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Useful Tropical Plants

Cedrela odorata

L.

Meliaceae

+ Synonyms

Cedrela dugesii Watson

Cedrela glaziovii C.DC.

Cedrela guianensis A.Juss.

Cedrela longipes Blake

Cedrela mexicana M.Roem.

Cedrela sintenisii C.DC.

Common Name: Cedar Wood

Cedrela odorata
Looking into the canopy
Photograph by: Reinaldo Aguilar
Creative Commons License
Cedrela odorata Cedrela odorata Cedrela odorata Cedrela odorata Cedrela odorata Cedrela odorata Cedrela odorata Cedrela odorata Cedrela odorata

General Information

Cedar wood is a monoecious, deciduous, medium-sized to large tree usually growing 30 -40 metres tall, exceptionally to 50 metres[
303
Title
World Agroforesty Centre
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.worldagroforestry.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent online database of a huge range of trees giving very good information on each plant - its uses, ecology, identity, propagation, pests etc.
]. The straight, cylindrical bole can be 60 - 120cm in diameter and unbranched for 15 - 24 metres[
378
Title
Present and Potential Commercial Timbers of the Caribbean
Publication
USDA Agricultural Handbook No. 207
Author
Longwood.F.R.
Publisher
USDA Forest Service; Washington, DC.
Year
1962
ISBN
 
Description
Quite detailed information on more than 60 species of Caribbean timber trees, giving species descriptions, habitat, detailed info on the wood and some info on other uses. Available for download on the internet.
]. It has buttresses that can extend 120 - 360cm up the tree[
378
Title
Present and Potential Commercial Timbers of the Caribbean
Publication
USDA Agricultural Handbook No. 207
Author
Longwood.F.R.
Publisher
USDA Forest Service; Washington, DC.
Year
1962
ISBN
 
Description
Quite detailed information on more than 60 species of Caribbean timber trees, giving species descriptions, habitat, detailed info on the wood and some info on other uses. Available for download on the internet.
].
One of the world's most important timbers[
338
Title
IUCN Red List of Threatened Species
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.iucnredlist.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
A list of plants under threat and facing possible extinction, usually with brief details of the threats and information on habitat.
], it has been widely overexploited in the wild and is now frequently cultivated as a plantation tree for its valuable timber, especially in the Americas and Africa[
303
Title
World Agroforesty Centre
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.worldagroforestry.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent online database of a huge range of trees giving very good information on each plant - its uses, ecology, identity, propagation, pests etc.
]. It is sometimes planted as an ornamental along roads and in parks[
303
Title
World Agroforesty Centre
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.worldagroforestry.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent online database of a huge range of trees giving very good information on each plant - its uses, ecology, identity, propagation, pests etc.
].
Large specimens have become scarce as a result of overexploitation, and therefore the tree has been listed as 'Endangered' in the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species(2009)[
338
Title
IUCN Red List of Threatened Species
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.iucnredlist.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
A list of plants under threat and facing possible extinction, usually with brief details of the threats and information on habitat.
].

Known Hazards

None known

Botanical References

266
Title
Flora of China
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://flora.huh.harvard.edu/china/
Publisher
Missouri Botanical Garden Press; St. Louis.
Year
1994
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent, comprehensive resource in 25 volumes. In addition to the botanical information the flora also gives basic information on habitat and some uses. An on-line version is also available.

Range

Tropical America - Mexico to Ecuador, Peru, Brazil and French Guyana and the Caribbean.

Habitat

Widely distributed in wet, primary and secondary evergreen to semi-deciduous lowland or lower montane rainforest[
303
Title
World Agroforesty Centre
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.worldagroforestry.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent online database of a huge range of trees giving very good information on each plant - its uses, ecology, identity, propagation, pests etc.
].

