Sandalwood tree means “wood for burning incense” and is related to shining glowing (chandrah). It is Derived from Sanskrit Chandan (candana-m), in English, it arrived via Late Greek, Medieval Latin and Old French in the 14th or 15th century. The current Sandalwood tree price is approximately Rs 15000 per kg and the sandalwood tree price after 15 years may be between Rs 30,000 to 45,000. Sandalwood has been one of the most expensive woods in the world for centuries. Both the wood and the oil produce a distinctive fragrance that has been highly valued throughout the world for decades.
Sandalwood tree information
The sandalwood tree is a medium-sized hemiparasitic tree. Hemiparasitic is a parasitic plant that is dependent on other living trees for food. Meaning it derives almost all of its nutritional requirements from another living plant. They make nearly 1% of angiosperms and are found in almost every biome. Sandalwood tree has a modified root called haustoria which penetrates the host plant.
Sandalwood tree woods are heavy, yellow and fine-grained, unlike other aromatic woods. Sandalwoods are capable of retaining their fragrance for decades.
How to plant sandalwood tree
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Sandalwood planting guide – Sandalwood is a parasitic plant meaning a species of trees that depends on other living trees for its nutritional requirements. Therefore while sandalwood plantation you have to plant host plants as well. Sandalwood trees will derive their nutritional requirements (food) from these host plants so be aware while choosing the host plants. You have to plant 2 host plants with 1 sandalwood plant, it is a recommended ratio for better growth due to sufficient nutrition supply. However, if you have a lesser land then you may also plant 1:1 meaning 1 sandalwood and 1 host plant. We recommend reading this sandalwood planting guide for detailed info on sandalwood plantations in India.
Number of host plants for sandalwood trees
- 1 sandalwood and 2 host plants (Recommended)
- 1 sandalwood and 1 host plant (good)
- 2 sandalwood and 1 host plant (average)
Host plant for sandalwood trees
The neem tree, Gooseberry, Babool, Jambolan tree, Agastya tree, Malabar neem or Melia Dubai tree
Sandalwood host plant list – avoid these plants strictly
You should be very clear and specific while choosing the host plant for your sandalwood project. Because hosts are responsible for food supply (nutrition) to the sandalwood plants.
Avoid these crops as host – Rice, Sugarcane, Grain, Citrus, Keenu, Orange
How to plant sandalwood tree in India
The Indian sandalwood tree is technically known as the Santalum album and is one of the most expensive woods on the earth. It is very expensive because of its oil content, cosmetic and therapeutic value. Indian sandalwood has a huge International value for its fragrant heartwood price over Rs 10,000 per kg. This tree needs very little water for irrigation purposes but at the same time, the host tree may need a good amount of water depending on its nature.
Sandalwood trees are semi-parasitic in nature and the roots of a tree gather nutrients from the roots of nearby grass and shrubs so don’t clear the ground around the tree. Sandalwood sapling should be planted in well-drained soil and needs water frugally every third day. However, you can reduce the volume of water as the years go on.
Usually, sandalwood trees start flowering after 7 years and the tree trunk starts developing fragrant heartwood after 8 to 10 years. It simply means snake on Sandalwood is just a rumour so don’t believe it. Actually, it was a trick adopted by previous people to get rid of the theft of precious sandalwood.
Growing sandalwood trees is quite easy; they can grow in most places of India. It needs good sunlight to grow vertically and reaches the height of 30 feet with 7 to 12 inches in diameter. You can grow this plant in a small space as well but there should be extra space for the host plant as well.
Sandalwood fruiting happens throughout the year and these fruits attract tiny birds like parrots and cuckoos.
Growing sandalwood by individuals was banned until 2002. However, today an individual can grow the trees but it is not allowed to cut and harvest the wood without the permission of the state forest department. The department sends its officials to cut the tree and buy the sandalwood. You cannot sell it directly to anybody else or an organisation you need permission from the forest department to sell it.
Sandalwood tree price after 10 years to 15 years
Sandalwood tree price mainly depends on the heartwood oil content of the tree. Usually, 10 year old sandalwood contains 6 to 8 or 10 kg of heartwood. Moreover, 15 to 20 year old sandalwood tree contains 10 to 24 kg of heartwood. The current price of sandalwood tree in India is between Rs 15,000 to 20,000 and the sandalwood tree price after 15 years will increase and might go above Rs 30,000 per kg.
How many sandalwood trees per acre
During sandalwood tree plantation you have to involve host plants as well. Ideal sandalwood plantation says you can install 300 sandalwood plants and 600 host plants in one acre land. It means for 1 sandalwood plant you need 2 host plants. However, you can also use 1 host plant for 1 sandalwood tree if you don’t have good space but for best results, 2 hosts with 1 sandal is recommended.
Where does Australian Sandalwood grow
Australian sandalwoods (Santalum spicatum) and Indian sandalwoods (Santalum album) are found in India, Nepal, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Australia, Hawaii and other Pacific Islands.
Sandalwood illegal logging
Sandalwood legal in India is a tricky concept which you have to understand. Actually, Sandalwood harvesting in India, Pakistan and Nepal is government-owned and their harvest is controlled by the government. However, many trees are cut down illegally and people who perform this illegal activity are always on the radar of the investigating team. Remember growing sandalwood in India is not illegal but before growing this plant you should approach the forest department of your state to ensure whether sandalwood is legal to harvest or not and they will guide you accordingly. Hence, growing sandalwood in India in most states is not illegal but harvesting sandalwood needs permission.
Sandalwood harvesting time
Sandalwood can be harvested after 15 years for benefits. However, the idle sandalwood maturing age is 30 years and after this period one can avail the full expanded benefits of sandalwood tree.
What is red Sanders trees
Red Sanders trees are basically Sandalwood trees known as Chandan trees in Hindi language. Pterocarpus santalinus is commonly known as red sanders, red saunders, red sandalwood, Raktchandana, saunderswood and Yerra chandanam It is a species of Pterocarpus endemic grown in the Southern Eastern Ghats mountain range of South India. Sanders tree is highly valued for the rich red colour of this species. Red sander is primarily used for commercial sandalwood oil production in India.
Red Sanders found in which type of forest
Red Sanders found in India – Red sandals is native to Seshachalam, Veliganda, Lankamala and Palakonda hill ranges. It is also found in districts of Kadapa, Chittoor, Kurnool (Rayalaseema), Nellore and Prakasam in Andhra Pradesh, Mysore (Karnataka), Marayoor forest Kerala, Southern India (high quality). Apart from India Indian sandalwood is grown in Western Australia on a large scale and commercial sandalwood plantation is done majorly.
Types of sandalwood
- Indian sandalwood – Santalum album
- Australian sandalwood – Santalum spicatum
- West Indian sandalwood – Amyris balsamifera
- Best sandalwood for commercial oil production – Red sanders
How sandalwood oil is extracted
How sandalwood oil is made – Sandalwood oil is an Essential oil that has great demand in the international market due to its aromatic and health booster properties. Sandalwood oil is extracted from the woods. Sandalwood oil is obtained from the steam distillation process in this process distillation of chips and billets cut from the heartwood of various species of sandalwood trees are used. Sandalwood trees mainly santalum album and santalum spicatum are picked for the sandalwood oil distillation process.