Astronium graveolens

Viable seeds / kg (approx.): 28,000

Minimum purchase: 100 g




Description



A.graveolens is native from Mexico
and Central America to Brazil, Bolivia and Paraguay. It reaches heights of up
to 35 m and diameters (DBH) of up to 1 m, with a straight or irregular stem,
sometimes branched at low height.



Uses



It produces a wood of great beauty and
quality, reddish brown with blackish bands (hence its name "zebra wood" in soe countries), excellent polish, high natural
durability and moderately easy to preserve and work. It is used both for heavy
construction and for fine joinery and decorative panels, fine furniture
manufacturing, doors, interior decoration, carved wood, turning, plywood,
sporting goods and packaging.



Environmental
conditions



It grows in both dry and wet
forests, at low to medium low elevations, up to 1500 masl. In Costa Rica it is more
frequent on the Pacific coast below 800 masl, with a mean annual rainfall
between 750 and 3500 mm.



Soils



It adapts to different kinds of
sites, from flat to moderate slopes, in soils from fertile alluvial to rocky
and poorly drained.



Seeds and
nursery



The seed does not require pre-germination
treatments. Germination is hypogeal (the first two leaves come out from under
the soil). For the seedbed it is recommended to use a loose substrate such as
river sand, well washed and disinfected. The seed should be distributed evenly
or in rows 2-3 cm apart, sowing superficially. Germination begins in 4-8 days
and finishes after 15-18 days. The seedlings must be transplanted when they
reach 4-5 cm in height. 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%. The seedlings grow slowly, and require about 5 months to reach
heights of 35-40 cm. A couple of weeks before planting out in the field it is
recommended to reduce watering to stimulate the lignification of the stems.



Growth



Due to its slow growth and
irregular stem, A. graveolens is not
considered suitable for pure plantations, but in mixture with other pioneer
species, for the enrichment of natural forests or in agrosilvopastoral systems,
especially associated with coffee and pastures. It is also recommended for
environmental restoration programs and as ornamental in parks and gardens. It
shows a mean annual growth in height of 0.33-0.78 m and 0.47-0.98 cm in
diameter.


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Banco de Semillas Forestales

Costa Rica

USD 186/kg