« السابقةمتابعة »
being upwards of 1,000, whilst Teak is about 720. The Camphor tree of Sumatra is closely allied to the Sál. Two species of Dipterocarpus (of the same family) under the native names of MEKAI and HooLUNG, are mentioned by Capt. Hannay and Mr. Masters, as producing fine timber in Assam.
7. Toon-Cedrela toona, Roxb. This, with the Mahogany, Satin wood, Rohunna and Chittagong wood, all belong to the same natural family, Cedrelacea, affording very valuable timber. The Toon is a favorite wood with the carpenters of India, and works out very prettily ; the tree has a wide range in the Peninsula of India, and generally throughout Nagpore, Bundlekund and the lower ranges of the Himalayas. It is a very beautiful tree, and now adorns the sides of roads in every part of Bengal, particularly at Bhaugulpore and Monghyr. 800 lbs. broke the specimen used in Capt. Baker's trials, and its specific gravity is 640. Captain Hannay describes three varieties of Toon in Assam, under the names of Hindooree Poma, and Seekha Poma, and says that although light, when once seasoned, it is very durable, and some splendid boats are formed of it, particularly in the Dihong river where it would seem to be in great abundance. It is mentioned by Lieut. Nuthall as one of the woods of Arracan, under the name of Thit-ka-do.
8. MAHOGANY-Swieteniu mahogani, Linn.—This of course is only known in India in its cultivated state, and sufficient has been done to show that it can be grown with great success. The Horticultural Society are in possession of beautiful specimens that have been worked up from trees grown
in the Botanical Gardens, and which are supposed to have been 43 to 44 years old, when felled. The cultivation of the tree ought to be encouraged as much as possible in the lower hills, for even in its native country the quality depends very much on the situation where the trees grow. On elevated rocky places, where there is but little soil, the wood is always of a better grain and superior texture, whereas in low alluvial situations, however vigorous and luxuriant the plant may be, the quality of the timber is always inferior, more light and porous, and of a paler color. Mahogany is said to be almost indestructible by worms or in water, and to be bullet-proof. Capt. Franklin took with him to the polar seas boats of Mahogany as being the lightest in consequence of the thinness of the planks, combined with great strength.
It is ge
9. Rohunah or Rooah-Soymida (Swietenia) febrifuga, Roxb. It is also called Kukhut Rohida in the Nagpore jungles. I am not aware that this tree is found in Bengal, but it is very
abundant in Nagpore, and also in southern India. I have had at Kamptee abundant opportunities of trying the strength and value of the timber, and believe it to be one of the best in India. It takes a high polish, and from its fine red color is peculiarly adapted for furniture. There are specimens in the collection of the Horticultural Society, of the wood sent from the Jungle Mehals.
10. CHICKRASSEE or CHITTAGONG WOOD-Chickrassia tabularis, C.I. This wood appears to be very abundant in Chittagong and in southern India, but I am not aware that it is applied to any
other purpose than cabinet making, for which it is admirably adapted. According to Mr. Masters, this tree is known in Assam by the same native name as the Toon, namely Toona.
11. Billoo—Chloroxylon swietenia—The satin wood. nerally found in company with the Rohunna. It is however much rarer, but is deserving of greater attention than has been yet paid to it.
12. SOONDRE E-Heritiera minor.—This tree, which furnishes a great portion of the firewood of Calcutta, belongs to the natural family of Sterculiaceæ, in which almost all the woods are very perishable, and indeed in one tree, the Adansonia, which far surpasses in size any
that we are acquainted with, the wood perishes into dust within 12 months of the felling of the tree. However, the Soondree, from Capt. Baker's experiment, appears to be the strongest and toughest wood he tested. The mean of five experiments gave 1312 lbs. for breaking. The specific gravity is much the same as Sál, 1030. Soondree is very generally used in Calcutta for buggy shafts, and is well adopted for all temporary purposes where strength and elasticity are required. It is also used for boats, boat masts, poles and spokes of wheels. I imagine the Soonderbunds derive their name from this tree.
13. Sissoo-Dalbergia sissoo, Roxb. This, with Dalbergia latifolia, Sitsál or Black wood; and Dalbergia emarginata or Andaman Sissoo, all belonging to the same genus, composes a portion of the nat. family Leguminosa, notorious for its timber trees, some which in America, according to Martius, attain the gigantic size of being at the bottom 84 feet in circumference, and 60 feet where the tree becomes
cylindrical. If Sissoo was a more durable wood than it is supposed to be, it would be the most valuable wood in the country. It is very strong, requiring a mean of 1102 lbs. to break it, is very elastic, and has a specific gravity nearly the same as teak, 724. The timber is seldom straight, and is therefore not well adapted for beams, but is much employed for furniture, ship building and other purposes, where curved timber is required. It is not proof against white ants. The tree is found all over this Presidency either cultivated or in its native jungles, but is rare in southern India. Kunkur appears to be prejudicial to it, for in the neighbourhood of Agra, as soon as the roots reach the Kunkur, the tree which up to the time had been quite healthy, suddenly dies off. The Calcutta climate seems to agree very well with the Sissoo, as there are some magnificent trees in the neighbourhood.
