Yemane (Gmelina arborea) is known for its very remarkable growth rate. In three years, one can attain a merchantable timber size of 5.8 m – 8.3 m with 10 cm – 15 cm diameter. Likewise, at this age, it is already a prolific seeder.
Yemane is a raw material for pulp and paper making, posts, house timbers and poles, and its wood is sawn for general carpentry, joinery, and furniture components. It is also an ideal material for musical instruments and boat decking. Rotary cut veneers are utilized for plywood. It is sometimes used as fuelwood and feed for cattles.
Being a multiple-use species, yemane has gained prominence not only in the Philippines but to some of our Asian neighbors as well.
Owing to its importance, we have updated and revised the previous versions of RISE issues on this species. We included the issues and facts on yemane to come up with a new reference material. – Celso P. Diaz, DENR Director
Common name: Yemane; gmelina; melina
Scientific name: Gmelina arborea Roxb.
Yemane is a deciduous tree which has a very remarkable growth rate. In a reasonably good site, it takes only three years to attain a merchantable timber size of 5.8 m – 8.3 m with 10 cm – 15 cm diameter. It is a short-lived tree but with good soil condition and proper care and maintenance, it is capable of surviving from 30 to 40 years. Production may exceed 30 m3 per hectare every year.
It is a prolific seeder even at a juvenile age of three to four years. it is considered a
drought and fire resistant species.
Leaves are opposite; deciduous; entire, 10 cm – 20 cm long, 7 cm – 13 cm wide, and have waxy bloom on the underside. Flowers are numerous, trumpet-shaped, hairy and short-stalked, and has a length of 4 cm. The panicle cymes of yellow or brown flowers are 15 cm to 30 cm long which appear after the leaves drop. The fruits are 2 cm – 2.5 cm long, containing 1 – 2 and sometimes, 3 seeds. Bark is thin and gray colored.
Yemane is primarily used for pulpwood production because of its relatively high yield of kraft pulp and low chlorine requirement. Its wood is sawn for general carpentry, joinery, furniture components, and other household fixtures.
It is ideal for musical instruments and boat decking. The round timbers are used for posts, house timbers and poles while rotary cut veneers are utilized for plywood. It can also be used as fuelwood.
The species is native to India, Pakistan, Northern Rhodesia, and Malaysia. It is widely planted throughout the Philippines. Plantation of yemane in the Philippines started in the provinces of Cebu and Nueva Vizcaya.
It thrives well on sites with an elevation of up to 525 m (1,750 ft) above sea level (m asl). It can tolerate acidic, calcareous (soil containing sufficient calcium carbonate), and lateritic soil (any reddish soil developed from weathering composed mainly of oxides of iron, aluminum, titanium, and manganese). However, the species prefers loamy, well-drained, moderately fertile soil. When planting, holes should have sufficient depth. Plant should be free from competition at an early age until its crown had closed.
Vigorous growth can be observed in sites under monsoonal climate with distinct dry period. The humidity should not be too low and the area should have 750 mm – 4,500 mm rainfall per year with air temperature ranging from 21°C to 28°C for optimum growth.
Yemane can be propagated be seeds and cuttings.
Dates and places of collection of mature fruits of yemane.
- February – Negros, Cebu
- March – Nueva Vizcaya, Negros, Cebu, Zamboanga
- April – Agusa, Negros, Tarlac, Cebu, Nueva Vizcaya
- May-June – Cagayan, Nueva Vizcaya, Negros, Cebu, Pagbilao, Laguna
- July-August – Samar, Abra, Mindoro, Capiz
Mature fruits are collected after they have fallen to the ground. Fruits that are yellowishgreen
can also be collected by shaking the branches.
For fresh fruits, soften the pulp by soaking in tap water for one week. Fruits in the advance stage of softening only take about one day of soaking. After soaking in tap water, macerate the flesh against a half-inch meshwire. Finally, separate the seeds by letting the macerate pulp float in tap water.
Seed count: 1995 seeds/kg
Compiled by Levi V. Florido, Apolinaria T. Cornejo, Concepcion M. Palaypayon, Jose M. Batalon, photo from www.jabonjawa.com