Properties

Conservation StatusEndangered
Medicinal Rating *  *
Other Uses Rating *  *  *  *
HabitDeciduous Tree
Height40.00 m
Growth RateFast
PollinatorsBees
Cultivation StatusCultivated, Ornamental, Wild

Cultivation Details

A plant of low to middle elevations of the moister tropics, where it is found from sea level to 1,900 metres[
303
Title
World Agroforesty Centre
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.worldagroforestry.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent online database of a huge range of trees giving very good information on each plant - its uses, ecology, identity, propagation, pests etc.
]. It succeeds in areas where the mean annual temperature is in the range 22 - 26°c and the mean annual rainfall is 1,000 - 3,700 mm[
303
Title
World Agroforesty Centre
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.worldagroforestry.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent online database of a huge range of trees giving very good information on each plant - its uses, ecology, identity, propagation, pests etc.
]. Drought for part of the year does not adversely affect the health of the tree[
303
Title
World Agroforesty Centre
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.worldagroforestry.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent online database of a huge range of trees giving very good information on each plant - its uses, ecology, identity, propagation, pests etc.
].
Requires a sunny position[
303
Title
World Agroforesty Centre
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.worldagroforestry.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent online database of a huge range of trees giving very good information on each plant - its uses, ecology, identity, propagation, pests etc.
]. It is not demanding of soil nutrients, tolerating soils high in calcium[
303
Title
World Agroforesty Centre
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.worldagroforestry.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent online database of a huge range of trees giving very good information on each plant - its uses, ecology, identity, propagation, pests etc.
]. Plants are not tolerant of waterlogging or flooding[
303
Title
World Agroforesty Centre
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.worldagroforestry.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent online database of a huge range of trees giving very good information on each plant - its uses, ecology, identity, propagation, pests etc.
]. They prefer a very fertile, free draining, weakly acidic soil but tolerate heavy soil[
303
Title
World Agroforesty Centre
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.worldagroforestry.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent online database of a huge range of trees giving very good information on each plant - its uses, ecology, identity, propagation, pests etc.
].
Cedar wood is a fast-growing and long-lived pioneer species[
303
Title
World Agroforesty Centre
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.worldagroforestry.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent online database of a huge range of trees giving very good information on each plant - its uses, ecology, identity, propagation, pests etc.
]. The plants commence flowering when about 10 - 15 years old. Flowering is annual, but good seed crops only occur every 1 - 2 years[
303
Title
World Agroforesty Centre
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.worldagroforestry.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent online database of a huge range of trees giving very good information on each plant - its uses, ecology, identity, propagation, pests etc.
]. The flowers are visited by bees as a source of nectar for honey production[
303
Title
World Agroforesty Centre
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.worldagroforestry.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent online database of a huge range of trees giving very good information on each plant - its uses, ecology, identity, propagation, pests etc.
].
As the root system is superficial, there is some risk of wind damage and therefore thinning should be executed carefully[
303
Title
World Agroforesty Centre
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.worldagroforestry.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent online database of a huge range of trees giving very good information on each plant - its uses, ecology, identity, propagation, pests etc.
].
As the trees have many low branches and a spreading crown, they are used for shade and as a windbreak in courtyard gardens and in cocoa and coffee plantations[
303
Title
World Agroforesty Centre
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.worldagroforestry.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent online database of a huge range of trees giving very good information on each plant - its uses, ecology, identity, propagation, pests etc.
].
The tree does not respond to coppicing[
303
Title
World Agroforesty Centre
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.worldagroforestry.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent online database of a huge range of trees giving very good information on each plant - its uses, ecology, identity, propagation, pests etc.
].
Cedar wood is highly susceptible to Hypsipyla attack; therefore it is recommended that trees be planted in mixed plantations, for example with Leucaena leucocephala, Cordia spp., or Anthocephalus chinenesis or under the light shade of trees such as Eucalyptus delgupta[
303
Title
World Agroforesty Centre
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.worldagroforestry.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent online database of a huge range of trees giving very good information on each plant - its uses, ecology, identity, propagation, pests etc.
].
Because of the valuable wood, the native trees of this species have been over-exploited and they are now found only in scattered, remote areas in Puerto Rico, chiefly in the moist limestone and lower cordillera forest regions[
303
Title
World Agroforesty Centre
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.worldagroforestry.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent online database of a huge range of trees giving very good information on each plant - its uses, ecology, identity, propagation, pests etc.
].

