Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka is a tropical island nation situated in the Indian Ocean. Due to its close proximity to the equator, Sri Lanka is prone to hot climates – with temperatures averaging (monthly) between 22°C (72°F) and 33°C (92°F) in the lowlands, as well as wet climates via the occasional monsoon rainfall – averaging more than 50 inches (1,270 mm) per year in most parts of the country.

The country is also a bustling haven of flora and fauna – with a sizable portion of its land area occupied with forests, grasslands, and a dozen of major rivers.

Like many countries, Sri Lanka is also experiencing the adverse effects of climate – caught between harmful droughts from the hot seasons and destructive floods brought on by the wet season’s heavier rainfalls. Roughly 50 percent of its citizens living in low-lying, coastal areas are also in danger of the potentially-imminent sea level rise – a similar dilemma faced by many other island nations with such vulnerabilities.

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Operational

Status

52 Acres

Area

3,000,000

Potential Sapling Output

Roshni Ingrid

Manager

30

Jobs Created

About the location

Viewed from the main highway and the “Fool’s Bridge” – a frequently visited tourism spot, this location is a virgin field enriched with red lateral soil, which is ideal for scrub forests and pastures. As it has remained untouched by human activities, along with an initial zero-carbon footprint, it can be catered to SPE’s specific planting techniques. The consistent rainfall in the vicinity is an enabler for SPE’s rainwater harvesting system, while irrigation is gravity-fed, hence accumulating zero energy and electricity in SPE’s operations. As it already holds a high reputation for its adventure and nature park hiking trails, its prominent elevation location also makes it a suitable spot to garner attention towards SPE’s activities, and even more so once a carbon sink park is established there.
Latitude: 7°05’30.6″N
Longitude: 80°33’17.0″E

Pictures

About the trees

The tree species are picked with the utmost consideration of the environmental and situational factors played into each location. The SPE team conducts thorough soil and rainwater tests to determine the optimal conditions of the vicinities, while also ensuring that the planted tree species are native and not invasive. Carbon sequestration values are considered along with community benefits as per UN Sustainable Developer Goals.

Naminam (Cynometra cauliflora)

Naminam is a fruit-bearing shrubby or small much-branched tree, with a dense crown, growing 3-15 m in height. It is believed to be originated in Malaysia, and is found in South East Asia, Sri Lanka, and Western and Southern Peninsular India, only in a cultivated state. Its kidney-shaped one-seeded; rugose, brownish-green coloured fruits are hanging from the trunk. Fruits are edible with a sweet/sour taste of an unripe apple. Naminam grows in wet tropical lowlands & mostly grown in home gardens. It prefers full sun but tolerates shade. Seedlings grow into fruit-bearing plants in 6 years. Its fruits & seeds have a medicinal value.

Canistel (Pouteria campechiana)

Canistel is a fruit-bearing evergreen small tree with a Southern Mexican origin which belongs to the Sapodilla family. Grafted trees grow better & bear fruit faster than seedlings. The tree can grow up to 3-7.5 meters. Canistel can be grown as a middle layer garden tree which needs little maintenance. Fruits contain a high level of vitamins and are of medicinal value.

Indian Beech (Pongamia pinnata)

Indian Beech, (Karnda), Pongam oil tree is a fast-growing hardwood tree natively grown in the Indian subcontinent & other Asian & Australian countries which belongs to Fabaceae (legume) family. It has a large canopy that grows 15-30 meters in height and is often used for landscaping purposes, as a windbreak or for shade. All parts of the tree have medicinal values thus used in traditional medicines. Enriches the soil by symbiotically fixing Nitrogen.

Kumbuk / Arjuna (Terminalia arjuna)

Kumbuk/ Arjuna is a hardwood tree which grows in the Indian subcontinent usually on river banks. It has a buttressed trunk & a wide canopy at the crown. All the parts of the tree have been used in traditional medicines. It is believed that the roots of the tree have the ability to purify water & a single tree can provide water for 7 wells. During ancient times, these trees were protected by the order of the kings in Sri Lanka & cutting down a Kumbuk tree could result in the death penalty.

