Indian bael

Aegle marmelos



General Information :

•    The Bael fruit tree is slow-growing tree of medium size.•    The bark is pale brown or grayish, smooth.•    Leaves dark green and completely smooth•    The flowers are 1.5 to 2 cm, pale green or yellowish, sweetly scented, bisexual.•    Fruit slightly pear-shaped with a thick hard rind with woody shell.•    The woody shell is smooth and green, gray until it is fully ripe when it turns yellow. Inside are 8 to 15 sections filled with aromatic orange pulp, each section with 6-10 seeds.

Distribution :

  • Bael is a native of India and scattered all over India

Habitat : Deciduous and dry Dipterocarp forests.

Soil : A well- drained, sandy loam soil is ideal. It can thrive even on poor, clay and stony soils.

Soil pH : 5 to 8

Altitude :Up to 1200 m (MSL)

Rainfall :570-2000 mm

Temperature : Up to 48°C

Terrain : Mixed deciduous and dry dipterocarp forests.

Tree Characteristics :
  • Drought resistant

Habit : Natural regeneration is not satisfactory

Planting Guidelines

Natural Regeneration :

  • Natural regeneration is not satisfactory

Artificial Regeneration :

  • Bael is usually propagated vegetative cuttings.

Seed collection and Storage :

•    The seeds do not have dormancy, hence fresh seeds are shown in June in a well prepared bed mixed  with properly decomposed farmyard manure and sand.  Seeds germinate within 3 weeks.

Seed Treatment :

  • No pretreatment is necessary.

Nursery Technique :

•    The seedlings are not true to type and exhibit a lot of variability.  •    Essential to raise seedlings for rootstock.  •    These seedlings are ready for budding after a year.  •    The scion shoots should be selected from mother plants which are prolific bearers. •     Patch budding is ideal method with a 90% success rate.•      June –July is ideal time for budding.•    The seedlings become ready for transplanting 7 weeks after sowing.

Plantation technique :

•    Bael plants should be planted at a distance of 8m x 8m (Budded  plants) or 10m x 10m (seedlings).  •    Pits of 90cm x 90cm x90cm size are dug and filled with a mixture of top soil + 25 kg farmyard manure and 50 g gamma BHC up to a level of 6 cm from the ground  level. •     Irrigate the pits to let the soil settle down.  February-March or July-August is the right time for planting.

Care & Disease Control :

•    Keep the plantation weed –free and water logging.  •    Legume crops can be taken as intercrops in bael plantation during the rainy season.•    Fruit cracking and fruit drop are two important physiological disorders found in bael. •    These can be managed by providing good irrigation facility, making wind breaks around the orchard and by spraying borax @ 0.1% twice at full bloom and after fruit set.

Irrigation :

The field after plantation should be irrigated periodically as and when required weekly or fortnightly.

Recommended Harvest :

•    Budded and grafted plants start fruiting after 4-5 years of planting whereas, seedlings after 8-10 years of planting. •    Bael Fruit takes around 8-10 months to mature and 10-12 months for ripening after fruit set

Yield :

•    An average 150-200 fruits under good management practices. •    The fruits can be stored at room temperature for two weeks. •    At 10oC, it can be kept up to three months.

Agro Forestory :

  • The plant has sometimes been used as a hedge - the spiny branches serving to make an effective barrier

Major uses :

•    The wood is strongly aromatic when freshly cut.•    It is best utilized for carving, small-scale turnery,tool and knife handles, pestles and combs, taking a fine polish.•    Scented essential oil is extracted from the leaves.

Other uses :

Fodder:  The leaves and twigs are lopped for fodderGum or resin: The gum enveloping the seeds is most abundant in wild fruits and especially when they are unripe. It is commonly used as a household glue and is employed as an adhesive by jewelers.

Market details :

  • ApproximatelyRs.100 to Rs.120/Kg

Carbon stock :

1.696 tC/tree