Indian Laurel / Karu-Maruthu

Terminalia elliptica



General Information :

  • Deciduous tree with spreading branches and heavy crown,growing up to 32 m tall;Bark with deep longitudinal fissures and grey-black.
  • Leaves elliptic to ovate
  • Flowers in panicles, terminal and axillary, small, dull yellow.
  • Fruits a drupe with 5 broad wings, up to 5 cm long

Distribution :

  • India, Nepal, Bangladesh, Myanmar, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam.

Habitat : Tropical moist deciduous forests and tropical dry deciduous forests

Soil : Loose, moist, alluvial loam with good water supply and drainage.

Soil pH : 5,5 - 7

Altitude :Up to 1500 m (MSL)

Rainfall :750–1900 mm

Temperature : 20–30°C

Terrain : Plain

Tree Characteristics :
  • Shade bearer ad sensitive to frost and drought.

Habit : Deciduous tree

Planting Guidelines

Natural Regeneration :

  • Naturally regenerated by seeds and coppice.
  • It can be witnessed along the water coarse.

Artificial Regeneration :

  • By root-suckers, stumps and air-layering

Seed collection and Storage :

  • The tree produces abundant seed annually.
  • Fruits are ripen during the months of May-June.
  • About 14-15 seeds weigh one gram.
  • Seeds can be stored for 2 years under ordinary conditions.

Seed Treatment :

  • Seeds are soaked in hot water for 1 minute and left in cold water for 48 hours before sowing.

Nursery Technique :

  • Seeds are sown in mother bed during March – April.
  • Germination stats in a week and complete in a month.
  • Beds are regularly watered and weeded.
  • 3-4 months old nursery raised seedlings are fit for planting.

Plantation technique :

  • Planting of 2-3 months old seedlings nursery Raised seedlings seedlings at a spacing 3 m x 3 m in 30 cm3 pits.

Care & Disease Control :

  • Plantation should be weed free and with proper soil working.

Recommended Harvest :

  • 16 years.

Yield :

  • Approximately 120 – 150 tons/ha.

Major uses :

  • The timber  is greyish-brown with dark streaks, hard and heavy, and used for the construction of carts and boats, for general construction, agricultural implements, water troughs, traps, 0electric poles, plywood and mine props.  
  • Leaves are fed for tusar silk worm.
  • It is one of the finest avenue tree.