Teak / Indian Oak (Tectona grandis)

Teak/ Indian Oak is a large, deciduous, native hardwood tree found in South & Southeast Asia. It can grow up to 40 meters tall. It has a large buttressed stem, four-sided branchlets & a spreading Crown. Teak wood is one of the most popular types in the world for its strength, water resistance, beauty & extraordinary durability. Timber is used for making furniture, doors, windows, frames, bridges, flooring, railway cars & shipbuilding. Teak is one of the plants with the highest carbon sequestration in Sri Lanka.

Tamarind (Tamarindus indica)

Tamarind is large, slow-growing long-lived, edible fruit-bearing tree of the legume family, originated in tropical Africa & widely spread over Asia & other regions. It is a medium growing tree with a maximum height of 12-18 meters, with a vase-shaped irregular crown of dense foliage. Tamarind also enriches the soil by symbiotically fixing Nitrogen. One of the trees that were protected by the Kings in Ancient Sri Lanka. Tamarind is used as a fruit, medicine and ingredient in staple cuisine in many regions.

Jackfruit (Artocarpus heterophyllus)

Jackfruit is a member of the fig, mulberry & breadfruit family; of southern/western Indian, Sri Lankan Indonesia/ Malaysian origin. It is considered the “Rice tree” in Sri Lanka due to its high importance as food. Jackfruit is the national fruit of Sri Lanka & Bangladesh. Jackfruits are commonly used in South & Southeast Asian Cuisine, from tender to the matured stage and ripe jackfruit is a famous fruit in the Asian region. Jackfruit is the largest tree-borne fruit in the world. A jackfruit, an evergreen tree can grow up to 20 meters & has a dense treetop.

Mahogani (Swietenia macrophylla)

Mahogani is an evergreen, tropical hardwood tree indigenous to the Americas and, imported to Asia & Oceania due to its high importance as timber. Can grow up to 50-60 meters. It has a dense symmetrical crown. It is resistant to strong winds and is one of the trees with high carbon sequestration. Some of the Mahogani species are considered an invasive tree in some parts of the world and in some parts of the world they are listed as endangered due to heavily destruction for timber purposes.

Mahua, Mousey mi (Mee)

Mahua is a medium-sized tree that grows up to 20-30 meters, with a straight and hard stem and a delicate bouquet of leaves and young parts. Its flowers are yellowish-white & fruits are greenish-yellow with shiny brown coloured seeds inside. The “Mee Tree” is considered the “Fertilizer tree” in Sri Lanka and has been preserved by the kings from 3rd century BC, due to its high environmental value. (Cutting down a Mee tree would lead to the death penalty). There are 7 species of “Mahua” and 4 of them are endemic to Sri Lanka. Bats and other birds feed on Mee fruits & flowers. Bats reside on Mee trees as well. Bats droppings & decomposed Mee leaves contain high nitrogen & other chemicals useful as fertilizers. Birds feed on insects hence pests are also controlled. A special quality of “Mahua/Mee” is that it emits oxygen during the night too. All parts of the tree are of high medicinal value.

Champak (Magnolia champaca)

Champak is a large, flower-bearing evergreen tree, native to the Indo-Malayan Realm & found in subtropical, moist, broadleaf forests with an elevation of 200-1600 meters. Champak tree can grow up to 50 meters & while its trunk width can extend to 1.9 meters. It has a narrow umbelliform crown. It has a strong fragrant flower, colour varying from creamy to orange. The tree has a commercial value as its flowers are used to produce expensive perfumes & essential oils while its timber has a highly valued & used for making furniture due to its colour & texture. The tree has a cultural value in India as it is considered a sacred tree among Hindus & Buddhists.

Orchid tree, Butterfly tree, Mountain ebony (Bauhinia variegata/Bauhinia purpurea)

The orchid tree is a small ornamental tree in the legume family, which is native to southeast Asia. It can grow up to 5 meters and has simple leaves arranged to alternative structure. It is still not naturalized but used as a garden plant due to its decorative nature. Flowers of species differ from white to pink/ purple colour & petals can be heart-shaped or narrow. Fruit is a legume. Important as a garden plant as its symbiotic root system can fixes Nitrogen in the soil. All parts of the tree have medicinal value and are used for the treatment of many ailments including hormonal diseases, skin diseases, leprosy, gastro-intestinal diseases, tumours & cancers.

