Kampala Tree and Palm Directory

Tree Species
Common Name
Tree Description
Tree Uses

English: Shingle wood, Yellow pine, White afara, Limba,blackkorina.

+ Tree Species

Terminalia superba

+ Tree Family


+ Ecology

Terminalia superba is native to West Tropical Africa. It is most common in moist semi-deciduous forest, but can also be found in evergreen forest. It occurs up to 1000 m altitude. It is most common in disturbed forest. It is found in regions with an annual rainfall of (1000 )1400 3000( 3500) mm and a dry season up to 4 months, and mean annual temperatures of 23 27 C. It prefers well-drained, fertile, alluvial soils with pH of about 6.0, but it tolerates a wide range of soil types, from sandy to clayey-loamy and lateritic. It does not tolerate prolonged waterlogging, but withstands occasional flooding. It is susceptible to fire. The tree will withstand occasional flooding. It is frequently struck by lightning, presumably because of its dominant position in the forest. It is very fire sensitive. However, its wide spread owes a great deal to the activities of man and to its pioneering characteristics; light demanding, wide crown and production of regular quantities of viable seed. In Kampala, Shingle wood can be found within Uganda Golf course club, Makerere university, along Phillip road among other places.

+ Description

Shingle wood is a large, deciduous tree, growing up to 50 meters tall, with an open, generally flattened crown consisting of a few whorled branches. The cylindrical bole is long and straight with large, flat buttresses 6 meters above the soil surface, and up to 1.5 meters in diameter.

 BARK: smooth and grey in young trees, but shallowly grooved and with elongated, brownish grey scales, inner bark soft-fibrous, pale yellow; crown storied with branches in whorls, spreading; young twigs rusty-brown short-hairy, branchlets with conspicuous rounded scars from fallen leaves. 

LEAVES: arranged spirally, clustered near ends of branchlets, simple and entire; stipules absent; petiole (1.5–)3–6(–7) cm long, with 2 glands near apex; blade obovate, (4–)6–17(–20) cm × (2.5–)4–10 cm, cuneate at base, short-acuminate at apex, thinly leathery, glabrous, pinnately veined with 4–7 pairs of lateral veins. Inflorescence an axillary spike 7–20 cm long, slender; peduncle 1–4 cm long, short-hairy.

FLOWERS: bisexual or male, regular, usually 5-merous; receptacle spindle-shaped, 1.5–3 mm long; sepals triangular, c. 1.5 mm long; petals absent; stamens usually 10, free, 1.5–3 mm long; disk annular, densely woolly hairy; ovary inferior, 1-celled, style 2–2.5 mm long, sparsely hairy.

FRUIT: a winged nut, transversely oblong-elliptical in outline, 1.5–2.5 cm × 4–7 cm including the wing, nut c. 1.5 cm × 7 mm, golden brown, glabrous, indehiscent, 1-seeded. Seedling with epigeal germination; hypocotyl 3–4 cm long, epicotyl 1.5–2 cm long; cotyledons leafy, spreading; first 2 leaves opposite.

+ Uses

Medicine: bark, leaves, and roots. http://tropical.theferns.info/viewtropical.php id=terminalia+superba

Agroforestry: seedlings can be used in the initial stages of reforestation projects, used as a shade tree in banana, cocoa and coffee plantations.

A yellow dye from the bark, and reddish brown and black dyes can also be obtained if iron-rich mud or iron salts are used as a mordant. They can be used to dye wraps, matting and basket fibers.

The wood is valued for interior joinery, door posts and panels, mouldings, furniture, office-fittings, crates, matches, and particularly for veneer and plywood. It is suitable for light construction, light flooring, ship building, interior trim, vehicle bodies, sporting goods, toys, novelties, musical instruments, food containers, vats, turnery, hardboard, particle board and pulpwood. It is used locally for temporary house construction, planks, roof shingles, canoes, paddles, coffins, boxes and domestic utensils.

The wood is suitable for paper making, although the paper is of moderate quality.

The wood is used for fuel and for making charcoal.

+ Propagation


+ Management

Trees are planted in spacing of 3 m 3 m to 12 m 12 m. Mulching in the first year after planting controlled weeds and improved growth of Shingle wood . Natural pruning is excellent and starts early, at 3-4 years, and from then on-wards the degree of self-pruning has a strong effect on the health and future value of the tree. It coppices readily from tree stumps.

+ Remarks

The generic name comes from the Latin 'terminalis' (ending), and refers to the habit of the leaves being crowded at the ends of the shoots. T. superba reaches sexual maturity late and at variable ages. Terminalia superba can be planted in pure stand or in mixed stands with other timber species such as Terminalia ivorensis, Milicia excelsa and Triplochiton scleroxylon , or on fertile soils with Khaya and Entandrophragma spp.

Development partners