From the conifers of the Himalayas to the broad-leaved trees of the plains, India possesses a great diversity of flora. In this web post, we will learn about some of the common ‘large’ trees of India. Let’s read.
Common large trees of India
Banyan (Ficus benghalensis)
The banyan tree is the national tree of India. These trees are known for their large canopy that can spread across acres. The aerial roots of Banyan trees grow from its branches and form new trunks upon reaching the ground. The tree is considered sacred in India. You will almost every time find these trees in the vicinity of big old temples. The tree also provides many medicinal benefits.
Peepal (Ficus religiosa)
Just like the Banyan, Peepal is another species of fig that holds religious importance in India. The Bodhi tree under which Gautama Buddha attained enlightenment at Bodh Gaya was a Peepal tree. Old Peepal trees can have height of over 15 m and a trunk diameter of over 2 m.
Neem (Azadirachta indica)
Neem is a mahogany tree native to India and some other countries of Asia. It is an evergreen tree with many uses. Neem has been used in traditions medicines from ages. It is also used in controlling pests and diseases in crops. The tree provides a good amount of shade during summer. Large trees can reduce soil erosion and help in maintaining soil health.
Mango (Mangifera indica)
Mango is the national fruit of India. It is also known as the “king of fruits”. The mango tree is a large tree that can grow over 15 m tall. Mango fruit is consumed both ripe and unripe. Raw unripened mangoes are also used for making pickles. Hundreds of varieties of mango are found in India. The most consumed ones are – Alphonso, Dasheri, Langra, Banganapalli, and Chausa.
Chir pine (Pinus roxburghii)
Chir pine is a coniferous tree found in the Himalayas. It generally occurs at elevations between 500-2000 meters. In the state of Uttarakhand, Chir pine is very common. Chir pine is a fast growing tree. Its wood is used for construction and furniture works. It is also used as fire wood. Chir pine burns very easily. The tree can promote huge wildfires on the downside. Among the coniferous trees of India, Chir pine is the most common.
Tamarind (Tamarindus indica)
Another fruit-bearing tree, Tamarind produces fruits that taste sour when young and sweet-sour upon ripening. Old Tamarind trees can attain height of over 20 m. It is believed that the Tamarind tree originated in Africa. Tamarind is used as an ingredient in many recipes. It also has many medicinal properties.
Sal (Shorea robusta)
Sal is a common tree in Central, Eastern, and North Indian forests. It is a very tall tree that can attain height of up to 40 m. Sal trees have become a characteristic of various National Parks. Majority of the trees in Kanha National Park, Bandhavgarh National Park, Dudhwa National Park, etc are Sal trees. The leaves and bark of Sal are used in various medicines. Its wood is used in furniture and construction works.
(Also read: Kanha National Park vs Bandhavgarh National Park)
Teak (Tectona grandis)
Teak is another tall tree that can attain height of 40 m. Just like Sal, its wood is also used for furniture and construction works. Teak forests are more prominent in southern India as compared with Northern India.
Amla (Phyllanthus emblica)
Amla is a deciduous tree found in the Indian subcontinent. It produces sour fruits that are rich in Vitamin C. The Amla fruit is also known as Indian gooseberry. It is used for making pickles, sauces, and various other recipes. Amla fruit is also eaten raw.
Coconut (Cocos nucifera)
Coconut is a palm tree found in the tropical and subtropical areas. It can grow up to 30 m tall. The tree produces fruit that is used in a variety of ways, from food to cosmetics. Coconut tree also carries a lot of religious and cultural significance particularly in the southern part of India. The endosperm of coconut fruits contains a large quantity of clear liquid which is a popular hydration drink in the tropics.