Growing Melia Dubia Trees For Agroforestry In India – The Basics
If you own a farm or plantation in India and are interested in benefiting from high demand for timber, growing Melia Dubia (Malabar neem) may be a great option for you. Melia Dubia is highly-desired in a number of industries – from paper & pulp to plywood and construction.
If you choose to grow Melia Dubia trees, you can easily double your profit in between 3-7 years, and make a net profit of up to Rs 90,000 per acre of trees. To learn more about the basics of Melia Dubia and why it is such a great choice for agroforestry in India, read on. We’ll explain everything that you need to know about Melia Dubia trees.
What Is Melia Dubia (Malabar Neem)?
Melia Dubia is a deciduous tree that is native to India. It grows to about 20 metres in height at maturity, and has strong, thick, 6-8mm bark. Typically, it grows with only a few side branches, which can be easily trimmed and pruned to ensure proper growth of the trunk.
Melia Dubia thrives mostly in tropical regions with plentiful moisture. It prefers a relatively wet climate, though it should not be over-irrigated, and the soil around the tree must be well-drained to ensure proper growth.
However, Melia Dubia can be grown in more arid regions, as long as it’s watered properly. This will result in a longer time to maturity, however. The tree will not grow as quickly, which means long-term planning for profitability will be required.
One of the other top characteristics of Melia Dubia is its relatively small crown. The crown at the top of the tree does not provide much shade, meaning that other plants can be planted alongside Melia Dubia. Some common crops that are grown between Melia Dubia trees include ground nuts and green/black gram. Banana trees can also be grown between Melia Dubia trees that have at least 5 x 5 metres of space between them.
The reason that Melia Dubia trees are so highly sought-after in agroforestry in India is due to their ability to grow very quickly. Typically, the trees attain a height of more than 20 feet (6 metres) within two years of being planted. Depending on the purpose for which the wood is being used, Melia Dubia trees may be harvested as soon as 3-5 years after they are initially planted.
What Are The Characteristics Of Melia Dubia Wood?
Melia Dubia wood has an outer sapwood that has a greyish-white colour. The interior heartwood has a light pink/red colour, and the wood tends to be relatively straight-grained, but has a somewhat rough and uneven texture. It’s also relatively lightweight, as Melia Dubia is a softwood. The typical weight for Melia Dubia timber is about 21lb/cubic foot (336.39 kg per cubic metre).
It is durable, but the timber is prone to graying and discoloration if it is left uncovered outside. Unconverted trunks may also develop issues like end-splitting if they are not converted while green, and are left uncovered. Because of these reasons, it’s typically best to fell Melia Dubia trees and convert them to timber quickly and under cover for the best results.
How Is Melia Dubia Used In India? Understanding Common Applications
Now that you know the basics about the Melia Dubia tree and its timber, you might be wondering how Melia Dubia trees are usually used in India. Melia Dubia has a wide variety of uses. The purpose for which the tree is used mostly depends on its age and maturity.
- 3-5 year old Melia Dubia trees – Trees that are this young and immature are almost only used for the paper & pulp industry. Due to how quickly they grow, Melia Dubia trees are a great option if you would like to grow wood to be sold to local paper and pulp companies in India. When planting for paper & pulp, you may also plant at a higher density, since each tree will be smaller and does not need to reach full maturity. This can increase profitability.
- 5-7 year old Melia Dubia trees – At this age, Melia Dubia trees are usually used in the plywood industry. Melia Dubia can be used for both plywood core and plywood veneer, depending on the application.
In addition, Melia Dubia timber of this age is used in industries like matchstick and pencil-making. Some types of interior decorations (like picture frames) are also often made of Melia Dubia, and some types of small furniture like side tables, benches and chairs can be made of wood that is 5-7 years old.
- 7-15 year old Melia Dubia trees – Melia Dubia wood that matures for at least 7 years – and for up to 15 years – can be used in the construction industry. It is often used for decorative purposes, strong and durable enough to be used for structural applications, as well.
The price you will receive for your Melia Dubia trees depends on local market factors, how long you let your trees mature, and other such factors. However, most farmers who plant Melia Dubia are able to at least double their investment – making this a great option if you want to take advantage of the rising demand for timber in India.
Consider Growing Melia Dubia Trees On Your Property – Contact A Local Supplier!
Melia Dubia is easy to grow, matures rapidly, and is an excellent way to profit from the high demand for timber in India. To get started, simply find a provider for Melia Dubia seedlings near you. You can get started right away, and double your initial investment in as little as 3-5 years.
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