The mahogany tree is one of the few trees which have both commercial and traditional significance. This tree is especially very important for two market segments. The first market segment is the medicinal market in which it is famous for the medicinal properties of its fruit, leaves, and roots, these parts are used for making many types of medicinal drugs that are very beneficial for sugar and other disorders.
The other market segment which is a big fan of the mahogany tree is the timber and furniture market. The wood of the mahogany tree is rated as a very high-quality wood that neither decay nor rots. This wood is used for making furniture, ships, and music instruments. Because of these qualities, there is a lot of demand for the mahogany wood in the wood market, and as such its rate is also on a higher side.
The mahogany tree is considered to be very economical and more beneficial in comparison to the other big trees such as the Sheesham tree and Ebony Tree. This tree is very easy to grow and this is the reason it is getting more and more popular in commercial farming. It is one of those trees which do not require much maintenance and provide very good value on investment.
The mahogany tree is native to North America, Africa, and the Caribbean Islands; it grows really well in the warmer parts of North America. People grow mahogany for landscaping and for shade around their houses. And it is very famous in most parts of the world for its strong wood.
Mahogany Tree Basic Information
The mahogany tree belongs to the family ‘Meliaceae’ and its scientific name is ‘Swietenia Mahagoni’ it is also known by its other names such as American mahogany, Cuban mahogany, and West Indian mahogany.
Mahogany is a tall growing tree and it generally grows in the height range of 20 to 30 meters, it has a wide canopy which can stretch up to 20 meters. It has a moderate crown density which allows some sunlight to pass through it, this makes it ideal to be grown with grasses and shrubs.
The leaves of the tree are even pinnately compound and they grow in an alternate arrangement. The shape of the leaflet is lanceolate with an entire margin. The fruit of the mahogany tree is an oval, pear-shaped capsule and it is 3 to 6 inches long, it has a dry and hard covering and it is of a brownish color.
It contains many seeds which can be up to 70 in number. The fruit generally ripens from January to March. The fruit of the mahogany tree is also known as ‘sky fruit’ because of the orientation of the fruit capsule towards the sky.
The mahogany tree produces small and fragrant flowers which are whitish or yellowish in color, these flowers are arranged in loose clusters. It produces individual male and female flowers on it; as such it is a monoecious plant species.
This tree blooms in the months of April to June; it attracts moths and small bees that pollinate its flowers. The bark of the tree is dark brown in color, it has a good fragrance and it is quite flaky in nature.
How To Grow Mahogany Tree
The mahogany tree is an easy growing tree and it can be grown easily on many types of soils like clay, sandy, loamy. It likes to grow in well-drained soil and it has high drought tolerance, it is also quite tolerant to salinity. It requires a good amount of sunlight and it grows really well in areas which receive proper sunlight.
The best way to propagate the mahogany tree is directly from its seeds. It is a fast-growing tree and it can grow up to 25 meters in just 10 years, as such it is very suitable for cultivation for commercial purposes.
For growing a mahogany tree first select good healthy seeds from the seed pod, there are many seeds inside one pod that can be used for propagation. Be sure to use the fresh seeds, because the seeds of the mahogany tree do no remain viable for a long period of time. It is also suggested to germinate the seeds during the monsoon season because it is best suited for the germination and initial growth.
For preparing the potting mix for planting mahogany seeds, the ratio of the potting mix can be 60% normal garden soil, 20% vermin compost, and 20% fine sand. The soil should be prepared to make it well-drained because this tree likes to grow in well-drained soil.
Prepare the potting mix by mixing all the components thoroughly and now take some grow bags or small pots and fill them with this potting mix that you have prepared. Now take 3 to 4 seeds and place them into each grow bag or pot, and then put some more potting mix over them to cover these seeds.
And then water the soil slowly and properly. Do not put excessive water; keep the soil only moist and not soggy and now keeps these grow bags or pots in a place with partial shade.
In about two weeks’ time, you will see the seeds germinating from the soil. As the seedlings start to develop the new shoots allow them to see some sunlight, gradually as they grow a little more, you should expose these little seedlings to more sun. You can transplant these seedlings to their new destination when they grow about 6 to 8 inches tall.
Uses Of Mahogany Tree
1. Mahogany trees are used in the timber industry for making good quality furniture as they have rich color, straight grain and the durability of the wood is also very good.
2. The fruit of the mahogany tree is used for improving the blood circulation in the body.
3. Mahogany trees are an integral part of tropical forest ecosystems and provide habitat for thousands of species of insects, birds, and mammals.
4. The seeds of mahogany trees are used for alleviating hypertension, controlling blood pressure, treating constipation, and other gastric problems.
5. It is also believed that regular use of mahogany seeds removes free radicals with antioxidants, reduces fat in the bloodstream, and boosts the immune system of the body.
The mahogany tree is mainly harvested for the wood of the tree which is of yellow, reddish, pinkish, or brown color, although the color of the wood from the mature tree is generally only reddish-brown. The wood of the mahogany tree is also valued for its fine texture and rich and beautiful color.
Mahogany has a dense hardwood with an open grain in a dark reddish appearance. It is quite easy to cut, sand, and finish the wood of the mahogany tree, this is the reason it is highly prized by woodworkers and carpenters.
Mahogany wood has a straight and consistent grain; as such it is less prone to warping and bending in comparison to the other woods. And because of its superior qualities, less availability, and increasing demand, it has become quite expensive wood and its prices are expected to surge further in the future.
Rate Of Mahogany Wood
The rate of good quality mahogany wood in the Indian market is about Rs. 2500/- per cubic feet. This is a very good rate for hardwood in the Indian market. On average a mature mahogany tree will provide 20 to 40 cubic feet of wood material.
So if the commercial value of a single mahogany tree is calculated then it comes in the range of Rs. 50000/- to Rs. 100000/- at present. This shows that there is a great scope of profitability for the farmers who wish to grow this tree for commercial purposes.