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Forestry Wasteland

Teak

Introduction

Teak ( Tectona grandis ) is the most prized timber tree of India. It can be grown in almost every part of the country
except the dry western zone, although the best teak forests develop in well drained deep alluvial soil. Teak timber
fetches very high price because of its grain, colour and strength. Hence teak plantations have been raised for industrial
purposes since long. Infact in India regular teak plantations were started as early as in the year 1842. Mr. Chatu Menon
of Malabar in Kerala is considered to be the father of Indian Teak Plantations. Between the year 1842 - 1862 he had
raised more than a million teak trees. The best quality teak growing areas in India are in the central parts of the country,
hence the brand name CP Teak was assigned to the top quality teak produced from the present state of Madhya
Pradesh.

2. Distribution

The distribution of teak is largely determined by climate, geology and soil. Teak occurs naturally in portions of India,
Burma, Laos, Indonesia (mainly Java) and Thailand. Teak has also been introduced in countries like Sri Lanka,
Malaysia, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Indonesia, Zambia, Tanzania, Uganda, Ivory coast, Ghana, Togo, Nigeria, West
Indies, Honduras and Panama.

In India, it is naturally distributed mainly in the peninsular region, but has also been planted in non-traditional areas in
northern and north eastern states. It is one of the most important hardwoods of the world and used for furniture, cabinet
making, various grades of plywood, paneling, all types of construction, poles, piles, ship building and other purposes.

3. Agro-climatic requirements

Teak prefers moist, warm tropical climate. It can withstand extremes of temperature, but maximum & minimum shade
temperatures of 39- 44oC and 13 - 17oC respectively are the most favourable for its growth. It grows well in rainfall zone
of 1200-2500 mm. It prefers a deep, fertile, well-drained soil. The sandy soil is considered to be the best soil texture for
this tree. It fails to grow in the soil with pH below 6.5.
3.1 Planting units

The number of plants to be planted by each farmer will depend upon extent of area and type of planting e.g. block or
bund planting. The optimum spacing for block planting is 2 x 2 m accommodating 2500 plants per ha. On similar basis,
the spacing of plants can be kept at 2 m in rows, in bund plantations. The minimum planting area for block plantation
should be 0.2 ha or 500 trees per unit.

3.2 Nursery technology

Teak fruit /seed bears a thick, hard and fleshy cover of mesocarp. The mesocarp is responsible for inhibition of seed
germination. Teak fruits are therefore, subjected to various treatment methods before being sown in the nursery beds to
get high germination percentage. Various methods of pre-treatment have been developed and are traditionally in
practice; the simplest one being alternate soaking & drying. In pit method, fruit mesocarp is subjected to decay by
burying them in pits with cowdung slurry for three weeks. Acid treatment to burn mesocarp is another method.
Nowadays a mechanical simple device has been evolved, a prototype-II. It is a simple machine, on the pattern of an
ordinary flour-mill, and very easy to handle.

The plants are raised by sowing fruits in the nursery beds. Approximately 2000 - 3000 fruits (1 - 4 seeds per fruit) weigh
1 kg. Fruit treatment by alternate soaking and drying in open bed for 3 weeks hastens germination. Optimum sowing
time is from April to May. Germination takes place within 30 - 40 days. Germination percentage varies from 60 - 80 .
Irrigation 2 - 3 times a day initially is necessary. Seedlings when 12 - 15 month old with collar diameter of about 2.5 to
4.0 cm. are used for preparation of stumps for planting.