Flame Tree / Royal Poinciana (Delonix regia)

Flame Tree / Royal Poinciana is a native tree to Madagascar & introduced to tropical & sub-tropical regions worldwide. It is a member of the Leguminosae family. It grows up to 16-30 meters & has an umbrella-like dense canopy. Grows in dry seasons & sheds leaves at the end of wet season: found in dry/ tropical savannas from 0 – 1000 altitude. Grows well in moist soils with good drainage & tolerates droughts when grown. Grows fast in fertile soils with 1500 mm rainfall per annum. Requires minimum nutrients as it can fix nitrogen in soils with its symbiotic root system.

Yellow/flame, copper-pod, yellow Poinciana (Peltophorum pterocarpum)

Yellow Poinciana is a flower-bearing tree in the Leguminosae family, native to Southeast Asia & northern Australia, with a medium growth. It can grow up to 25-35 Meters & a girth of up to 1 meter. It has an umbrella-like dense crown/ canopy which prefers full sun & provides excellent shade. Often used as an ornamental, shade providing, roadside tree. Yellow-coloured flowers arranged in large compound racemes have a pleasant fragrance and attracts insect for pollination. Its tannin-containing bark is used in the Batiks industry for colouring fabrics while the timber is used for making furniture. Leaves are used in animal feed too.

Siris tree / lebbeck ( Albizia lebbeck)

Siris/lebbeck is a large tree belonging to the Leguminosae family, native to Indomalaya & Northern Australia. It has been introduced and naturalized in other tropical regions too. It can grow up to 25-30 m in height while its trunk can grow 50cm- 1m in diameter. The multistemmed tree has an umbrella-like crown that can grow 30 meters wide canopy. Usually grows in areas with an annual rainfall of 400 -1500 mm, but can tolerate 300-400 mm rainfall. It is one of the trees with the highest carbon sequestration & usually cultivated for purposes of Shading & afforestation. It needs very low fertilizers & can enrich the soil with its Nitrogen-fixing symbiotic root system. Leaves are used as animal feeds & barks & seeds of the tree have medicinal value. The tree grows fast in favourable climate conditions. It has a commercial value as Timber too.

Robarosiya / Pink poui/Rosy trumpet tree (Tabebuia rosea)

Robarosia is a deciduous tree with medium to large growth, with a maximum height of 35meters. It is native to México, Venezuela & Ecuador and was later introduced to other regions as an exotic plant. Usually prefers tropical climates and is planted as an ornamental plant alongside roads & parks. The tree provides shade during the rainy season & flowers during the dry season after defoliating. Pink to white-coloured trumpet-shaped flowers cover the entire tree during the flowering season. Its leaves, flowers & bark have high medicinal value while the timber is used for making furniture.

Solitary fishtail palm, kitul palm (Caryota urens)

Kituls palm is a flowering plant in the palm family, native to Sri Lanka & India. Its Solitary trunked stem grows up to 15-20 meters and has a lifetime about 35 years. It’s often found in monsoon climates, peri-humid regions, in most lowlands & submontane forests in tropical Asia. It is called “Fishtail palm due to the shape of its ultimate leaflets. Kitul is the only palm with “Bipinnate leaves”. Kitul trees are planted in sloppy & hilly areas to protect soil from eroding. The tree has a high commercial value. Its sap is used for making treacle, jaggery & Toddy while the pulp made using the apical region of the stem is used to make a dessert similar to “sago”. Matured Stem is strong, heavy & durable thus used for making furniture, roofing & flooring etc. Kithul trees are often used to feed Elephants.

Queen of Flower / Pride of India (Lagerstroemia speciosa)

Queen of flowers is a flowering small to medium-sized (growing up to 20 meters) deciduous tree, native to southern Asia. It is often planted as an ornamental plant in gardens due to its beautiful white to purple colored flowers with six petals, which bloom once a year during the peak of summer. Young leaves are used as a vegetable & matured leaves are used in traditional medicines to reduce blood glucose while flowers are used in making tea. Leaves, bark, roots & seeds are used in traditional medicine. It is also has a value as timber.

