Sandalwood is the fragrant heartwood of the species Santalum album L. The Sandal tree is of great economical importance because of its scented heart wood which yields very high commercial returns. Sandal tree is a hemi parasite which requires a host tree for absorption of few minerals from the root system of the host tree. The current demand of heartwood would fetch around Rs. 4,000 — 5,000/ kg of heartwood and the oil costs around Rs. 1.0 — 1.25 Lakh/liter. All the parts of the tree are commercially important with guaranteed high returns. Heartwood being the highest valued part of the sandalwood tree, followed by the mixed wood and sapwood.
Sandal tree is a small evergreen tree attaining a height of 12 to 15 meters and a girth of 1 to 2.4 meters. The shape of the leaves vary with six morphological types recognized widely. The stem gradually turns brownish and becomes hard after one year of planting. The bark is reddish brown or dark brown and red inside, the outer most sapwood is white in colour and scentless, whereas, central core wood called heartwood is yellowish to brown in color and highly scented. The tap root system is not deep and lateral root runs almost parallel to the ground and the young rootlets produce haustoria. Root system contains the highest oil content in the tree. Variation in heart wood and oil content depends on genotype (source) and edaphic (soil and climate) conditions.
Distribution of sandal:
It is naturally distributed in an extent of around 9600 sq.km with majorly in Karnataka followed by Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Andhra Pradesh of peninsular India. It has also been introduced into a number of other states in India and has become naturalized in parts of Rajasthan, Orissa, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh. Sandalwood is capable of growing in different kinds of soils like; sand, clay, laterite, loam and black-cotton soil (avoiding water-logged conditions).
Sandal wood cultivation is a very high lucrative investment with guaranteed returns. Establishment of sandal wood cultivation requires a very less investment and low cultivation costs. With increase in labour cost and time availability for investing in other agricultural crops, a shift from normal agricultural to forestry species with high commercial returns has been observed. The details of sandalwood cultivations costs, profits have been discussed in our sandal based agroforestry demo plot section.
Quality Planting Material
Quality of the sandal seedlings for sale at Nature Herbs.
Polythene bag size: 5′ X 8′. Plant height: Up to 1 feet and above.
General information on quality seedling production at Nature Herbs:
Before selecting the seedlings for planting, many aspects need to be considered for greater return. The selection of saplings with requisite quality is called ‘Quality planting material’.
Important aspects which should be considered for sandal are:
. Source of seeds collection used for raising seedlings.
. Quality of the seedling at the time of planting material.
. Haustorial development of the seedlings.
Nature Herbs is proud to declare that we provide quality planting material stock of sandalwood seedlings raised in a scientific manner.
Economics of sandalwood cultivation
In sandal agroforestry, quincuncial design of planting is highly promising. The spacing also ensures cultivation of agricultural crops of understory low spreading legumes/ fodder / horticulture crops during the initial years. Sandal plants are expected to established and perform well in intercropping since periodic inter cultural operations can improves soil aerations and others soil physical chemical properties.
Economics of sandal cultivation can be calculated based on the following points;
• The yield of heartwood is estimated to be a minimum of 8kg, mixed wood 10kg and sapwood 21kg in the 15th year.
• Growth increment of 2-3cm per year has been estimated for sandal plantation in private lands.
• The price of heartwood is Rs. 5,000/kg, mixed wood Rs. 1500/kg and sapwood Rs.50/kg.
• 225 plants per acre will be accommodated @ 6x3m spacing.
• The establishment cost for one acre would be approximately Rs.56,750/-
• Returns of sandal would be minimum of Rs. One Crore after 15 years from one acre.
*The information on cost analysis provided may vary based on the individual inputs and the sophistications of implementation of the project. The profit amount quoted above is the lowest and with guaranteed returns. We do not quote exaggerating values. Based on individual requirements of the farmers and investors, we provide consultancy for sandal cultivation. We do provide service for complete set up of sandal plantations from land preparations, planting to management and maintenance for one year.
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