Subabul/Nattu savundal

Leucaena leucocephala



General Information :

  • It is a small, medium-sized evergreen tree, height upto 20 m. 
  • Bark smooth and brownish color.
  • Flower is small and whitish in color
  • Pods are dark brown with numerous seeds.

Distribution :

  • Exotic species has been introduced widely in many tropical parts of India.

Habitat : Tropical and Deciduous forest

Soil : Wide range of deep fertile soil with adequate moisture Up to 1500 m(MSL)

Soil pH : Up to pH 8

Altitude :Up to 1500 m(MSL)

Rainfall :650-3000 mm

Temperature : 25°C to 30°C

Terrain : Plain/hilly

Tree Characteristics :
  • Light demander, fast growing, frost tender, drought resistant and fires resistant. 

Habit : Evergreen tree

Planting Guidelines

Natural Regeneration :

  • Natural regeneration is by seeds and coppice freely.

Artificial Regeneration :

  • Propagated by Nursery raised seedlings.

Seed collection and Storage :

  • It seeds twice a year July to November and February to May.
  • Ripe pods should be collected before they split and dried in the sun for 3 to 4 days.
  • The pods then split, when seeds can be gathered by sieving.
  • Properly dried and treated seeds can be stored for long, about 8-10 years.
  • Each pod contains 15 to 30 seeds.
  • Seed weight is about 20000/Kg.

Seed Treatment :

  • Soaking the seed in hot water for Two to Three minutes or in cold water for 24 – 48 hours to hasten the germination.

Nursery Technique :

  • Seeds can be sown directly in poly bags and watered regularly.
  • The seedlings attain plantable size in 3 months.
  • Three months old nursery raised seedlings are planted during the onset of monsoon.

Plantation technique :

  • Spacing for Fodder : 1  m x 1 m 
  • Fuel wood : 1 m x 1 m 
  • Pulpwood : 3 m x 1.5 m
  • Hedge rows may be closely spaced (75 to 100 cm) to achieve maximum yield.
  • For alley cropping 3 to 10 m

Care & Disease Control :

  • Regular weeding, till plants are one to two meters tall
  • Soil working round the plants to a radius of 0.5 m should be done at least thrice in the first year, and as many times as needed in the subsequent years.
  • Singling of multiple shoots, by retaining one or two healthy shoot at each plant, will give good girth increment.
  • Thinning should be done, in the 2nd year and 3rd year, to get better girths in the 4th year.

Irrigation :

  • Needs good irrigation facilities.

Recommended Harvest :

  • For Pulpwood as the minimum girth is 10 cms, harvest in 4 years
  • As the species is a good coppicer, several harvests at three year intervals can be obtained, over a period of 40 years.

Yield :

It coppices vigorously, the rotation period for fuel is 8 - 10 years and for timber 30 - 40 years.

Agro Forestory :

Boundary or barrier or support:

  • Used as a live fence, firebreak and live support for vines such as pepper, coffee and cocoa, vanilla, yam and passion fruit.

Major uses :

  • It is suitable for pulp and paper manufacturing.
  • It makes excellent fire wood and charcoal.
  • It is used for carpentry purposes; to make cheap constructional materials, used for poles, fence post.
  • Leaves, pods and seeds are excellent fodder for cattle, sheep and goats.

Market details :

  • Approximately Rs 1500 – 2500/ ton*
*Subject to change according to market demands