Babul / Karuvelam

Acacia nilotica



General Information :

  • Acacia nilotica is an evergreen tree.
  • Leaves are greenish grey in color
  • Flowers yellow in color.
  • Pods are long flattened, blackish-brown.

Distribution :

  • It is indigenous to the western parts of India.
  • It is widely planted throughout the hot regions of India

Habitat : Tropical and Deciduous forest

Soil : Red, Red sandy loam, Red loamy, Sandy/Gravel, Clay, Clay loam, Coastal alluvium and Alluvium soils

Altitude : 200 - 1270 m (MSL)

Rainfall : 200 - 1270 mm

Temperature : 40°C to 48°C

Terrain : Plains, Undulating land, Riverain areas.

Tree Characteristics :
  • Drought resistant and frost tender.
  • It has High coppicing power  

Habit : Evergreen Tree.

Planting Guidelines

Natural Regeneration :

Natural Regeneration :

  • Babul reproduces naturally through seeds and seedling coppice.
  • Germination takes place during rains.
Artificial Regeneration :
  • Propogated by direct sowing and Nursery Raised Seedlings.
Seed collection and Storage :
  • The tree seeds well almost every year,
  • Seeds are collected during May-June by ground collection .
  • Seeds are stored in gunny bags or in tins
  • Properly cleaned seeds are stored in air tight container for 3 years.
  • The Germination percentage is 50-90. 
  • Seed weight is 6600-11600/Kg
Seed Treatment :
  • Soaking in hot water for 30 minutes is more effective
  • Soaking in cold water for 48 hrs.
Nursery Techniques : Nursery Beds:
  • Sowing can be done in well prepared nursery beds in February-March.
  • The seed beds must have well drained Sandy-loam soils.
  • Immediate watering to seeds beds should be ensured.
  • Germination begins in 2-4 days.
  • Two leaf stage seedlings are transferred from the mother beds to polybags.
Nursery Raised Seedlings:
  • Pretreated seeds are sown in polybags of size 10 cm x 20 cm or 13 cm x 25 cm which are filled with mixture of  Red earth, sandy loam and FYM in the ratio of 2:1:1.
  • Two seeds are sown per bag in February-March.
  • The germination starts in a week and completes in 15 days
  • Retain only one healthy plant at the time of first weeding.
  • Poly bags are regularly watered.
  • The seedlings attain plantable height in 4 months i.e. 50-60 cm.

Plantation technique :

Nursery raised plants :

  • The 30 cm3 pit at a spacing of 3m x 3m are prepared in advance to allow weathering of soil.
  • Planting is done on the onset of monsoon in offshore and during receding of water in the tanks.

Care & Disease Control :

  • Fence is necessary for 2 years as Babul is liked by livestock’s and wild animals.
  • Soil working and weedings once in a year.
  • Plantation should be weed free with water conservation measures for proper growth (trenching based on the slope).                                                                                         

Recommended Harvest :

  • 10 to 12 years for fuel wood purpose

Yield :

  • 150-200 tons/ha *
*Depends on the site factors

Major uses :

  • Best suitable wood for cart-making and agriculture implements
  • The wood is an excellent fuel wood and biomass power plant.
  • The leaves are an excellent fodder and rich in crude protein.
  • The tree yields Gum Arabic which is used for ink paints, calico paintings and dying.

Market details :

  • Approximately Rs.3600 to Rs.4000/ton *
* Subjected to Change according to market demands