Edible Uses

None known

Medicinal

The bark is aromatic, astringent and tonic[
348
Title
Medicinal Plants of the Guianas
Publication
 
Author
DeFilipps, R. A.; Maina, S. L.; & Crepin, J.
Website
http://botany.si.edu/bdg/medicinal/index.html
Publisher
Smithsonian Museum
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
A down-loadable PDF document of a book in pre-publication awaiting illustration. An excellent, if rather terse, guide to the traditional medicinal uses of the plants of the region
]. A cold water infusion of the stem bark is used to treat fevers[
348
Title
Medicinal Plants of the Guianas
Publication
 
Author
DeFilipps, R. A.; Maina, S. L.; & Crepin, J.
Website
http://botany.si.edu/bdg/medicinal/index.html
Publisher
Smithsonian Museum
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
A down-loadable PDF document of a book in pre-publication awaiting illustration. An excellent, if rather terse, guide to the traditional medicinal uses of the plants of the region
]. The root and trunk bark is used to reduce fever and pain[
303
Title
World Agroforesty Centre
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.worldagroforestry.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent online database of a huge range of trees giving very good information on each plant - its uses, ecology, identity, propagation, pests etc.
].
The bark is used to treat sores[
348
Title
Medicinal Plants of the Guianas
Publication
 
Author
DeFilipps, R. A.; Maina, S. L.; & Crepin, J.
Website
http://botany.si.edu/bdg/medicinal/index.html
Publisher
Smithsonian Museum
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
A down-loadable PDF document of a book in pre-publication awaiting illustration. An excellent, if rather terse, guide to the traditional medicinal uses of the plants of the region
].

A decoction of the bark and leaves is used as a wash to treat headaches[
348
Title
Medicinal Plants of the Guianas
Publication
 
Author
DeFilipps, R. A.; Maina, S. L.; & Crepin, J.
Website
http://botany.si.edu/bdg/medicinal/index.html
Publisher
Smithsonian Museum
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
A down-loadable PDF document of a book in pre-publication awaiting illustration. An excellent, if rather terse, guide to the traditional medicinal uses of the plants of the region
].

A decoction of the leaves is used as a wash to treat fevers[
348
Title
Medicinal Plants of the Guianas
Publication
 
Author
DeFilipps, R. A.; Maina, S. L.; & Crepin, J.
Website
http://botany.si.edu/bdg/medicinal/index.html
Publisher
Smithsonian Museum
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
A down-loadable PDF document of a book in pre-publication awaiting illustration. An excellent, if rather terse, guide to the traditional medicinal uses of the plants of the region
].

The leaves and flowers are antispasmodic[
348
Title
Medicinal Plants of the Guianas
Publication
 
Author
DeFilipps, R. A.; Maina, S. L.; & Crepin, J.
Website
http://botany.si.edu/bdg/medicinal/index.html
Publisher
Smithsonian Museum
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
A down-loadable PDF document of a book in pre-publication awaiting illustration. An excellent, if rather terse, guide to the traditional medicinal uses of the plants of the region
]. An infusion is used to treat earache[
348
Title
Medicinal Plants of the Guianas
Publication
 
Author
DeFilipps, R. A.; Maina, S. L.; & Crepin, J.
Website
http://botany.si.edu/bdg/medicinal/index.html
Publisher
Smithsonian Museum
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
A down-loadable PDF document of a book in pre-publication awaiting illustration. An excellent, if rather terse, guide to the traditional medicinal uses of the plants of the region
].

The trunk is harvested to prepare a decoction for abortion[
303
Title
World Agroforesty Centre
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.worldagroforestry.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent online database of a huge range of trees giving very good information on each plant - its uses, ecology, identity, propagation, pests etc.
].
Shavings of the wood are used in sweat baths to treat skin eruptions[
348
Title
Medicinal Plants of the Guianas
Publication
 
Author
DeFilipps, R. A.; Maina, S. L.; & Crepin, J.
Website
http://botany.si.edu/bdg/medicinal/index.html
Publisher
Smithsonian Museum
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
A down-loadable PDF document of a book in pre-publication awaiting illustration. An excellent, if rather terse, guide to the traditional medicinal uses of the plants of the region
].

