Kampala Tree and Palm Directory

Tree Species
Common Name
Tree Description
Tree Uses

English: Charcoal tree, Trema, Pigeon wood, Ateso: Erere Kwamba: Bukingi Luganda: Kasisa Lugwe: Lusubasubi Lunyuli: Mugiryanjole Luo A: Opobo-bunga Luo J: Yakiyaki Lusoga: Nkulidho Rukiga: Mubengabakwe, mugwampira Rukonjo: Muhera Rutoro: Mutete, kasisa, mwitha.

+ Tree Species

Trema orientalis (T. guineensis)

+ Tree Family


+ Ecology

Charcoal tree is native to Uganda. A small, short-lived tree, widely distributed in Asia and Africa from Senegal and the Sudan to the Cape in higher-rainfall areas, up to 2,000 m. It is found throughout Uganda in riverine forest or forest margins as a pioneer which quickly invades clearings and disturbed soils. In Kampala, this tree species can be found within Uganda Golf course club, Kitante courts, Makerere university among other places.

+ Description

A shrub or tree with a heavy branching and rounded to spreading crown, reaching a height of up to 18 meters. It has a short basally swollen bole that can be 60cm in diameter.

BARK: light grey, branchlets hairy, smooth but marked with parallel longitudinal lines and corky spots, slash creamy-white to light yellow, fibrous, bright green immediately beneath the bark.

LEAVES: alternate along drooping branchlets, to 14 cm long, rough and dull above, hairy below, the edge finely toothed all round, the blade unequal sided.

FLOWERS: small, yellow-green, separate male and female flowers.

FRUIT: small, round and fleshy, black when ripe, 4-6 mm, containing one black seed in green flesh.

+ Uses

Medicine: bark, leaves, and tea made from small pieces of the roasted wood. http://tropical.theferns.info/viewtropical.php id=Trema+orientalis, http://www.worldagroforestry.org/treedb/AFTPDFS/Trema_orientalis.PDF

Agroforestry: planted as a shade tree in coffee and cocoa plantations and also in other crops, widely planted for soil reclamation, helps in soil conservation, provides mulch.

A fiber obtained from the bark is used for making cords and ropes.

The seed contains a dark green fixed oil.

The bark yields a black and brown dye and a coffee-colored dye is obtained from the leaves.

The inner bark can be rubbed on ropes to blacken and preserve them.

The wood is used for manufacturing panel products, poles and drumsticks.

The wood is used for paper and pulp production.

The tree can provide plenty of firewood and excellent charcoal which is even suitable for making gunpowder and fireworks.

An ornamental tree.

+ Propagation

Seeds, cuttings .

+ Management

Very fast growing; coppicing.

+ Remarks

A host tree for many butterflies and the fruit are eaten by birds, the main agents of distribution. It is a very fast-growing tree but the timber is poor. It does not compete with crops. Medicine from the leaves is reported to be an antidote to poison in general. Both bark and leaves contain a saponin, a tannin and sugar and have been used for deworming and as cough medicine.

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