3.3 Planting Stocks

It is advisable to raise nursery seedlings after collecting fruits only from plus trees i.e., phenotypically selected superior
trees. In olden days teak fruits used to be collected from any easily available tree, but nowadays with awareness of
genetic gain from phenotypic selections, fruits are collected from genetically superior plus trees. Hence fruits should be
obtained from Forest Departments / or Forest Development Corporations. For eg., Forest Development Corporation of
Maharashtra (FDCM) has established seed orchards where genetically improved quality seeds are produced. Fruits
obtained from such seed orchards will give better yield. One must be aware that in case of teak plantations any mistake
in selection of planting stock may give a negative impact on the plantation which would be known after 10 years or
more. So, selection of planting stock is the most important criterion in raising forestry plantations especially teak

3.4 Planting Methods

1. Teak can be planted at 2m x 2m, 2.5m x 2.5m or 3m x 3m espacement. It can also be raised along with
agricultural crops at a spacing of 4m x 4m or 5m x 5m.
2. Plough lands thoroughly and level it off. Mark the areas for pit digging by alignment and staking.
3. Dig pits of 45 x 45 x 45 cm sizes. Refill the soil after seasoning and mixing with Farm Yard Manure and
insecticides. On poor gravely sites, replace the pit soil by good soil.
4. Use pre sprouted stumps or polypots for planting.
5. Best planting season is monsoon; preferably after the first shower.
6. Firm up the soil after planting and apply irrigation wherever necessary.
7. Apply 100 g of fertiliser in pit at the time of planting and thereafter in split doses or as per the fertility status of
soil.
8. Carry out weeding operations regularly. Weeding may be carried out @ 3 operations in the first year, 2
operations in second year and one operation in the third year.
9. Carry out soil working periodically for better growth of plants. One working in the Ist year and two workings in
2nd and 3rd year may be adequate.
10. Debudding in the initial years may be done to improve the quality of timber.
11. Undertake prophylactic and control measures for protection of plants from insects/pests and diseases to
ensure good health of the crop.

3.5 Irrigation

Study has revealed that, irrigation during stress period boosts the growth of the plants. Irrigation should be followed by
weeding (3,2,1) and adequate soil working. Two doses of fertiliser (in the month of August & September) @ 50 gm per
plant of NPK (15:15:15) may be provided every year upto three years. By increasing the inputs of irrigation and frequent
thinning, it is possible to increase the rate of diameter growth. The increase in diameter growth is, however, dependent
on increasing the size of the crown i.e. decrease in the number of trees per acre. In other words, one can have either
lesser no. of trees of higher girth or larger number of trees of lower girth. It has been observed that teak trees grown
under irrigated condition grew faster but the sapwood content of trees increased, the wood became weak and wind
damage became quite serious. A phenomenon of water blisters may also develop in teak trees grown under irrigated
conditions. Such trees may appear quite healthy from outside but the inner heartwood may develop rot due to storage
of excess water that increases the spread of fungi which may further damage the tree.

Many people claim that, teak grown with fertiliser and irrigation give excellent result. Drip irrigation will induce surface
roots and epicormic branching. Nitrogen fertilisers will increase the nitrogen content of leaves. Initially larger leaves will
increase photosynthesis and faster growth. By about five years the dreaded defoliators and skeletoniser Hyblaea puera
and Eutectona machaeralis would attack these plantations. These will drastically reduce the photosynthesising leaf
surface. These insects have about 14 life cycles in a year. The control through insecticides is not, therefore, possible.
Once the trees are established they generally donot respond significantly to irrigation and fertilisers.

3.6 Insects, Pests and Diseases

Teak defoliator & skeletoniser (Hyblaea puera and Eutectona machaeralis) cause extensive damage to young
plantations. Root rot due to Polyporous zonalis is also common in plantation. Pink disease fungus causes cankers and
bark flaking. Powdery mildew caused by Olivea tectonae & Uncinula tectonae leads to premature defoliation. It is thus
necessary to undertake prophylactic and control measures to ensure good health of the crops. Fresh leaf extracts of
Calotropis procera, Datura metal and Azadirachta indica were found to be most effective against teak skeletonizer. This
method is of immense importance in the insect, pest control considering its harmless and pollution free implications on
the environment further avoiding the operational and residual hazards that involve in the use of organic and inorganic
insecticides.