The seeds are believed to have vermifugal properties[
303
Title
World Agroforesty Centre
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.worldagroforestry.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent online database of a huge range of trees giving very good information on each plant - its uses, ecology, identity, propagation, pests etc.
].

An oil obtained from the seed is used to cicatrize wounds[
348
Title
Medicinal Plants of the Guianas
Publication
 
Author
DeFilipps, R. A.; Maina, S. L.; & Crepin, J.
Website
http://botany.si.edu/bdg/medicinal/index.html
Publisher
Smithsonian Museum
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
A down-loadable PDF document of a book in pre-publication awaiting illustration. An excellent, if rather terse, guide to the traditional medicinal uses of the plants of the region
].

The fruit is anthelmintic[
348
Title
Medicinal Plants of the Guianas
Publication
 
Author
DeFilipps, R. A.; Maina, S. L.; & Crepin, J.
Website
http://botany.si.edu/bdg/medicinal/index.html
Publisher
Smithsonian Museum
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
A down-loadable PDF document of a book in pre-publication awaiting illustration. An excellent, if rather terse, guide to the traditional medicinal uses of the plants of the region
].

The plant contains leucocyanidin, gedunin, methylangolensati 7-desacetoxy-7-ketogedunin, maxicanolid, camphor oil, triterpenes, meliacine, p-cumaric acid and the essential oil cedrelanol[
348
Title
Medicinal Plants of the Guianas
Publication
 
Author
DeFilipps, R. A.; Maina, S. L.; & Crepin, J.
Website
http://botany.si.edu/bdg/medicinal/index.html
Publisher
Smithsonian Museum
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
A down-loadable PDF document of a book in pre-publication awaiting illustration. An excellent, if rather terse, guide to the traditional medicinal uses of the plants of the region
].

Agroforestry Uses:

A natural pioneer species that is also long-lived and supplies an excellent timber, it is an excellent choice for use in reforestation schemes[
420
Title
Brazilian Trees. Volume 2. 4th Edition.
Publication
 
Author
Lorenzi. H.
Publisher
Instituto Plantarum De Estudos Da Flora; Brazil.
Year
2002
ISBN
85-86714-15-1
Description
Information on 350 species of Brazilian trees. Stunning photographs of each species, brief details on the plant, its uses and how to grow it from seed. A superb work, with the minor irritation that the translation from Portuguese is not of the best.
].

Other Uses

The bark has been used for making twine[
303
Title
World Agroforesty Centre
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.worldagroforestry.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent online database of a huge range of trees giving very good information on each plant - its uses, ecology, identity, propagation, pests etc.
].

The heartwood is pale creamy immediately after sawing, turning pinkish-brown upon exposure; it is clearly demarcated from the 3 - 5cm wide band of sapwood. The grain is usually interlocked, sometimes straight or woolly, indicating the presence of tension wood; texture is moderately fine to moderately coarse; the grain pattern is attractive in flat sown boards; when freshly cut, the wood has a distinct onion-like odour which disappears after 2 - 3 days. The wood is light in weight and comparatively soft, the heartwood is rated as moderately durable and moderately resistant to termites, but the sapwood is susceptible to staining and powder post beetles and is not durable. It is easy to work, saws, bores, turns and sands without problems and produces a good finish; it is easy to glue. However, growth stresses may cause severe end splitting of logs and warping and splitting during saw milling. Tests in Samoa showed that the timber can be rotary peeled without pre-treatment with good results, producing attractively patterned veneer; veneer slicing also gave good results. The wood is difficult to treat with preservatives, even by a pressure treatment. A premier timber for furniture, decorative veneer, musical instruments, wooden novelties and doors. The best known use of cedar timber is for cigar boxes, but it is also used for light construction, mouldings, cabinets, furniture, panelling, boxes, exterior joinery, weather boards, louvred doors, boat building (especially racing boats), canoes, musical instruments, turnery, matchboxes, household implements, face veneer and plywood. Lower grades are suitable for crates, fencing and animal pens. The repellent smell of the wood to insects makes it particularly suitable for the manufacture of clothing chests and wardrobes[
303
Title
World Agroforesty Centre
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.worldagroforestry.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent online database of a huge range of trees giving very good information on each plant - its uses, ecology, identity, propagation, pests etc.
,
848
Title
Tropix 7
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://tropix.cirad.fr/en
Publisher
CIRAD
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An on-line guide to the timbers of 245 species of trees.
].
A good firewood species[
303
Title
World Agroforesty Centre
Publication
 
