Santalum album is a small tropical tree of the Santalaceae family, commonly known as the source of sandalwood. This species has been utilised, cultivated and traded for many years, some cultures placing great significance on its fragrant and medicinal qualities. It still commands high prices an essential oil, but has lost the once extensive use as a timber for fine woodworking. For these reasons it is has extensively exploited, the population in the wild is vulnerable to extinction. The plant is widely cultivated and long lived, although harvest is viable after 40 years.
The species was the first to be known as Sandalwood, although it is often appended with a description of a region. Other species in the genus Santalum, such as the AustralianS. spicatum, are distinguished by a regional name.
The indian government has placed a ban on the export of the timber.
S. album has been the primary source of sandalwood and the derived oil. These often hold an important place within the societies of its naturalised distribution range. The high value of the plant has led to attempts at cultivation, this has increased the distribution range of the plant. The ISO Standard for the accepted characteristics of this essential oil is ISO 3518:2002. The long maturation period and difficulty in cultivation have been restrictive to extensive planting within the range. Harvest of the tree involves several curing and processing stages, also adding to the commercial value. These wood and oil have high demand and are an important trade item in the regions of:Australia:Utilisation of all the Santalum genus in Australia has been extensive. S. spicata was traded out through the north of the continent. Commercial Indian Sandalwood plantations are now in full operations in Kununurra, Western Australia. Hawaii:A primary export in Hawaiian societies.India:The use of S. album in India is noted in their literature for over two thousand years. It has use as wood and oil in religious practices. It also features as a construction material in temples and elsewhere. The Indian government has banned the export of the species to reduce the threat by over-harvesting. In the southern Indian state of Karnataka, all trees of greater than a specified girth are the property of the state. Cutting of trees, even on private property, is regulated by the Forest Department. The infamous forest bandit Veerappan was involved in the illegal felling of sandalwood trees from forests.South Pacific:Societies throughout the south pacific has made use of 'sandalwood'. Sri Lanka:An extensive history of use. The harvesting of sandalwood is preferred to be of trees that are advanced in age. Saleable wood can, however, be of trees as young as seven years. The entire plant is removed rather than cut to the base, as in coppiced species. The extensive removal of S. album over the past century led to increased vulnerability to extinction.
Accumulation Patterns of Phenylpropanoids and Enzymes in East Indian Sandalwood Tree Undergoing Developmental Progression in Vitro
Apr 01, 2013; AbstractThe East Indian Sandalwood tree, Santalum album L., is sought for its fragrant essential oil and heartwood. The prolonged...