14. Sit SAUL-Dalbergia latifolia. - This is called Black wood and Rose wood, and sometimes when well worked is fully equal to the finest description of the Rose wood of commerce. The tree attains a larger size in southern India than it does in these provinces, and the wood is more commonly used there. The tree is common in central India and also, I believe, in Assam. I imagine the “black rose wood" mentioned by Capt. Baker to be this wood, and if so, its specific gravity is 875, and it required 1196 lbs. to break it. It is a remarkable fact that up to this date it has not been ascertained to what tree we are indebted for the “Rose wood” of commerce.
15. PEET SAL-Pterocarpus marsupium. This with P. santalinus, red sandal wood, and P. dalbergioides, Andaman red wood, are those magnificent timber trees of which very fine specimens are to be seen in the Botanical gardens, and also in the Barrackpore Park. The most prettily shaped tree in the Park is P. marsupium. P. dalbergioides flowers in the gardens in July and August, and spreads its delicious fragrance from a long distance round. One tree is a most superb one, out-topping nearly every tree in the garden. The two other species are abundant in the jungles of central and southern India. P. marsupium is believed to produce a variety of the Gum Kino. It is universally known in central India as the Hyissar, and is a very strong, tough and durable wood, perfectly impervious to insects of any kind. From its waved grain it makes very handsome furniture. Its good
properties seem to be valued by the natives of Nagpore only. There is no specimen of the wood that I know of in Calcutta, but it can of course be easily obtained. I have made very numerous trials of this wood and am of opinion, that it is the best wood in India, combining as it does strength, lightness and beauty, and it is easily procurable of very large dimensions. I have seen it very generally used for door and window frames, but it is curious to observe that the plaster in its proximity always becomes more or less stained with a red colour. The finest trees I observed in their native jungles, always grow in the stony bed of nullahs, a favorite locality of many leguminous trees.
16. SERISS— Acacia serissa. This genus also contains A. arabi. ca, Babul, and 1. catechu, Kaira, producing timber The Seriss is a dark coloured very hard wood, approaching Sissoo in appearance and properties, but with the advantage of not being so liable to injury from insects. It is heavier than Sissoo and broke with 709 lbs. and is not quite so elastic. It is a fine handsome tree, and to be found all over India growing in the plains. The wood is principally adapted for furniture.
17. BABUL— Acacia arabica. This is a very useful, strong, tough timber, used for knees and crooked timbers in ship building, for the axles of country carts, handles of mallets and various agricultural implements, and indeed for all purposes where very tough small plain wood is required. If it attained to any size, it would be extremely valuable. The tree grows well in every soil and is well known to every person who has travelled in India.
18. KHERI, KAIR, KAIRA, KOROI-Acacia catechu.--This tree is known, wherever I have been in India, by some slight variation of the words I have given above. It is more valuable than is generally supposed, and when a large tree can be obtained without much of the outer light coloured wood, it is an excellent timber. It is very hard and turns very well, being quite as close in grain as box, kingwood, and other fancy woods which command a very ready and remunerative sale in England. The tree is very widely spread over India, and seems to grow well even in the poorest soils. The timber described as Kerdun, or Keerra from Chota Nagpore, and so favourably reported on by Major Goodwyn, most probably is the same. Capt. Tickell, in forwarding the specimens, says :-" It works easily and smoothly, does not chip or
crack by the weather, and the grain is so fine that the smallest work with the highest polish could be done in it."
19. KENDOO-Ebony. There are several kinds of Ebony in India ; in fact there is no part that does not contain at least two or three different species of Diospyros, all of which produce more or less black wood, but D. melanoxylon is superior to any other. I imagine there is no wood more durable than Ebony, and no insect can do it any harm. I refer only to the heart of the tree; the outside wood which composes the largest parts of many trees, is attacked immediately by all kinds of insects. In central India, where the Ebony grows to a large size and is very commonly used for beams in houses, a large tree is cut down, and left for a year, when it will be found with all the light coloured wood eaten away, and the hard and durable Ebony alone left; carpenters are very loath to use the wood, as it injures their tools very much, and with many the fine particles which come off in the working, cause intolerable sneezing. Every one is aware of the beauty of Ebony if well polished, but few perhaps imagine that it is to be procured in such abundance as it is. It is to be found in every jungle of India.
ABLOOYA, KYAN, GAB, OORIGAB-Are all well known native names for different species of good useful Ebony. All these trees are species in the neighbourhood of Calcutta, and some very fine trees of the Kyan, Diospyros tomentosa, occur at Allipore. The Gáb is known and used as a paying substance for boats by all natives--and it will very probably be found that Gutta Percha, which in time must become one of the most valuable exports from the straits of Malacca, is a species of Diospyrus.
20. JAROOL-Lagerströmia. This is the pretty tree that so ornaments most of our woods with its beautiful light purple flower in June. There appears to be very various opinions regarding the merits of the wood as such, which while one variety is strongly recommended, another is equally strongly condemned. It is therefore necessary to be very cautious in using it. Capt. Baker writes of red Jarool as a fine wood growing to a great size in Chittagong, but brought to the Calcutta market too small to be of much use except for picture frames and other similar purposes. The Chittagong forests are said to be nearly cleared of the best, a thorny species of Jarool,—the others are of little value. It