The Naseberry tree, also known as Sapodilla, is a fruit tree that is native to southern Mexico, Central America, and the Caribbean. It is now widely cultivated in various tropical and subtropical regions, including India. The tree is valued for its delicious, sweet fruit and for the wood, which is used in furniture making.
|Scientific Name||Manilkara zapota|
|Maximum Height||Up to 45 meters (147 feet)|
|Diameter||Up to 1 meter (3.3 feet) when mature|
|Years to Grow||Up to 10 years|
|Economic Benefit||Provides a valuable fruit crop and timber for various uses|
The Naseberry tree can grow up to 20 meters in height, but it is usually smaller in cultivation. It has a rounded or pyramidal shape, and the trunk can reach up to one meter in diameter. The bark is dark brown and rough, with vertical fissures. The leaves are glossy, oval-shaped, and grow up to 15 centimeters long. The tree has a dense, symmetrical crown, and the branches are often low and drooping.
The Naseberry tree is an important species in agroforestry systems because it is drought-resistant and can thrive in poor soils. The tree is also an important food source for birds, insects, and mammals, including bats and monkeys. The fruit is especially attractive to birds, which help to disperse the seeds.
Importance to birds, animals, and insects
The Naseberry tree is a significant source of food for many animals and insects. The fruit is eaten by birds, monkeys, squirrels, and bats, while the leaves and bark are consumed by caterpillars, beetles, and other insects. The tree also provides habitat for many species of birds and animals.
States in India where the tree is found naturally
The Naseberry tree is found naturally in various parts of India, including Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Maharashtra, and Andhra Pradesh. It is also found in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands.
States where it is commercially grown
The Naseberry tree is commercially grown in many parts of India, including Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, and Maharashtra.
Commercial growing of tree
The Naseberry tree is grown in a variety of agroforestry systems, including home gardens, orchards, and mixed plantations. The tree can be propagated by seed or by grafting, and it prefers well-drained soils with a pH range of 6.0 to 7.5. The tree requires little maintenance and is relatively easy to grow.
Different stages of tree growth in details
The Naseberry tree takes several years to mature and start bearing fruit. Young trees require regular watering and occasional pruning to promote healthy growth. The tree starts to bear fruit after three to five years, and the fruit takes several months to ripen. The fruit is usually harvested by hand, and the tree can produce several hundred fruits per year.
How farmers are benefited
The Naseberry tree is a valuable addition to agroforestry systems because it provides a source of income and food for farmers. The tree is relatively low-maintenance and can grow in poor soils, making it ideal for small-scale farmers. The fruit is also in high demand, and farmers can earn a good income from selling it.
The Naseberry fruit is harvested when it is fully ripe, which usually takes several months after flowering. The fruit should be picked by hand to avoid damaging the tree or the fruit. The fruit is then washed, sorted, and packaged for sale.
The Naseberry tree is a valuable addition to agroforestry systems in India. It provides food and habitat for many animals and insects, and it is an important source of income for farmers. The tree is relatively easy to grow and requires little maintenance, making it a good choice for small-scale farmers with limited resources. The Naseberry fruit is also highly valued for its sweet and delicious taste, making it a popular choice among consumers.
In addition to its ecological and economic benefits, the Naseberry tree is also a beautiful and ornamental tree that can enhance the aesthetic appeal of gardens and landscapes. Its rounded shape, glossy leaves, and drooping branches make it a popular choice for home gardens and parks.
Overall, the Naseberry tree is a valuable species that plays an important role in agroforestry systems in India. Its ability to thrive in poor soils, drought-resistant nature, and valuable fruit make it an ideal species for small-scale farmers. The tree’s ecological importance, including its value as a food and habitat source for animals and insects, highlights the need for its conservation and sustainable use in India’s diverse ecosystems.