Characteristics of Sengon Tree (Albizia chinensis) in the Wild

Albizia chinensis
Sengon (Albizia chinensis) is a species of tree belonging to the Fabaceae family. The trees are widely planted to shade roads and produce wood. Sengon tree spread naturally in India, Southeast Asia, southern China, and especially in Indonesia which is very abundant.

This tree is very well known in Southeast Asia because of its fast-growing tree and strong wood that can be used for home construction.

In each area the sengon tree is called by different names such as Cham in Vietnam, Khang hung or Kang Leisure in Thailand, Khang in Laos, and Kōōl in Cambodia.

Sengon trees can be found naturally in mixed forests in humid and dry areas, with rainfall between 1,000-5,000 mm per year. This tree is also found in secondary forests, along river banks, and in savanna at an altitude of 1,800 m asl. This tree can adapt well to poor soils, high pH soils, saline soils, it also grows well in lateritic alluvial soils and ex-mining sandy soils.

The natural distribution of the sengon tree stretches from India, Burma, Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, China, Vietnam, and Indonesia, then to Australia. In Indonesia, the sengon tree spreads to almost all islands such as Java, Bali, and Nusa Tenggara, and is cultivated in Sumatra and Kalimantan.

NAME MISTAKE
In Indonesia Sengon is often referred to as Jeungjing, both of them do have a similar appearance from the shape of the tree to the wood, but they are different trees. Jeungjing has the scientific name Paraserianthes falcataria and comes from Maluku, while Sengon Albizia chinensis comes from India.

 

Characteristics of Sengon Leaf

Albizia chinensis Leaf
Source: flickr.com/Dinesh Valke

The leaves are multiple pinnate compounds, with 4-14 pairs of fins, the main leaf bone is 10-25 cm long, smooth-haired, with glands near the base of the petiole and at the meeting of the fin bones.

Leaves of large, round oblique eggs with a base that is half heart-shaped, like a membrane, with a tail at the end. Fins 4-14 cm long, with 10-45 leaflets perfin, seated, facing. Leaflets elongate to form a line, with a pointed, slanted tip, bluish-green underside, measuring 6-13 × 1.5-4 mm, middle leaf bone very close to the top edge.

 

Characteristics of Sengon Flower

Albizia chinensis Flower
Source: flickr.com/satish nikam

The flowers are compound in the shape of a hump with a stem, which collects again into panicles 15-30 cm in length. Each head contains 10-20 flowers.

5-numbered flower with toothed petals, 4 mm high, smooth hair, funnel-shaped crown tube, yellow-green, 7 mm high, which also has fine hair.

Stamens 10 or more, 3 cm long, white, above the green, the base of which are joined to form a tube, which is about the height of the crown.

 

Characteristics of Sengon Fruit

Albizia chinensis Fruit
Source: flickr.com/Scamperdale

The fruit is a pod, 10-18 cm × 2-3.5 cm long, and does not break down when ripe. Flat seeds, measuring 7 × 4-5 mm.

 

Characteristics of Sengon Tree

Albizia chinensis Tree
Source: papervaletrees.com

Sengon tree shed leaves, it can grow in the form of a medium to tall tree, and the maximum height is 50 meters, and the trunk is 1-1.5 meters. Pepagan is rather smooth, outside it is dark gray, with transverse ridges, lenticels, thin, inner 5 mm thick, pinkish red. Young branches side and hair.

Sengon tree produces light wood, with a density of 320–640 kg / m³ at a moisture content of 15%. Rather dense, straight-grained, and a little coarse, but easy to work with.

The wood of the terrace is a shiny yellow to reddish-brown, its strength and durability are classified into strong class III-IV and durability class III-IV. Sengon wood is not attacked by subterranean termites because of the presence of extractive substances in the wood.

 

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