The Shisham tree is native to the sub-continent along a sub-Himalayan tract. It is common along rivers banks and streams. It is successfully planted in many areas of Pakistan (Punjab, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Sindh).

The heartwood is distinct from sapwood. The color of sapwood is white to pale brownish-white while heartwood is golden-brown to dark-brown with deep brown streaks. The wood grain is interlocked with medium-fine and course-texture.

The wood is diffuse porous, growth rings are inconspicuous, scarily distinct with hand lens(10x). The growth rings are 4-12 per inch. The wavy, concentric bands of parenchyma are present in the outer portion of the annual rings. The vessels are large to medium or small and 5-20/ mm2 in numbers, 115-220 µ in diameter. The wood rays are not visible with naked eye and in storied form in tangential view, 4-12 rays/mm, 40-65 µ width, 1-3 cell in width. The axial parenchyma is aliform, winged-aliform and confluent. The Fibers are semi-libriform to libriform; 202-339 µ long, 6-42 µ in diameter with 2-5 µ wall-thickness.

Cross view of Shisham wood Tangential view of Shisham wood Wood fibers of Shisham wood

The Shisham is the finest wood for high class furniture and cabinet making. A good constructional wood employed in house building. Further, it can also be used for the manufacture of railway carriages, ordnance articles handles, sports goods, agricultural implements. It is also a good timber for carving and tool handles.

1. Pearson, R.S and H.P. Brown.1932. Commercial Timbers of India.pp364-368.

2. Sheikh, M.I.1993. Trees of Pakistan. Pakistan Forest Institute, Peshawar. pp-59.

3. Siddiqui, K.M., M. Ayaz and I. Mahmood.1996. Properties and Uses of Pakistani Timbers. Pakistan Forest Institute, Peshawar.pp 42-44.