Sheesham tree, also known as Indian Rosewood or Dalbergia sissoo, is a deciduous tree that is native to the Indian subcontinent. It is a fast-growing tree and is highly valued for its high-quality timber, which is used in furniture making, flooring, and decorative items. In addition to its commercial value, Sheesham tree has significant ecological and cultural importance in India.
|Scientific Name||Dalbergia sissoo|
|Maximum Height||25-30 meters|
|Diameter When Mature||1-1.5 meters|
|Years to Grow||15-20 years|
|Economic Benefit to Farmers||Timber and other forest products, shade and shelter for crops, cultural and spiritual significance, potential income through agroforestry|
Sheesham tree can reach up to 25-30 meters in height with a straight, cylindrical trunk and a broad, spreading crown. The tree has a deep root system that allows it to withstand drought conditions. The bark of the tree is dark gray and deeply furrowed, and the leaves are compound and pinnate with 6-9 leaflets. The tree produces small, white or pink flowers in clusters, which are followed by small, flat pods that contain the tree’s seeds. The tree has a dense, symmetrical, and broadly spreading crown that provides shade.
Sheesham tree plays a significant ecological role in India. The tree helps to prevent soil erosion, improves soil fertility, and contributes to water conservation by reducing the risk of runoff. Additionally, Sheesham tree is a source of food and shelter for a variety of wildlife, including birds, insects, and mammals.
Importance to Birds, Animals, and Insects:
Sheesham tree is an important source of food and shelter for a variety of birds, animals, and insects. The tree’s leaves are a food source for several species of caterpillars, which in turn, are a food source for birds and other predators. Additionally, the tree provides habitat for several species of birds, including woodpeckers, barbets, and parakeets. The tree’s wood is also a source of food for termites, which play an essential role in decomposing dead wood and recycling nutrients in the soil.
States in India where the tree is found naturally:
Sheesham tree is naturally found in several states in India, including Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Punjab, Haryana, Uttarakhand, and Bihar. The tree prefers warm and humid climates and is commonly found near rivers, streams, and other water bodies. It is typically found in deciduous forests and is an essential component of the forest ecosystem.
States where it is commercially grown:
Sheesham tree is commercially grown in several states in India, including Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, and Bihar.
Commercial growing of the tree:
Sheesham tree is grown in agroforestry systems, where it is intercropped with other crops, such as wheat or vegetables. This helps to increase crop yields, improve soil fertility, and provide farmers with additional income. Additionally, Sheesham tree has significant cultural and spiritual importance in India, and its cultivation can help to promote traditional farming practices and preserve local knowledge.
Different stages of tree growth:
The growth of Sheesham tree can be divided into several stages, including the germination stage, the seedling stage, the sapling stage, and the mature tree stage. During the germination stage, the seedling emerges from the seed and begins to develop its root system. In the seedling stage, the tree begins to grow above ground, and its stem begins to thicken. The sapling stage is characterized by rapid growth, and the tree begins to develop its crown. In the mature tree stage, the tree reaches its maximum height, and its trunk and branches become thicker and more substantial.
How farmers are benefited by growing it under agroforestry:
Farmers can benefit significantly from growing Sheesham tree in agroforestry systems. The tree can help to increase crop yields, improve soil fertility, and provide farmers with additional income through the sale of timber and other forest products. Additionally, Sheesham tree can provide shade and shelter for other crops, which can help to reduce heat stress and increase yields. Farmers can also benefit from the cultural and spiritual significance of the tree, which can help to promote traditional farming practices and preserve local knowledge.
The timber of Sheesham tree is typically harvested when the tree is between 15-20 years old. The tree is felled, and the trunk is cut into logs, which are transported to sawmills for processing. The timber is highly valued for its durability, strength, and attractive grain patterns, and it is used in furniture making, flooring, and other decorative items.
Sheesham tree is a highly valuable tree species in India, with significant ecological, cultural, and commercial importance. The tree plays an essential role in preventing soil erosion, improving soil fertility, and providing habitat and food for a variety of wildlife. Its cultivation in agroforestry systems can help to promote sustainable agriculture, increase crop yields, and provide farmers with additional income. Additionally, Sheesham tree has significant cultural and spiritual importance in India, and its cultivation can help to preserve traditional farming practices and local knowledge.