H.M.G.S.B. Hitinayake, H.M.L.S. Dharshana and D.H.M.S.S. Dissanayake
Department of Crop Science, Faculty of Agriculture
University of Peradeniya
Michelia champaca ((Gini-sapu) is an exotic which was introduced to Sri Lanka from India and first planted around Hindu temples as an ornamental tree. M. champaca has naturalized in the mid country wet zone of Sri Lanka. It has become a popular timber tree among farmers managing Kandyan home gardens. Also it has been used for enrichment of some small forest in the Kandy area. Fewer restrictions prevail with respect to harvesting and transport of Michelia champaca timber. It is classified within the second hard wood timber.
The object of this paper is to discuss the main silvicultural features of Michelia champaca based on the results of several on going experiments conducted by the authors on the various silvicultural aspects of Michelia champaca. In addition information obtained from research publications are also included along with the citations. They include seed treatments, seed viability, storage and light requirement for seedling establishment and growth and pruning regime practiced with individual trees. Tables derived from a tree inventory conducted to estimate total and merchantable wood volumes and financial returns under standard discount rates using easily measurable parameters such as tree height, trunk diameter and age are also included here.
The experiments on seed treatments have indicated that Michelia champaca could be propagated using treated seeds. The recalcitrant behavior of seeds indicated that viability deteriorates rapidly with lowering moisture content but can be stored under low temperatures. The seedling growth and establishment rates increased with increasing light intensities and the best performance was shown under open conditions. The volume and financial value tables derived will serve as important tools in measuring timber volumes and financial values of standing trees. These tables can also be used in the identification of optimum harvesting age and size.