Melia Dubia (Malaysian Neem)Malaysian Neem
Project at a Glance
- Melia dubia originates from the Meliaceae family and is an indigenous species of tree to India, South East Asia and Australia, where it has been cultivated as a source of firewood.
- Melia dubia is also called as a Maha neem or Forest neem. Which is fastest growing tree species, with in 6-7 years the plantation is ready to harvest.
- The wood is having good demand from ply wood industries.
- Melia Dubia is the fastest growing tree and the wood from this tree is used in Plywood Industry.
- It is commonly found in the hills at elevations ranging from 600 – 1800m.
- It is occasionally planted for ornament and makes a handsome avenue tree and a shade tree in plantations.
- It grows rapidly and is used for afforestation purposes.
- It can be raised either by direct sowing or planting in nursery for raising seedlings or stumps.
- The best seed treatment is treating the seeds with cowdung solution for one day.
- The wood is used for packing cases, cigar boxes, ceiling planks, building purposes, agricultural implements, pencils, match boxes, splints and Kattamarams.
- In Ceylon, it is employed for outriggers of boats.
- The fruit of the plant is bitter. It is considered anthelmintic.
- It gives positive tests with alkaloid reagents.
- M. dubia occurs in the tropical moist deciduous forests of the Sikkim, Himalayas, North Bengal and upperAssam, the Khasi hills of Orissa, N.Circars, Deccan and the Western Ghats, at altitudes of 1,500-1,800 meters.
- It is known to yield useful timber.
- M. dubia grows on a variety of soils; however, it grows well in deep, fertile and sandy loam soils.
- M. dubia can be propagated by seed, cuttings and by tissue culture.
- In the indigenous system of medicine, the leaves of Melia azedarach Linn. (Family – Meliaceae) are reported to be useful in the treatment of urinary stones.
- The wood can be sold for match and veneer industry.
- With the development of new cloned propagation of Melia dubia plantation(Malabar neem tree- a very fast growing tree, with high calorific value)which can be used as fire wood for power generation has opened new opportunities for small and medium bio-mass power generation projects.
- Melia dubia has the unique feature of growing to 40 feet within two years from planting and can be mechanically pruned and harvested.
- As the demand for Melia wood is quite high from the plywood industry, minimum profit of about Rs.40,000 per year from an acre can be ensured for the farmers.
- Melia dubia has been tested positive for pulpwood and recorded a pulp yield of 50.3% along with kappa number of 19.60.
- The various parts of Melia dubia (Meliaceae) plant was observed to be used by the local tribes of Nilgiris for various infections.
- Literature reveals that fruits of Melia dubia is considered to be important in colic and skin diseases and also as anthelmintic.
- Leaves and seeds of this plant were reported to possess two tetranotriterpenoids, compositin and compositolide.
- The tree with the minimum size of 16inches girth is saleable at the minimum rate of Rs 2000 per tonne for match industry and for
veneer industry, the market rate is little higher.
The rooted saplings are planted onset of the monsoon or during the monsoon.
The suggested pit size is 18″ x 18″X18″ cube
Espacement of 6’x 6’ is recommended. This will give better girth in shorter duration.
The growth is rapid. GAMBLES’s specimens gave 8 – 12 rings/dm of radius (mean annual girth increment 5.3 – 8 cm) for a Tamil Nadu specimen, and 28 rings/dm (mean annual girth increment 2.3 cm) for a specimen from Bengal. North Kanara in Karnataka specimen showed 12-16 rings/dm of radius (TALBOT, 1909) giving a mean annual girth increment of 4 –5.3 cm. Trees grown in the Calcutta Botanical gardens from specimen from Malbar origin are said to have reached in 7 years an average height of 14m and a girth of 112 cm at breast height. This rate of growth is equivalent to 4-rings/ dm of radius. Even in comparatively dry regions with a rainfall of 750 – 1000 mm, a height of 3 – 4.5 m is obtained in plantations, against 6-7.5 m in more favourable locations.
The timber seasons well if the logs are converted in a green state, though if left long in the log, it is liable to develop end splitting and decoration. Like many other meliaceous timbers, it contracts very considerably across the grain while drying out. The best method of dealing with the timber is to convert the logs as soon after falling as possible and to open stack the sawn material, preferably undercover to avoid grey stain.
The wood is used for packing cases, cigar boxes, ceiling planks, building purposes, agricultural implements, pencils, math boxes, splints and catamarans. In Srilanka, it is employed for outriggers of boats. It is suitable for musical instruments, tea boxes and the most importantly in making plywood, as the wood is anti-termite by itself.