Oleum ligni Santali. - Sandelholzol, Ostindisches Sandelholzol. Essence de Santal.
Origin. Santalum album (family Santa/aceae), a tree 6 to 10 m. high, is indigenous to the mountains of India. It grows wild or is cultivated in south eastern Asia in dry open spaces, more rarely in forests1). Inasmuch as it belongs to the root parasites, this has to be taken into consideration in the establishment of a plantation2). The parasitic mode of life begins a few months after germination. At first genuine haustoria of the sandal roots are sent out into the roots of grasses, herbs and smaller shrubs, later into those of trees3). Hence the rational method of procedure is to plant the young sandal plant with some other young plant in a basket made from the sheaths of bamboo leaves. Later they are cultivated in mixed gardens. The harvest is most profitable when the trees are 21 to 30 years old. The trees are felled and the larger roots dug up. The wood is deprived of the bark, split and sorted. In the sorting, the color has to be considered, for it is commonly said that the darker the wood the larger its oil content. Moreover, the wood of trees raised in rocky, hilly and dry soil is said to be firmer and richer in oil than the wood of trees raised in a more fertile soil4).
1) E. M. Holmes, Pharmaceutical Journ. III. If (1886), 819. - A. Petersen, ibidem 757. - W. Kirkby, ibidem 857. - ). C. Sawer, Odorographia. Vol. I, p. 315.
2) A. Zimmermann, Mitteilungen aus dem Biologisch-Landwirtschaftlichen Institut Amani. May 21. 1904, Mo. 25. Reprint from the "Usambara Post".
3) A list of the plants which act as hosts for the sandal wood tree may be found in D. Brandis, Indian Forester, Jan. 1903. Abstracted in Rev. cultures coloniales 14 (1904), 47. - M. Rama Rao (Indian Forest Records 2 , No. 4. Abstracted in Bull. Imp. Inst. 10 , 325), enumerates not less than 144 species on the roots of which haustoria of the sandal wood tree had been found. In addition he has prepared a list of 252 plants ecologically related to the sandal wood tree.
4) Comp. Puran Singh, Forest Bulletin No. 6. Calcutta 1911; Report of Schimmel & Co. October 1912, 101.
The territory in India from which most of the wood is obtained constitutes a strip about 240 miles long and 16 miles wide. From the Nilgiri mountains it extends northward and to the northwest through Mysore (Maisur). In this region the sandal wood tree grows from the sea level to altitudes of more than 1000 m. The total area of sandal wood plantations extends over about 5450 square miles1). Seven eighths of this area are in Mysore (Maisur), the remaining portion is distributed principally over Coorg (Kurg) and a few districts of the presidencies of Bombay and Madras. In the districts Kolar and Chitaldrug, sandal wood is scarce and of inferior quality. This is also true of parts of Tumkur and Bangalore. It is totally absent in the highlands bordering the province to the east and south. In India proper the sandal wood tree is the property of the state. The government stores the wood of the trunks and the roots in special warehouses and from time to time sells it by auction-).
The fully grown and the dead trees3) are dug out and taken to the warehouses, known as kotis. Here they are deprived of their bark and splint wood and sorted into roots, trunk wood and branch wood. According to the new classification, introduced in 1898, there are 18 grades offered for sale4), from the best trunk wood to the chips and sawdust.
1. First Class Billets (Vilayat Budh)
Thoroughly sound billets weighing not less than 20 lbs. and of which not more than 112 make a ton.
2. Second Class Billets (China Budh)
Slightly inferior billets weighing not less than 10 lbs. each and of which not more than 224 are required to make a ton.
1) J. L. Pigot, Conservator of Forests in Mysore: Mysore Sandal wood. Pamphlet prepared for the exhibit by the British Colonial Government in Paris, 1900; Report of Schimmel & Co. April 1900, 40.
2) Comp. also: R. G. Pearson, Commercial guide to the forest economic products of India. Calcutta 1912, p. 89, 90 and 122.
3) A hitherto unknown disease, the "spike disease" caused a large number of trees to die at the beginning of the present century. For detailed information see: Selections from reports and notes on spike disease in Sandal. Cola Lodge 1906; Report of Schimmel & Co. October 1902, 77; April 1903, 70; October 1905, 64; April 1906, 60; April 1907, 91.
4) Report of Schimmel & Co. October 1898, 39.
Fig. 31. Sandalwood koti in Bangalore.
3. Third Class Billets (Panjam)
Billets with small knots, cracks and hollows, weighing not less than 5 lbs. each and of which not more than 448 are required to make a ton.
4. Ghotla (short billets)
Short sound pieces, without reference to weight and number.
5. Ghat badala
Billets with knots, cracks and small hollows at both ends that do not weigh less than 10 lbs. each and of which not more than 240 are required to the ton.
Solid pieces without special reference to weight and number. NB. Pieces belonging to classes 5 and 6 are not planed, neither are the ends rounded off.
7. Roots (first class)
Pieces of not less than 15 lbs. of which not more than 150 are required to the ton.
8. Roots (second class)
Pieces of not less than 5 lbs. of which not more than 448 are required to the ton.
9. Roots (third class)
Small and lateral roots weighing less than 5 lbs. each.
10. Jugpokal (first class) or Badala
Hollow pieces of not less than 7 lbs. of which not more than 320 are required to the ton.
11. Jugpokal (second class)
Hollow pieces of not less than 3 lbs.
12. Ain Bagar
Solid cracked and hollow pieces, of not less than 1 lb.
13. Cheria (large Chilta)
Pieces and chips of heart wood of not less than 0,5 lb.
■ 14. Ain Chilta
Pieces and small chips of heart wood.
15. Hatri Chilta
Chips of heart wood and shavings obtained by planing billets with the Hatri or Randha, Indian tools.
16. Milwa Chilta
Mixed pieces and shavings of both heart wood and sap wood.
17. Basola Bukni
Small mixed heart wood and sap wood chips.
Obtained by sawing sandal wood.
At present there are ten kotis located at the following places:
The first nine are in Mysore, the last one in Coorg. The warehouses in Seringapatam, Bangalore, Shimoga and Tarikere are situated on the railroad and in direct communication with Bombay, Madras, Marmagoa, etc. The others are but a short distance from the railroad and connected with the coast by means of good roads.
In November and December the supplies of wood are taken alternately to the various kotis for public auction. In accordance with private arrangements, unsold wood can be purchased after the auction, but mostly at higher prices. Practically all the wood sold finds its way by rail to Bombay or to the following sea ports along the west coast of India: Goa, Hanovar, Kundapur, Mangalore, etc. From these places it is shipped to Europe, China and other places in India.
Sandal wood is also obtained in eastern Java, in the Sandal wood islands (Soemba or Tjendana) and Timor. This variety enters commerce via Macassar (in Celebes), hence is known as Macassar sandal wood. Though generally speaking it is a little less rich in oil, the quality of the oil is scarcely inferior to the East Indian article. More recently sandal wood has also been exported from New Caledonia, however, this is not derived from Santalum album, L, but from S. austro-caledonicum, Vieillard (see p. 349).