Khaya senegalensis (African mahogany)
Viable seeds / kg (approx): 2.500
Minimum purchanse: 250 g.
African mahogany can reach 15-30 m in height, most
commonly up to 24 m, and a diameter (DBH) of up to 1 meter. It is attacked by
the shoot borer Hypsipyla robusta, but it seems to be resistant
to H. grandella, the species present in the American continent.
The species is used in pure plantations, boundaries,
agroforestry systems and in enrichment rows, the latter at spacings of 5 x 20
m. The wood has a reddish pigmentation, very attractive, so it is used in fine
furniture, construction of boats, floors and panels, among many other uses.
It grows at altitudes of 0-1800 masl, with mean annual
temperatures of 22-31ºC, mean annual rainfall of 700 to 3000 mm per year, and a
dry season of 2 to 8 months.
It tolerates lateritic soils but may grow poorly in
superficial soils; deep, fertile loam soils with a neutral pH are recommended
for commercial plantations.
Seeds and nursery
As a pre-germination treatment it is recommended to
soak the seed in running water at room temperature for 24 hours. For the
seedbed, a loose substrate such as river sand should be used, well washed and
disinfected. The seed should be distributed evenly or in rows 7-10 cm apart,
sowing superficially (2 mm). Germination begins after 10 - 18 days and
transplanting is done when the seedlings have reached 3 to 5 cm in height and
the first true leaves appear. The root is usually very long, so it must be
pruned to about 3-4 cm in length. When transplanting, be sure to make a hole
deep enough in the substrate to avoid curving up of the roots. Shade should be
provided for the first 2-3 weeks after transplanting, for instance using shade
clothing (saran) 50%. With seeds of good germination it is possible to sow
directly in the containers, placing 1-2 seeds per hole. The plants will be
ready for field planting after 3 - 4 months in the nursery, when they have a
height of 15 to 20 cm. A couple of weeks before planting out in the field it is
recommended to reduce watering to stimulate the lignification of the stems.
African mahogany is a relatively slow growing species,
with increments close to 1 m in height and 1 cm in diameter per year.
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