Red Sanders/Sivapu Sandanam

Pterocarpus santalinus



General Information :

  • Red sanders are a small to moderate-sized deciduous trees.
  • Bark is blackish brown
  • Leaves broadly ovate, clothed with grey hairs below.
  • Flowers are yellow in color.
  • Winged pods with one or two seeds reddish brown in color

Distribution :

  • Endemic to India. It is most commonly found in southern parts of India notably in the state of Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka.

Habitat : Tropical Dry Deciduous forest.

Soil : Wide range of soils and waste land.

Altitude :150-900m (MSL)

Rainfall :350 to 1350mm

Temperature : 11°C to 46°C

Terrain : Plains/gentle slopes.

Tree Characteristics :
  • It is a light-demander and more resistant to fire
  • It is an excellent coppicer.

Habit : Large deciduous tree

Planting Guidelines

Growth : Moderate

Height : 25 m

Natural Regeneration :

  • Regeneration by coppices

Artificial Regeneration :

  • Propagated by Nursery raised seedlings.

Seed collection and Storage :

  • The dry pods are collected from the trees in April-June.
  • Seeds are dried and stored in gunny bags.
  • The viability of can be retained up to 12 months.
  • Dry pods weigh 900 to 1400 / kg.
  • Germination percentage is 25-30%

Seed Treatment :

  • Soaking of pods in cold water for 3 days or immerse in cow dung slurry for 48 hrs before

Nursery Technique :

  • A well drained sandy loam is selected for mother beds of standard size 10m x 1 m.
  • 10 – 15 kg of seeds are sown and covered with thin layer of soil covered with paddy straw.
  • Two leaf seedlings are transplanted from mother bed to poly bag and raised in nursery under shade for 4 months.

Plantation technique :

  • Plantation Season onset of monsoon
  • Pit size –30 cm3 , Pits filled with 2:1:1 ratio of red earth, sand and FYM watering for settling down the mixture
  • For block and border Plantation spacing adopted is  3 m X 3 m 

Care & Disease Control :

  • Weeding, cleaning and pruning should be done once in a year.

Irrigation :

  • Needs good irrigation in initial year.
  • Cannot withstand water-logged conditions.
  • Young plants require watering in summer months at 15-20 days interval till they are fully established.

Recommended Harvest :

  • 10-25 years

Yield :

  • Approximately 50 – 60 Kg/tree*
*Subject to varry according to site factors.  

Agro Forestory :

  • No particular intercropping system has so far been studied in this crop.
  • Herbaceous rhizomatous species may be grown as an intercrop in inter-row spaces.

Major uses :

  • The red, fragrant heartwood is used for furniture, in cabinet making
  • Used in red dye production, oil extraction, medicine preparation
  • Used in traditional Ayurvedic, Sidha medicines.
  • Traditional Tirupachi toys were made of it.
  • It is  found to have been used for atomic energy projects instead and for making a Viagra-like drug.

Market details :

  • Rs.40 to 50 lakhs / ton in International market.