Author
 
Website
http://www.worldagroforestry.org/
Publisher
 
Year
0
ISBN
 
Description
An excellent online database of a huge range of trees giving very good information on each plant - its uses, ecology, identity, propagation, pests etc.
].

Propagation

Seed - best sown as soon as it is ripe in a sunny position in a nursery seedbed. A germination rate of 80% or more can be expected, with the seed sprouting within a few days[
420
Title
Brazilian Trees. Volume 2. 4th Edition.
Publication
 
Author
Lorenzi. H.
Publisher
Instituto Plantarum De Estudos Da Flora; Brazil.
Year
2002
ISBN
85-86714-15-1
Description
Information on 350 species of Brazilian trees. Stunning photographs of each species, brief details on the plant, its uses and how to grow it from seed. A superb work, with the minor irritation that the translation from Portuguese is not of the best.
].

Transplanting of naturally regenerated seedlings or establishing branch and stem cuttings are the most common propagation methods. Grafting and budding methods have also been successful. Regeneration may also be done by seed, wildings or air-layering. Fresh seed germinates readily, but when stored under ambient conditions it rapidly looses its viability. They may be broadcast or sown in lines in level nursery beds and lightly covered with soil, sand, sawdust or charcoal. Where there is adequate moisture, shade is not necessary; shade increases the risk of damping-off. Germination takes 2-4 weeks. It is fastest at temperatures 30-35 deg. C, but seed also germinates at 15 deg. C. Seedlings grow very quickly and may attain 40-50 cm height after 3 months and 130-150 cm after 12 months. Collecting wildings in the Philippines had a survival rate of 94% and after some months had a shorter taproot and more lateral roots than the original seedlings growing under the mother tree. Height increment of these wildings was 50 cm during the 1st 6 months after transplanting. In Papua New Guinea, transplanted wildings showed 100% survival under about 60% relative light intensity. Stumps, striplings and container seedlings are used for planting; occasionally wildings may be used. Stumps 20 cm tall, with a diameter of 1-2 cm, planted 10 cm deep showed nearly 100% survival in Indonesia.
Direct seeding is feasible, as the young plants develop very quickly; as trees seem to experience a rather severe planting shock, this method is recommended when there is no shortage of seed. Early annual growth may be up to 2.3 m in height and up to 4.8 cm in diameter under favourable conditions and when not attacked by Hypsipyla shoot borers. Dormancy of the shoot may be signalled by the abscission of the whole terminal shoot tip, leaving lateral buds to continue axial growth.
Seed storage behaviour is orthodox. Viability is maintained in hermetic storage at cool temperatures with 6-9.5% mc; seeds can be stored for about 2 years if kept in dry, cool (2-4 deg. C) and airtight containers. Well-dried seeds (6-9.5% mc) stored in paper bags, show no decrease in germination after 3 months, irrespective of the temperature during storage, ranging from -30 to 30 deg. C. Germination of seed kept in closed glass bottles at 4-6 deg. C is 82% after 2 months and 78% after 14 months.
Cite as: Tropical Plants Database, Ken Fern. tropical.theferns.info. 2019-09-21. <tropical.theferns.info/viewtropical.php?id=Cedrela%20odorata>

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