Celtis discolor Bongn.
Celtis guineensis Schum. & Thonn.
Celtis madagascariensis Bojer
Celtis orientalis L.
Celtis rigida Blume
Sponia andaresa Commerson ex Lamarck
Sponia argentea Planch.
Sponia commersonii Decaisne ex Planchon
Sponia glomerata Hochst.
Sponia orientalis (L.) Decne.
Sponia wightii Planch.
Trema affinis (Planch.) Blume
Trema africana Blume
Trema commersonii (Decaisne ex Planchon) Blume
Trema grevei Baill.
Trema grisea Baker
Trema guineensis (Schum. & Thonn.) Ficalho
Trema hochstetteri Engl.
Trema nitens Blume
Trema polygama Z.M. Wu & J.Y. Lin
Trema velutina (Planch.) Blume
Trema wightii Blume
Common Name: Charcoal Tree
Trema orientalis is a fast-growing, evergreen shrub or tree with a heavy branching and rounded to spreading crown, reaching a height of up to 18 metres[
]. It has a short basally swollen bole that can be 60cm in diameter[
The plant has a wide range of traditional uses for food, medicine and other commodities. A fast-growing tree, it has several applications in agroforestry as a shade tree, pioneer species etc. It is also grown in various areas in plantations as a timber crop and is grown as an ornamental in gardens, where its fast growth makes it a popular choice for a new garden[
E. Asia - Indian subcontinent, southern China, Japan, Myanmar, Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia, Indonesia,Australia to the Pacific Islands.
Moist forests, dry scrub of open slopes at elevations of 400 - 1,900 metres in southern China[
]. Open places on hillsides at elevations of 200 - 1,200 metres in Nepal[
|Other Uses Rating||
|Cultivation Status||Cultivated, Ornamental, Wild
Charcoal tree is a plant of the lowland humid tropics, where it can be found at elevations from sea level up to 2,500 metres[
]. It grows best in areas where annual daytime temperatures are within the range 15 - 27°c, but can tolerate 8 - 34°c[
]. When dormant, the plant can survive temperatures down to about -2°c, but young growth can be severely damaged at -1°c[
]. It prefers a mean annual rainfall in the range 1,500 - 3,000mm, but tolerates 1,000 - 4,000mm[
Grows best in a sunny position[
]. Requires a well-drained, sandy soil[
]. Succeeds on a wide range of soils from heavy clay to light sand; tolerating moderate alkalinity and salinity[
]. The plant has an extensive root system, which enables it to withstand dry periods[
]. Prefers a pH in the range 5.5 - 6.5, tolerating 4.5 - 7.5[
A very fast growing tree, attaining a harvestable size for pulpwood in 3 - 4 years[
It coppices well[
The tree has an extensive root system that enables it to survive long periods of drought[
The species is intolerant of fire[
The leaves and fruit are reported to be eaten in the Democratic Republic of Congo[
The plant is vermifuge, and is known to have anti-plasmodium properties[
Both bark and leaf decoctions are used as a gargle, inhalation, drink, lotion, bath or vapour bath for coughs, sore throat, asthma, bronchitis, gonorrhoea, yellow fever, toothache[
The leaves are reported to be a general antidote to poisons[
A bark infusion is drunk to control dysentery[
A tea made from small pieces of the roasted wood is used to treat dysentery[
Charcoal tree has a wide range of applications in agroforestry. It is often planted as a shade tree in coffee and cocoa plantations and also in other crops in Asia and Africa[
A common pioneer species, it is among the first trees to establish in clearings, on flood-damaged riverbanks, and also colonizes denuded poor soils[
]. The tree regenerates profusely through its numerous seeds and grows rapidly, so it is a common colonizer of disturbed rainforest areas[
]. It is widely planted for soil reclamation in southern Asia[
It grows rapidly on disturbed soil so helps in soil conservation[
The mulch is used to improve the soil. The tree is common as a fallow species in shifting cultivation[
Charcoal tree can serve as reservoirs for populations of defoliating insect pests and thus may put at risk nearby plants of economic value[
A fibre obtained from the bark is used for making cords and ropes[
The seed contains a dark green fixed oil[
The bark yields a black dye[
]. A brown dye is obtained from the bark[
]. The inner bark is rubbed on ropes to blacken and preserve them[
A coffee-coloured dye is obtained from the leaves[
]. The bark and leaves contain a saponin and tannin[
The wood is off-white or tinged with pink. It is fine-grained, soft, light and of low durability. It is used in manufacturing panel products, poles and drumsticks[
]. An appropriate tropical hardwood for paper and pulp production. Paper made from T. Orientalis has good tensile strength and folding endurance[
The tree can provide plenty of firewood and excellent charcoal which is even suitable for making gunpowder and fireworks[
Seed - to break dormancy, the seed needs to be stored at 2°c for 3 - 4 months[
]. Seeds require a high light intensity for germination. Germination rate is around 30%[
Seed storage behaviour is uncertain; viability can be maintained for 6 months in hermetic storage at room temperature, after which viability reduces rapidly[