Schleichera Oleosa, Kusum tree
Schleichera oleosa, commonly known as the “Kusum” tree, is a medium to large-sized tree that is native to the Indian subcontinent and Southeast Asia.
Features of Kusum tree
- Height: Schleichera oleosa can grow up to a height of 15-20 meters.
- Trunk: The tree has a straight and cylindrical trunk with rough, grayish-brown bark.
- Leaves: The leaves are pinnate, with 6-12 pairs of leaflets arranged in opposite pairs. The leaflets are ovate-lanceolate in shape and have a glossy green color.
- Flowers: The flowers are small, yellowish-green in color, and are arranged in panicles at the end of the branches.
- Fruit: The fruit is a drupe, round in shape, and about 1-1.5 cm in diameter. The fruit is initially green and turns yellowish-brown as it ripens.
- Seeds: The seed is enclosed in a hard, woody shell and is edible. The kernel inside the shell is oily and has a nutty flavor.
- Wood: The wood of Schleichera oleosa is hard, durable, and termite-resistant, making it useful for construction and furniture-making.
Planting Instruction for Schleichera Oleosa
- Selecting a Suitable Site: Choose a location that receives full sunlight and has well-draining soil. Avoid planting in areas prone to waterlogging.
- Soil Preparation: The soil should be prepared well in advance of planting. Dig a hole twice the width of the root ball and add organic matter, such as compost or aged manure, to improve soil fertility and drainage.
- Planting: Carefully remove the plant from its container, ensuring that the roots are not damaged. Place the root ball in the center of the prepared hole and backfill it with soil, gently firming it around the base of the plant.
- Pruning: Prune the tree regularly to maintain its shape and remove any dead or diseased branches.
Uses of Schleichera Oleosa
- Timber: The hard and termite-resistant wood of Schleichera oleosa is used for construction, furniture, and boat building.
- Edible oil: The seeds of the tree are rich in oil, which is used in cooking and as a hair oil.
- Traditional medicine: Different parts of the tree have been used in traditional medicine to treat various ailments such as fever, diarrhea, and skin infections.
- Fodder: The leaves and twigs of the tree are used as fodder for livestock.
- Soil conservation: Schleichera oleosa is used for soil conservation and erosion control due to its deep roots and ability to grow on degraded soils.
- Fuel: The tree is a source of firewood and charcoal.
How to care Kusum Tree :
- Water regularly, but don’t overwater.
- Plant in a location that receives full sunlight.
- Fertilize with a balanced fertilizer during the growing season.
- Check regularly for pests and treat them if necessary.