Acrocarpus fraxinifolius (Pink cedar)
Viable seeds / kg (approx.): 21,000
Minimum purchase: 100 g
Pink cedar is native to the tropical regions of Asia. It is a tree of
the family of legumes, fast growing and of multiple use, which can reach a
height of up to 35 m and a diameter (DBH) between 0.80 and 1.10 m.
Pink cedar can be established as a pure plantation, but it is also ideal
for agroforestry systems, because it produces a diffuse shade and has no
allelopathic effects on other crops. Its main use is the wood, hard but easy to
work, of smooth surface and good finish. The sapwood is white and the heartwood
is reddish to light brown. A large number of products are obtained from the
wood, among the most important are furniture, boxes for packaging and pallets,
carpentry, joinery, construction in general and paper pulp.
It has an extraordinary development when it grows in good sites at full
sunlight, as it is a heliophyte species; it grows at altitudes of 0-1800 masl,
rainfall equal to or greater than 2000 mm per year, dry season of 0-4 months
and mean temperatures of 16-22ºC.
Soil conditions are of great importance in the development of this
species. Although it can be established in most types of soils, the most
satisfactory yields occur in deep, moist but well-drained and unimpeded soils,
with a pH of 5.5 to 7. It does not resist water stagnation and it is
susceptible to frosts.
Seeds and nursery
As a pre-germination
treatment it is recommended to immerse the seed in water at 80 °C for 30-60
seconds, and then soak it in running water at room temperature for 24 hours.
For the seedbed it is suggested to use a loose substrate such as river sand,
well washed and disinfected. The seed should be distributed evenly or in rows
separated by 2 cm, sowing superficially (2 mm). Germination occurs after 8 days
approximately and transplanting must be carried out when the seedlings have
reached 3-5 cm in height and the first true leaves appear. The root is usually
very long, so it must be pruned to about 3 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 containers, placing 2-3 seeds per cavity, and
then selecting the best seedling. The plants will be ready for field planting
after 3 - 4 months in the nursery or 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.
Under optimal conditions pink cedar
shows an exceptional growth in the first years. In some places only the first
year it has grown 7.5 m in height and 11 cm in diameter, and it has reached heights
of 12-16 meters and diameters (DBH) of 10-14 cm after 3 years.
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