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syzygium cumini, known as Boroli /Jumbo Jamun jambul, jambolan, jamblang or jamun, is an evergreen tropical tree in the flowering plant family Myrtaceae. Syzygium cumini is native to the Indian Subcontinent and adjoining regions of Southeast Asia.
A slow growing species, it can reach heights of up to 30 m and can live more than 100 years. Its dense foliage provides shade and is grown just for its ornamental value. At the base of the tree, the bark is rough and dark grey, becoming lighter grey and smoother higher up. The wood is water resistant. Because of this it is used in railway sleepers and to install motors in wells. It is sometimes used to make cheap furniture and village dwellings though it is relatively hard to work on.
Syzygium cumini trees start flowering from March to April. The flowers are fragrant and small, about 5 mm in diameter. The fruits develop by May or June and resemble large berries; the fruit of Syzygium species is described as “drupaceous”.The fruit is oblong, ovoid. Unripe fruit looks green. As it matures, its color changes to pink, then to shining crimson red and finally to black color. A variant of the tree produces white coloured fruit. The fruit has a combination of sweet, mildly sour and astringent flavour and tends to colour the tongue purple.
In pre bearing period, 20-25 kg well rotten farmyard manure or compost/plant/ year should be applied. For bearing trees, this dose should be increased up to 50- 60kg/plant/ year. The ideal time for applying organic manure is a month before flowering. Grown up trees should be applied 500 kg N, 600g and 300g K /plant /year. This should be spread near the canopy of the plant and mixed in soil by hoeing.
The seedling jamun plants start bearing after 8 to 10 years of planting, while grafted ones bear after 6 to 7 years. However, commercial bearing starts after 8 to 10 years of planting and continues till the tree becomes 50 to 60 years old. The fruit ripens in the month of June -July. The main characteristic of ripe fruit at full size is deep purple or black colour. The fruit should be picked immediately when it is ripe, because it can not be retained on the tree in ripe stage. The ripe fruits are hand picked singly by climbing the tree with bags slung on the shoulder. Care should be taken to avoid all possible damage to fruits. The average yield of fruits from a full grown seedling tree is about 80 to 100 kg and from a grafted one 60 to 70 kg per year.
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