Neem/ Vempu

Azadiracta indica



General Information :

  • Neem is a versatile, hardy Indian tree of great religious, Medicinal and ornamental importance.
  • It is medium sized tree with bright green dense foliage.
  • Bark dark grey in color with white fragrant flowers.
  • Fruit yellowish green in color with one seed each.

Distribution :

  • Neem is a versatile multipurpose tree native of dry forest areas of India

Habitat : Tropical Dry Deciduous forests and Thorn forests.

Soil : Neem grows well on almost all kinds of soils which are well drained. It grows well in loamy, clayey and black cotton soil. It also thrives better than other species on dry, stony, clayey and shallow soils.

Altitude :Up to 1000 m (MSL)

Rainfall :450-1100 mm

Temperature : Up to 42°C

Terrain : Plains /Hills.

Tree Characteristics :
  • Neem is a light demander but tolerates fairly heavy shade during the early years; 
  • It is frost tender species and cannot withstand excessive cold, especially in seedling and sapling stages. 
  • Well extensive root system makes Neem drought hardy  and Fire tender species 
  • It can coppice well , Produces root suckers  and withstand pollarding

Habit : Deciduous Tree.

Planting Guidelines

Natural Regeneration :

  • Though self sown seeds and through seeds from bird’s droppings Neem reproduce naturally.
  • It establishes well in thorny bushes, along field bunds, wire fence "telegraph wires.
  •  It requires protection from grazing during early stages. 
  • Natural regeneration from coppice and root suckers' is also common.

Artificial Regeneration :

  • Artificial regeneration could be achieved though direct sowing or out planting nursery raised seedling.

Seed collection and Storage :

  • Neem seeds are collected from June to August.
  • Fresh Fruits on collection should be depulped and shade dried.
  • Seed weight is 3300-500/kg.
  • Seed has less viability.

Seed Treatment :

  • Seeds do not require any special pretreatment 

Nursery Technique :

  • Seeds of neem can be directly dibbled into polybags of size 20 x 10 cm or 20 x 15 cm with soil, sand and FYM in the ratio of 1:1:1 or 2:1:1.
  •  Soil with high clay content should be avoided.
  • Fresh seeds should be graded and large size seeds are sown in polybags at the rate of two seeds per bag.
  • After germination leaving the healthy one the other one is removed.
  • Excess healthy seedlings can be used for pricking in containers where both the seeds have to germinate. 

Plantation technique :

  • One year old seedlings preferred for planting.
  • Planting should be done in July-August during rainy period.
  • Winter is unsuitable
Direct seeding:
  • This is adopted for raising plantation for fuel wood and for the reclamation of wastelands.
  • This could be done through (i) dibbling in bushes,  (ii) broadcasting, (ii) sow lines, (iv) sowing on mounds or ridges, (v) sowing in trenches.
Polybags planting:
  • In dry localities pits of 45 cm3 and in moist locality pits of 30 cm3 are dug for planting.
  • Seedling of 6 -12 month old are out planted into the above pits during the rainy season.
  •  Pits can be filled with native soil along with 5 kg FYM and 25 to 50 g of DAP at planting for establishment and growth.
  • Application of Bursbon in the planting pits will ward of any insect or termite attack during the period of drought.
  • The spacing normally applied for Neem is 5 x 5 m or 10 x 10 m.
  • Wider spacing is recommended for agro forestry practices.

Care & Disease Control :

Maintenance and after Care :

  • In dry localities watering and weeding are very essential during the first two years for proper establishment and growth.
  • Pot watering once in 10 days will help the tree to tide away the drought period.
  • In saline soils watering during summer and periods of drought is necessary. 
  • Mulching around the tree basins with pebbles or available mulch in that area will help in conserving moisture.
Tending :
  • Young seedlings should be free from weeds for early establishment and growth.
  • Weeding helps to conserve moisture and nutrients in the soil for the tree to take up for its growth.
  • Drawing of tractor drawn tillers in between trees will help to control weeds and conserve moisture.
  • Weedings also help in loosening the soil for better aeration and root growth. 
  • In the naturally raised plantation thinning has to be done at the end of first year to space the seedling apart for initial growth and established.
  • At the end of 2 - 3 year the trees are spaced at 3x3m or 5x5m depending on the locality.
  • In the artificially raised plantation at the end of 5th year selective thinning can be taken up to cull out inferior trees and space the good trees at 10 x 10m spacing.

Irrigation :

  • Plantation in dry areas require irrigation upto 5-7 years.
  • Pot watering once in 10 days will help the tree to tide away the drought period.
  • Mulching around the tree basins with pebbles or available mulch in that area will help in conserving moisture.

Recommended Harvest :

  • The rotation age for timber is 35 - 40 years and for fuel wood is about 8 years.

Yield :

  • Neem is grown for its seeds and timber.
  • The tree starts fruits from the 4-5th year and steady yield from the 10th year.
  • Each tree at this age can yield 20-25 kg of fruits/ tree.
  • The ratio of seed to pulp is about 1:2.
  • The timber yield is about 108 -137 m3/ha.

Agro Forestory :

  • A. indica with pearl millet, Pennisetum glaucum, has given good results in India.

Major uses :

  • Neem has multiple uses.
  • The wood is used as timber for construction, furniture, carts, axles, yokes, boats, .etc. and also as a fuel wood.
  • Neem leaves are good fodder for sheep and camels with a crude protein of 12 -18%.
  • Neem seed yields 20 - 30% oil content used in pharmaceuticals preparation.
  • Neem oil yields azadirachtin which is used as insect repellent.
  • Neem bark yield 12 -14% tannin.
  •  Neem cake is an excellent organic fertilizer.

Market details :

  • Approximately Rs.4200 - Rs.4500/ton*
*Subject to change according to market demands