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TERMINALIA SERICEA

DISTRIBUTION

T. sericea is scattered in open woodlands, or as a dominant or co-dominant in mixed deciduous forests. It thrives in a range of soil types, moisture conditions, and drainage conditions as long as light is not a limiting factor (Pohjonen 1992). It seldom makes pure stands in late successional stages. T. sericea is common as a shrub or bush of 6 to 9 m, but individual trees may reach 23 m in height. It thrives in deep sandy soil with moderate rainfall (Palgrave 1988).

REQUIREMENTS

Light Requirements: Demanding.

Influential Factors: It is adaptable to drought and moderately adaptable to saline soils. It can tolerate some frost. T. sericea is reported to form dense thickets when cut or burnt, and becomes weedy, preventing the growth of grass (Palmer and Pitman, 1972).

PROPAGATION

Means of Propagation: Seed. It naturally regenerates readily.

Seed Treatments: Fruits are oval, winged, are soft pink when mature, and contain 1 seed per fruit. The pink colour darkens with age. Fruits are sometimes parasitized and become deformed, twisted, and hairy.

Seedling Management: T. sericea seeds and regenerates readily as open sites become available (Pohjonen 1992).

SILVICULTURE

Planting Types: Recommended for reforestation, agroforestry, and land improvement.

Growth Factors: T. sericea is a promising tree in Dodoma.

Growth Cycle: In the later stages of succession it is found as an individual tree.

Management Systems: An easily established aggressive species. Since T. sericea shades out weeds and climax species are allowed to establish themselves.

IMPORTANT USES

Use #1: LAND IMPROVEMENT
The tree improves sites by draining waterlogged soils, shading out weeds, and enriching impoverished soils. It is also used for erosion control.

Use #2: MEDICINE
The roots are used to treat bilharzia, colic, pneumonia, and diarrhoea. The leaves are used for stomach disorders. A glucoside, nerifolin, has been isolated and found to have an effect on the heart (Palgrave 1988). The tree may be poisonous (Westman Draft).

Use #3: GENERAL PURPOSE WOOD
The wood is yellow, hard, heavy, very tough, and resistant to both termites and borers. It is used extensively for fence posts and tool handles. T. sericea is known to make good charcoal and is also used for construction, furniture, and firewood. The bark is cut into strips and is used as a rope to tie frames together and to hang beehives.


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