3.7 Harvesting, yield & Returns

The highest growth under plantation condition in India was seen in the Indo-Gangetic belt of Haldwani Division. At 20
years of age the height growth was 23.1m and diameter was 28.7 cm. From the general yield table in the first quality
teak at 20 years of age, the average diameter is 27.2 cm and average height is 23.2m. The number of trees per acre is
102. The total yield of stem timber is 28.04 m3; that means on an average a tree on first quality site at 20 years of age
under natural conditions of growth will yield around 0.283 m3 of timber on good sites. At the best we may expect a tree
to produce a maximum of 0.60 m3 of timber in 20 years under best conditions of intensive management and there could
be a maximum of 100 trees per acre.

It is said that plantation teak grows slowly after an age of 15 years and besides the strength is not as good as in case of
naturally grown teak.

It is generally seen that the effect of irrigation and fertiliser application in most tree species is very fast initially and
thereafter it slows down. Therefore, the initial response of fast growth which is being seen in the young plantation will
not hold on for a long time. Under natural conditions the best growth has been seen on alluvial sites where the soils are
very deep and moist, but not wet (Teak is very sensitive to poor drainage).

Normally, an irrigated plantation has been assumed to attain a growth in 20 years which is attained by a rainfed
plantation in 25 years.

It takes roughly 20-30 years to produce reasonably good quality timber.

However, due to large market demand for teak, even the poles and small timber fetch good price. First thinning in 7th /
8th year and second thinning in 13th / 14th year may provide good number of poles and small timber to pay back the bank
loan. In the final harvest by 20th year each tree can produce quality timber ranging from 7-10 cft. The yield and income
are based on a conservative estimate.

3.8 Marketing of Timber


Teak is the most important commercial timber tree of India specially for furniture making. The very name of the tree
translates into Carpenters Pride and is one of the most sought after timber in Indian market, hence no problem is
envisaged in marketing by the farmers. Infact many of the timbers in Indian retail market is sold in the name of teak
which are not teak. It is presumed that inspite of large number of plantations raised by the private companies the market
for teak timber will remain evergreen. Today most of the teak timber available in the market is only of sapwood, the
heart wood is rarely seen.

3.9 YIELD AND ROTATION

Year No of trees No of trees No of saleable trees or Vol Rate / unit Income (Rs)
surviving removed (cum) (Rs)
7 th / 8th 2,000 1,000 1000 poles 200 200,000
13 th / 14 th1,000 500 500 poles 500 250,000
20 th 500 250 56 m3 7,500 420,000
30 th 250 250 105 m3 15,000 1,575,000

NB: Fuelwood in the form of lops & tops will be consumed locally by the farmer.
* Assumed Girth - 60 cm and Height - 13 m
** Assumed Girth - 75 cm & Height - 14 m

4.0 Cost of cultivation

The cost of cultivation will depend upon the extent of the area to be planted. The cost of cultivation for a unit area of one
ha. at an espacement of 2m x 2m . i.e. 2500 plants/ ha. has been worked out at Rs. 67476/- for 7 years which is shown
in the Annexure - I.

5.0 Financial Analysis

The financial analysis with the above parameters of the investment cost and yield has been done. The BCR and IRR
works out to 1.46 : 1 and 23.57 % respectively.

6.0 Lending terms and conditions

6.1 Margin Money

The beneficiaries may contribute towards down payment ranging from 5 to 25% depending upon their category, i.e.,
small and other farmers in accordance with NABARD's norms. Beneficiary's own labour can also be taken as his
contribution towards the margin money requirement. In the current model margin money of 10 % has been considered.

6.2 Interest Rate

The rate of interest on refinance from NABARD will be as per the circulars issued by NABARD from time to time. The
rate of interest to be charged to the ultimate borrowers would be decided by the financing banks. Interest rate of 12 %
per annum has been considered for calculation of financial parameters.

6.3 Repayment of Loan

The entire loan amount with interest can be repaid at the end of 7 years from planting. However, as there is no income
generation during the first six years, the interest have to be deferred for first six years.