How to Grow Tamarind Tree? In warm areas, the tamarind tree (Tamarindus indica) is grown as a commercial crop, as well as for its utility as a huge shade tree. Although it is native to Africa’s tropical climates, tamarind thrives in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 10 and 11. Growing a tamarind tree properly helps assure its lifespan, yet the truth is… it will probably outlive you. A specimen planted on the Punahou School’s Hawaiian campus in 1842 is still standing.
Info about Tamarind Tree
Tamarind is a slow-growing tree. It may grow to a height of 25 metres and a circumference of 7 metres, and it is extremely long-lived, surviving for more than 300 years. Tamarind leaves are evergreen, pinnate, and up to 15 cm long, with 10 to 12 pairs of leaflets. Its leaves resemble acacia leaves. Tamarind flowers feature five yellow petals with crimson streaks and are arranged in inflorescence. Flowers are pollinated by entomophile (pollinated by insects).
The fruits of tamarind are legumes. Brown in colour, slightly curled, 10 to 15 cm in length. Its seeds, which number 4 to 12 in each pod, account for 34% of the legume and are inserted within a yellowish or brown-coloured pulp that tastes quite acidic and sweet but delicious and comprises the majority of the fruit.
In comparison to other fruits, the acidity of tamarind does not diminish during the maturation process, whereas hydrolysis of the starch results in a buildup of reducing sugar (sucrose). Tamarind pulp is 70% carbohydrate, 3% protein, and less than 1% fat; it also contains tartaric acid (8-10%), which is found in bananas and grapes.
How to Grow Tamarind Tree?
Tamari needs full sun for optimal health and growth. During the summer, you should get at least six hours of direct sunlight per day. Tamarind trees will not die if they do not receive this amount, but they may not reach their full potential.
2. Soil to Grow Tamarind Tree
Tamarind is not picky about the soil in which it is grown. According to Purdue University, it thrives in both fertile, alluvial soil deposited by streams and infertile rocky soil. Tamarind’s pH tolerance ranges from acidic to alkaline, and it enjoys damp to wet soil as long as it drains adequately and its roots do not sit in soggy soil.
If you are cultivating more than one tamarind tree, it is critical to consider their mature size so that they are correctly spaced from one another. If they are planted too close together, their roots may compete for water and nutrients, weakening the trees. To allow for healthy root growth, Purdue suggests spacing trees 33 to 65 feet apart and at least 3 feet away from sidewalks and other hardscapes.
4. Watering to Grow Tamarind Tree
Watering tamarind more frequently is similar to watering most young trees until their roots grow established, at which point mature plants become more drought-tolerant. The time of year and the kind of soil are two crucial factors that impact when and how much water you should feed your tamarind tree. Trees, for example, require more water during hot weather, windy conditions, and low humidity times, while clay soil retains water longer than sandy soil.
Check the moisture around the roots of a young tree several days after watering it by digging 12 inches into the soil. If the soil is dry, it’s time to water again; if it’s still moist, check it again in a couple of days. Repeat this technique several times until you get a “feel” for how frequently to water your tree. Once your tamarind tree is established, you may only need to water it once or twice a month if rainfall is insufficient.
Tamarind has a low fertilisation demand, so apply fertiliser according to soil-test recommendations to avoid over-fertilization. In the absence of a soil test, fertilise young trees every two to three months with 6-6-3 fertiliser or an organic equivalent, beginning with 1/4 pound per tree and progressively increasing to 1/2 pound every year of a tree’s age, three to four times per year. If your tamarind tree is producing fruit, fertilise it with 8-3-9 or an organic equivalent at a rate of 1/2 pound per year of the tree’s age, three to four times each year.
Another reason to conduct a soil test before feeding your tree is that tamarind requires microelements such as iron, which may be missing in alkaline soils. For a small price, your local cooperative extension agency can run a soil test, and all you have to do is bring a soil sample from around the tree to their office.
A tamarind tree naturally grows into its typical rounded or vase shape as it matures, providing plenty of shade under its dense canopy. You won’t have to shape tamarind as a tree to get this desirable trait. However, according to howtofarming, some trees may develop numerous trunks with bark inclusions. These inclusions are bark wedges that occur between the trunks or between the main trunk and a branch and might weaken a tree.
This problem can be readily avoided by cutting young tamarind plants. Ensure that the branches coming from the central trunk are spread apart rather than growing together. Remove any branches that have grown to be more than half the size of the trunk. To assist prevent disease spread, wipe or soak your pruning tool in ethanol or isopropyl alcohol between each cut.
Tamarind Nutritional Benefits
Other than its usefulness as a giant shade tree, tamarind has several other advantages. Tamarind lumber, as a hardwood tree, is used to make furniture and speciality wood goods such as carvings and chopping blocks. But maybe its most well-known feature is that it bears fruit.
Tamarind fruit is not only appetising, but it also has therapeutic properties. Curries, candies, beverages, and sauces, including Worcestershire sauce, are all flavoured with the fruit. Because it contains both sugar and citric acid, the pulp of the fruit is both sweet and savoury. Tamarind’s nutritional benefits include a high concentration of B vitamins and minerals.
There is no need to plant more than one tamarind tree if you are growing it for its fruit because each plant bears exquisite blossoms. This means that individual flowers have both male and female reproductive organs, and they can self-pollinate without the need for cross-pollination from another tree. Trees grow so tall that manually harvesting them is impracticable; you’ll have to wait till the fruit falls from the trees to gather it.
Also Read: How to Grow Apple Trees in Pots?