Showers of Gold, Golden Shower (Cassia fistula)

“Showers of gold” is a flower-bearing deciduous tree with a medium growth (10-20 meters in height) & irregular crown which sheds leaves once in 8-10 months period when flowering. It is a member of the Leguminosae family thus important in fixing nitrogen in the soil. The species is native to Indian Subcontinent. It is often used as an ornamental tree alongside streets, parks & gardens, and grows fast. It prefers tropical climates but can tolerate a short-term frosty season. Its flowers are produced in long pendulous clusters are coloured bright yellow hence named as Showers of gold” All the parts of the tree have medicinal value and are used in treating skin diseases to cancer. Its timber is hard & used in making furniture. Golden showers in the national flower of Thailand, state flower of Kerala- India & Provincial flower of North Central province of Sri Lanka.

Cannon Ball, Salwa, Marathi, Shorea Tree (Couroupita guianensis)

Cannon Ball tree is a large, flowering deciduous tree native to tropical forests of central & South America. It grows up to 20-35 meters in height. Flowers with a strong fragrance, born in racemes are directly attached to the trunk & main branches. It has gained its name due to Spherical fruits with woody shells resembling a rusty cannonball, can grow 15-25 cm in diameter & takes 12-18 months to mature. A single fruit can contain 200 – 500 seeds in white-coloured flesh. It is mainly planted as an ornamental tree but has a medicinal value where its parts are used to treat a wide range of ailments from hypertension, common colds, pains, and inflammation to wounds, toothache, tumors & Malaria. It is believed to be introduced to India, Sri Lanka & other regions during 19th century. It is often mistaken for Shorea robusta & widely planted at Buddhist & Hindu temples in India , Sri Lanka & Thailand.

Spinous Kino Tree (Bridelia retusa)

Spinous Kino Tree is a deciduous medium-sized tree which grows up to 20 meters, native to Indomalayan region & China; found in dry, evergreen or tropical forests & open lands. It is a fast-growing tree & has a high carbon sequestration rate. Usually Propagated with seeds and good for coppicing too. Its bark, leaves, fruits & roots are used for treating rheumatism, fractures & contusions. Its hardwood is used for construction, making of tools, railway ties & agricultural implements.

Breadfruit (Artocarpus altilis)

Breadfruit is a medium-sized evergreen tree in the Mulberry & Jackfruit family which can grow 15-25 in height. It is native to New Guinea & Moluccas & was introduced to other tropical regions by the British during the colonial era. It can grow fast in favourable conditions. Breadfruits are mainly planted for the fruits that are a staple food in many regions. Prefers tropical climates with 1500-3000 annual rain but tolerates a wide range of climate conditions. Bark & latex-like milky sap is used as medicines. Its wood is light but firm hence used in making canoes, surfboards, boxes & cartons.

Goraka / Garcinia Brindle berry (Garcinia zeylanica)

Goraka/ Garcinia (Garcinia zeylanica) is an endemic plant to Sri Lanka. It belongs to the Clusiaceae family. Other species of Garcinia are native to Southeast Asia & South Asia. It is medium in size & grows 15-20 meters in height with horizontal or drooping branches. Its evergreen foliage is thick and absorbs a high amount of carbon dioxide. Garcinia has been used in medicine & cuisine since ancient times. Dried & cured rinds of the fruit are used in cooking & treating for obesity & other ailments. Its antioxidant, antiseptic, antimicrobial & purgative properties contained in leaves, fruits, flowers & bark are effective in treating humans & animals.

Java Plum (Syzygium cumini)

Java plum is a large tree native to India, Sri Lanka & Myanmar, which grows about 30 meters in height and can live more than a century. It is a fast-growing tree & reaches its maximum height within 40 years. It is a member of the Myrtaceae family. It has dense foliage which provides shade. It is grown for ornamental purposes. Java plum fruits are eaten raw and can be used to make juice, jam & Jelly. Flowers & fruits appear in clusters. It’s a strictly tropical tree & would not bear fruits if grown above 600 m of elevation. Different parts of the tree have different medicinal values & have been used as treatments for a wide range of ailments from common colds, asthma, diarrhoea & worm infections to heart diseases & diabetics & inflammation. Its wood is very hard & water-resistant hence used in making sleepers for railways as carpentry is not easy with the wood.

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