Salai tree / Kungili

Boswellia serrata Roxb.ex Colebr



General Information :

  • Moderate size to a large sized deciduous tree with a light spreading crown.
  • Flowers are small and white in color
  • Fruit triangle in shape, drupe with winged seeds.

Distribution :


  • Throughout the greater parts of India.

Habitat : Deciduous Forest

Soil : Dry sandstone ridges and dry and stony hills.

Soil pH : 5.5-6.5

Altitude :Upton 1150 m

Rainfall :500 - 2000mm

Temperature : Up to 47°C

Terrain : Plains/gentle slopes

Tree Characteristics :
  • It is a light demander, frost hardy and drought resistant.
  • It produce coppices.

Habit : Deciduous Tree

Planting Guidelines

Natural Regeneration :

  • Natural regeneration through coppices.

Artificial Regeneration :

  • Propagated by Nursery raised seedlings.

Seed collection and Storage :

  • The  seeds are collected during May-June
  • About 14-15 seeds/gram
  • Germination percentage is 40-48%
  • Plant percent is 19 %
  • Only freshly collected seed should be used for sowing.

Seed Treatment :

  • Soaking in soaking in cold water for 24 hrs increases germination percentage.

Nursery Technique :

  • Seedlings can be raised in poly bags.
  • 2-3 seeds are sown in each poly bag and water regularly.
  • Germination starts within 6 days.
  • One year old seedlings are fit for planting.  

Plantation technique :

  • Seedlings planted on the onset of Monsoon.
  • The 30 cm3 pits at a spacing of 3m x 3m are prepared in advance to allow weathering of soil.

Care & Disease Control :

  • Regular weeding and soil working should be ensured.

Irrigation :

For proper growth and survival it is necessary to give one or two waterings after planting. This is specifically required in arid regions. Irrigation after planting is not a prerequisite in areas having sufficient soil moisture and precipitation. Higher survival rate and better rate of growth is reported when soil and water conservation measures are also adopted.

Recommended Harvest :

  • 10-25 years

Yield :

A mature tree yields about 1 - 1.5 kilos of gum a year

Major uses :

  • Timber is used for inferior planking, cheap furniture, packing cases, boxes, boat masses, cooperage, etc. 
  • Trees are lopped for cattle fodder.