Ailanthus excelsa



General Information :

  • Large fast growing deciduous tree with straight and cylindrical stem.
  • Branches are thick with large scars of fallen leaves.
  • Bark light grey in color.
  • Flowers polygamous and greenish yellow in color
  • Fruit are copper red in color with 1-5 seeded

Distribution :

  • Indigenous to Indian Peninsula, growing almost throughout the tropical and dub-topical parts of the country.

Habitat : It is common in Southern tropical thorn forest and mixed deciduous forest.

Soil : Red, Red Sandy loam, Black and Lateritic soil

Altitude :Up to 300 m (MSL)

Rainfall :500-1900 mm

Temperature : 0°C to 45°C

Terrain : Dry areas of plains / gentle slopes

Tree Characteristics :
  • Strong light demander and susceptible to frost
  • Seedlings are sensitive to water –logging.

Habit : Deciduous Tree

Planting Guidelines

Natural Regeneration :

  • Reproduces itself through seeds, coppice and root suckers.

Artificial Regeneration :

  • It can be established by direct sowing, and nursery raised seedlings.

Seed collection and Storage :

  •  The fruits ripen March to May.
  • Ripe fruits are collected off the trees before these are blown away by the wind.
  • Seeds are dried in the shade.
  • Seed viability is very short and stored only for 3 months
  • Seed weight is 7500-10000/kg
  • Germinative capacity 70-90 %

Seed Treatment :

  • No pre-treatment is required.

Nursery Technique :

  • The nursery soil should be light, porous and well drained.
  • Indofil may be mixed with the soil to avoid insects and ants.
  • The seed beds should be well raised to allow drainage. (In the absence of beds seeds can also been sown in polybags).
  • Seed sowing should be done in mother beds.
  • After broadcasting the seeds, cover the seed lightly with about 1 cm of sand.
  • Only a mild watering is required.
  •  Excess water will lead to damping off disease in seedlings.
  • The germination is epigeal that starts 8-14 days after sowing and complete in 25-30 days.
  • After 3 weeks maintenance in 5-10cm collar diameter seedlings can be transplanted into 10cm X 20cm polybags.
  •  The roots are very delicate and fragile and require special attention during transplantation.
  • 15 gm of seeds are required for sowing 1 sq. m of bed.
  • Mixing of seeds with ash or pulverized soil ensures uniform sowing.

Plantation technique :

  • 30 cm3 pits and the soil are allowed to weather.
  • Planting is to be carried out in the month of July or October based on the monsoon pattern in the region.
  • For block planting nursery raised seedlings 6 to 10 months are used for planting in pits at a spacing of 3 x 3m or 5x 5m.
  • Regular watering and protection from browsing is required till the saplings get established. 

Care & Disease Control :

  • Plantation should be weed free with soil conservation measures.
Plant Protection Measures:
  • Defoliator viz, Atteva fabriciella, and Eligma narcissus;
  • The borer Batocera rufomaculata and the fungi (leaf spot) Cercospora glandulosa and Alternaria spp are the major pests in Ailanthus excelsa cause severe damage.
  • Seedlings are susceptible to damping off disease therefore heavy watering should be avoided and only optimum level of moisture should be maintained.
  • For controlling insect pests, spraying or dusting with BHC is carried out.
  • Severe defoliation affects plant growth and may cause death of the plant.
  • Application of malathion will manage the insect pest to a considerable extent.
  • Application of 1% Hy-Act (Bio pesticide product of IFGTB) as a foliar spray reduces Eligma narcissus infestation about 65-70%.

Irrigation :

  • Arid and Semi arid areas watering - regular watering in initial stage.
  • No watering is required in moist areas.

Recommended Harvest :

 Approximately 5-7 years 

Yield :

  • In Tamil Nadu, about 50-75 t/ha at a rotation of 5-7 years was realized through seed raised plantations with un irrigated conditions.
  • But in the irrigated conditions the yield is up to 120-135 t/ha in 5-7 years rotation.

Agro Forestory :

  • Can cultivate all types of crops such as agricultural and horticultural crops except rice.

Major uses :

  • A.excelsa is an indigenous species fast-growing tree species suitable for raising industrial plantations.
  • More than 70% of the wood goes to the safety matches Industry.
  • It is used for packing cases, fishing catamarans and floats.
  • It is suitable for commercial plywood and Eri silk production as a host plant. 
  • Leaves are highly palatable and nutritious fodder for sheep and goats.

Market details :

Approximately Rs.7000 - Rs.8000/ton* *Subject to change according to Market Demands