Kampala Tree and Palm Directory

Tree Species
Common Name
Tree Description
Tree Uses

English: Toon tree, red cedar, Indian mahogany.

+ Tree Species

Toona ciliata

+ Tree Family


+ Ecology

Toon originates from tropical Asia. In Uganda it grows on a variety of sites but prefers well-drained soils. If the roots are cut, they produce a lot of suckers. It is capable of competing with local trees and sets seed easily. . In Kampala, Toon tree can be found within Makerere Universit, Kitatnte courts, along Acacia avenue, Katonga road among other places.

+ Description

A semi-evergreen tree usually 20 - 35 meters with large branches to a spreading crown. The bole can be clean for 9 - 22 meters with a diameter of 180 - 300cm. The bole can have buttresses up to 3.5 meters tall.

BARK: grey-brown, rough and cracking into squares. The bark of a juvenile is smooth, although mature trees have scaly, fissured bark.

LEAVES: compound, very long up to 90 cm with 10-14 pairs of leaflets, narrow leaflets up to 15 cm long, often unequal-sided, tapering to a fine tip, smell of onions when crushed.

FLOWERS: very small, white, bell-shaped, ininconspicuous sprays.

FRUIT: brown capsules, split open intodark brown star shapes releasing small winged seeds. 

+ Uses

The wood is used for carvings, boat building, cabinet making, cigar boxes, matchboxes, decorative plywood and veneer, food containers, high-grade furniture, interior trim, joinery, musical instruments, ornamental work, panelling, boxes and crates, building materials, exterior uses, millwork, and mouldings. The timber is highly regarded in the manufacture of light-weight racing boats particularly sailing boats and dinghies.

Medicine: bark, a resinous gum from the bark, flowers. http://tropical.theferns.info/viewtropical.php id=Toona+ciliata, http://uses.plantnet-project.org/en/Toona_ciliata_(PROTA)

The wood is used for shiitake mushroom culture.

The bark contains tannin.

The flowers yield a reddish or yellowish dye, which has been used to color silk.

A fiber obtained from the bark has been used traditionally for twines and the manufacture of string bags.

An aromatic oil can be extracted from the fruit.

Some extracts from the bark have insect-repellent properties. Extracts from the bark, heartwood and leaves apparently have insecticidal qualities.

Agroforestry: can be planted to provide firebreaks, as a shade tree and a windbreak.

+ Propagation

Seeds, root suckers, wildings.

+ Management

Fast growing; coppicing, pollarding. It can be used in reforestation projects.

+ Remarks

The plant is very aggressive and invasive and is unsuitable for planting in gardens or near food crops because of its shallow and aggressive root system. The red wood is soft, light and moderately durable. It can withstand drought conditions if well established.

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