Red Sandalwood Info: Can You Grow Red Sandalwood Trees

Small Sprouting Red Sandalwood Tree
red sandalwood
(Image credit: yands)

Red sanders (Pterocarpus santalinus) is a sandalwood tree that is too beautiful for its own good. The slow-growing tree has gorgeous red wood. Illegal harvests have put red sanders on the endangered list. Can you grow red sandalwood? It is possible to cultivate this tree. If you are considering growing red sandalwood or are simply interested in red sanders history, read on for red sandalwood information.

What is Red Sanders?

Sandalwood includes plants in the genus Santalum. There are some 10 species, most native to southeastern Asia and the islands of the South Pacific. What is red sanders? According to red sandalwood information, red sanders is a type of sandalwood native to India. The trees have been cultivated for centuries for their beautiful heartwood that is used in religious rites as well as medicinally. This type of sandalwood tree does not have fragrant wood. It takes some three decades before a tree develops its heartwood.

Red Sanders History

This is a tree species so old that it is mentioned in the Bible. According to red sandalwood information, the tree was called algum in early days. It was the wood used by Solomon to build his famous temple, per red sanders history. Red sanders trees yield beautiful, fine-grained wood. It polishes to a rich red or golden color. The wood is both strong and cannot be attacked by most insects. The algum wood referenced in the Bible was said to symbolize praise of God.

Can You Grow Red Sandalwood?

Can you grow red sandalwood? Of course, red sanders can be grown just like any other tree. This sandalwood requires lots of sunlight and warm regions. It is killed by frost. The tree is not, however, picky about soil and can thrive even on degraded soils. Those growing red sandalwood report that it grows fast when young, shooting up to 15 feet (5 m.) in three years before slowing down. Its leaves each have three leaflets, while the flowers grow on short stems. Red sanders heartwood is used to make different types of medicines for coughs, vomiting, fever, and diseases of the blood. It is said to help burns, stop bleeding and treat headaches.

Teo Spengler

Teo Spengler has been gardening for 30 years. She is a docent at the San Francisco Botanical Garden. Her passion is trees, 250 of which she has planted on her land in France.