2000 years and grows well in rocky areas and along the banks of rivers. It likes moist air. Scent is made from the flowers and the wood is also useful.

Tál Kát́ál (Thai Ragam, Dalacca)

Tál Kát́ál is a palm which is useful as an intermittent boundary plant. The wood may be used to construct furniture.

Tamarind (Tentut)

The roots of tamarind are very fibrous.

It is an important riverside tree because the fibrous roots help check erosion. However, the trees gives off bad air, so it should be planted with simul and neem, which give off good air, to balance this effect.

The sour fruit is beneficial for the health and is widely used in cooking and confectionery. Tamarind is very popular in South India.

Indian Rosewood (Shál, Dalbergia Latifolia)

Indian rosewood can be used to produce wood, latex, floral nectar, tasar silk, oil, etc. The fruit and leaves are also useful. It is a common roadside tree.

Piyá Shál (Pterocarpus Marsupium)

Piyá shál is used to produce wood. Bees also like the flowers.

Garjan (Dipterocarpus Alatus)

Garjan is sometimes called “the mangrove tree”. It is a useful roadside plant, and is used to produce wood and oil.

Betel Nut (Supári)

Betel nut is a popular chewing nut in South Asia and particularly India. The nut is mixed with betel leaf, lime, etc. and chewed until the saliva turns red. It is a static stimulant and should not be eaten by those following a sentient diet. It is a plant of the palm group and requires a lot of rain or water, but it cannot tolerate waterlogging. It grows well on the slopes of Assam.

Betel leaf is a creeper which does not require tilling. Betel leaf should not be confused with betel nut. Some varieties of betel leaf include:

  • báḿlá pán
  • cháchi pán
  • miit́há pán
  • magahii pán
  • ghunghat́ pán

Oranges

Orange trees must be planted 15-20 feet apart. Between two orange trees there should be one coffee tree.

Then between the orange and coffee trees there should be 2 tea plants approximately 3 feet apart from each other.

Between these there should be ginger as a fill-up. Each ginger plant should be two feet apart from each other. All the rows should be parallel in a grid formation.

There are no soil or rainfall considerations for oranges.

But calcium must be present in the soil in sufficient quantity because it makes the fruit sweet. There are no soil considerations for tea either, but there should be a lot of rainfall which does not accumulate around the plant.

Coffee can grow with less rainfall than tea, and it can grow in poor soil.

Suggested orange varieties include:

  • Nagpuri orange (small size)
  • Kalimpong variety (big fruit with space between the skin and the fruit, watery taste)
  • Assam variety (small size, sweet)
  • Silal variety (small size, very sweet)
  • South Indian variety (a little bigger than Nagpuri)
  • Other varieties, including Valencia, Italian, Maltese, etc.

Mango

Mango can be grown as a roadside tree.

Between 2 mangoes, 1 palm should be planted – one mango, one palm, one mango, etc.

Agave (sisal) can then be grown as a fill up plant between them.