Gum - Arabic tree

Acacia senegal (L)Willd.



General Information :

Small thorny deciduous tree usually 4-9 m in height and a girth of 30-60 cm. greenish grey bark, leaves bi-pinnate , flowers are creamy white, pods are 7 cm long, 2cm wide . Seeds 4-8 per pod, more or less tranverse.

Distribution :

Acacia senegal is indigenous to arid zone of india e.g south-east punjab, parts of gujrat, rocky hills of Aravallis.

Habitat : Usually found in Dry tropical forests and Tropical thorn forests of india.

Soil : Rocky hills, sandy tracts. Soils are shallow, stony, poor and unstable.

Soil pH : 5.5 and 7.5

Altitude :100-700m

Rainfall :>600mm

Temperature : 20°C to 45°C

Terrain : Plains

Tree Characteristics : Strong light demander, frost hardy and drought resistant.

Habit : Deciduous Tree

Planting Guidelines

Growth : Slow

Height : 4-9m

Natural Regeneration :

Natural Regeneration Tree seeds abundantly every year and may regenerate freely under conditions. Germination is epigeous. The rate of growth is very slow, 8-13 cm per year. Artificial Regeneration It can be establised by direct sowing, by planting out entire  seedlings preferably in containers, planting bricks etc.   Seed collection and Storage 1. The tree seeds well almost every year and produce fertile seeds at an early age. 2. seed ripens in october - november. 3. Pods are collected off the tree by lopping brances. 4. seeds extracted after beatind the pods and removing the husk. 5. on an average 100 dry pods weigh 89.4 gm which yield 43gm of seeds. 6. 8200-10990 seeds weigh 1kg. 7. seed can be stored for 2 years under ordinary conditions. Pretreatment 1. presowing treatment of seed with sulphuric acid hastens germination. 2. Soaking in cooling boiled water for 24-48 hrs .3. Germination commences 4 days after sowing. Germination capacity 56%. Nursery Technique direct sowing :1. sowing can be done in contour trenches 1.8 m long, 30-45 cm wide.                                                                                                                                                                                     2.Depth of sowing is about 30-45cm deep. 3. Germination begins in 4-5days. 4. one or two weedings in first year necessary.5. mulching the plants is help ful.

Plantation technique :

1. One year old seedlings are usually planted in 30m3 pits.                                                              2. Deep planting is beneficial on deep sandy soils.                                                                          3. The seedlings are easily browsed by cattle and need protection.                                                  4. weedind and hoeing should be done in first two years.

Care & Disease Control :

Tending : Game proof fence is necessary for 4-5 years as khair is liked by livestocks and wild animals. Weeding : weedind and hoeing should be done in first two years. Disease: 1. No fungal disease noticed from india. 2. The desert locust eats the leaves when its visits in swarms. 3. white ants is responsible for death of many seedlings in plantations. 4. weevils attack and sometimes destroy the stored seed.

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.

Yield :

Rotation : 20 years for timber and Gum : 188-2856 g for young trees and 379-6754 g for older trees (7-15 years). Wood yields of 120-190 cubic metres per hectare, with annual increments of 0.5-1.0 cubic metres per hectare have been recorded. 

Agro Forestory :

  • It is a highly suitable tree for agroforestry systems, widely grown in combination with watermelon, millets and forage grasses.

Major uses :

Gum-Arabic: 1. The tree yields real gum-arabic used for emulsifying agent, demulscent, and protecting agent in the manufacture of adhesives, textiles, leathers, water paints, inks, ceramics,etc,. Fodder : 1. Foliage and pods are rich in protein and fed to camels and goats. Gum : Very good quality of gum is obtained.

Other uses :

Wood : 1. Timber is very hard heavy, strong and takes excellent polish.2. It is used for cart-wheels, sugarcane crushers, fencing postsand many agricultural implements. Fule Wood : 1. It is a good source of fuelwood which has a calorific value of 3200 K cal/Kg and yeilds good quality of charcoal.

Market details :

Rs.1800 / ton - Fuelwood - FCRI - MTP