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- Common name:
- Wood Apple
- Regional name:
- Hindi - Kowit, Bengali - Kathbel, Gujarati - Kavit, Kannada - Bela, Malayalam - Vila, Marathi - Kavat, Punjabi - Bilin, Sanskrit - Kainta, Tamil - Vilanga, Telugu - Velaga, Urdu - Kaitha
- Fruit Plants, Trees, Vegetable, Medicinal Plants
- Rutaceae or Lemon family
The Wood Apple tree, scientifically known as Limonia acidissima, is a tropical fruit-bearing tree native to the Indian subcontinent and Southeast Asia. It is known for its hard-shelled fruit and numerous health benefits.
Site Selection: Wood Apple trees prefer well-draining, loamy soil with a pH of 6 to 7. Choose a sunny location with ample space to accommodate the tree's mature size.
Propagation: Wood Apple trees can be propagated from seeds, which can be extracted from the fruit. Seeds should be sown in a seedbed or pots filled with a well-draining soil mix. Germination typically occurs within 3-4 weeks.
Transplanting: Once seedlings reach a height of 1-2 feet, they can be transplanted to their permanent location. Plant the trees at least 20-25 feet apart to allow for proper growth.
Watering: Water the Wood Apple tree regularly, especially during the first few years after planting. Ensure that the soil remains consistently moist, but avoid over-watering as this can lead to root rot.
Fertilization: Apply a balanced fertilizer (e.g., 10-10-10) once or twice a year to promote healthy growth. Be sure to follow the manufacturer's recommended application rate.
Pruning: Regular pruning helps maintain the tree's shape and encourages fruit production. Remove dead, damaged, or crowded branches annually.
Pest and Disease Management: Common pests include mealybugs, scales, and mites. Use appropriate insecticides to control infestations. Fungal diseases can be prevented by maintaining proper air circulation and avoiding over-watering.
Harvesting: Wood Apple fruits are typically ready to harvest 9-10 months after flowering. Harvest the fruits when their hard shell turns from green to yellow-brown.
Health Benefits: Wood Apple is rich in vitamins, minerals, and dietary fiber. It is known to aid digestion, boost immunity, and provide relief from constipation and diarrhea.
Culinary Uses: The fruit pulp can be used to make jams, chutneys, and beverages. It can also be consumed raw or added to various sweet and savory dishes.
Medicinal Uses: The fruit, leaves, and bark of the Wood Apple tree have been used in traditional medicine to treat various ailments, such as digestive disorders, respiratory problems, and skin diseases.
Other Uses: The hard shell of the fruit can be used as a natural container, and the wood is valued for its durability in construction and furniture making.