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Sandalwood - now that is one tree to grow for $

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  • Sandalwood - now that is one tree to grow for $

    Sandalwood- Santalum spicatum. currently buying at $7,000 / ton

    a ton - that is a 6x4 trailer load piled high, twigs, branches, roots, the lot.
    This is the reason why you don't spot these babies in the landscape on your Sunday drives around the West Aussie wheat-belt. Not that your 'average' West Aussie would know what one looked like.

    These things are easy to grow.
    The seed is a nut like a macadamia. One gently cracks the nut in a vice (an audible crack), then keeps it moist in some potting mix. It can take some weeks to emerge but it will emerge -patience.

    This bit is critical.......get it in the ground now. As soon as it emerges in the pot, plant it near its host (it is a parasite).
    Gently! not break the very fragile tap root or 'it is all over red rover'.

    People will tell you it is slow growing. That there is only a quid in it if you live for 200 years. Bullshit.
    They grow fast. This is no carob or oak. My sandalwood keep pace with their hosts (pioneer species like acacias).
    But there's more!

    Sandalwood fruit in 4 years ( like many other fruit ). The fruit is quality human nutrition ( like many other fruit ).
    The going rate is about $40 / kilo !!! ( like what other fruit? )
    And the darling trees start at 2kg in first year of production...quickly settling in to 10 kg / annum. ($400/tree/annum!!!!)for over 150years!!)

    Sure, the price will go down as players ramp up production - I'm seeing it locally - hundreds of hectares of Acacia acuminata (Jam Trees- lovely), the Sandalwood is planted as seed in the second year of the plantation...but

    Remember that chinese economy,,,and what do chinese like,,,incense,,,lots of sandalwood for incense :wink:
    Now I'm not the sort of bloke that plants trees for money, I'll plant them for every other reason....
    Sandalwood (Santalum spicatum) is different. By just growing my Sandalwood I can do the 'drop out hippy thing' whilst keeping pace with the money power.
    My kids (all Gen y suits) keep doing the 'trial balances' ,,,and sure enough the old man is keeping pace by doing jack,,,just planting his Sandalwood.

    p.s. If your still with me this far into the post is a titbit,,,there exists a devilish bit of mis-information being programmed to a naive public,,
    that Santalum alba (the faster growing tropical sandalwood) is somehow the superior product viz. its oil bullshit :finga:

    It never was, never will is just that the money power have their quid in 'shortcut sandalwood', plantation sandalwood Santalum alba.
    Although not all plantation sandalwood is S.alba. this is the quicky that you know the money power would look to,,and you also know that it would not be beyond them and certainly it would be in their interest to start re-writing history,,(another false Zeitgeist? :lol: )

    regards, Kimbo

  • #2
    Re: Sandalwood - now that is one tree to grow for $

    Kimbo I like your posts! What does the fruit look and taste like, where could I get one to try it and do you have to cook it. I've never heard of fruit from sandalwood, though come to think about it, why not? How does it stand up to cold nights in winter, even frosts? Trish


    • #3
      Re: Sandalwood - now that is one tree to grow for $

      Originally posted by trishandpete
      Kimbo I like your posts! What does the fruit look and taste like, where could I get one to try it and do you have to cook it. I've never heard of fruit from sandalwood, though come to think about it, why not? How does it stand up to cold nights in winter, even frosts? Trish
      Hi Trish, thanks
      the fruit looks like a nutmeg on the tree. A very pretty russet colour. It has a leathery outer skin, which dries out quickly, cracks up to reveal a nut the size of a macadamia. The outer shell is easy to remove (but you don't do this to plant them). There is a macadamia sized kernal which is covered in a thin brown fur.The fir is bitter like a peanuts kernal cover is bitter. There are ways to remove it; a tumbler?,,fire?,,,
      the white kernal is human tucker of the highest order.
      Tastes like a cross between Coca-Cola and a macadamia.

      It is a desert dweller, frost can be managed without too much problem - depends on the scale. 1 tree might need one rock ( a big enough one to store enough day heat).
      As far as food prep goes,,,the scope is huge,,,breads?,,,health bars,,ferments???,,,table nuts, meat alternative???

      ( disclaimer: i am a peasant, maybe an enlightened peasant,, not a food scientist --I read what I know,,I think)

      You can explore seed options here and if you have no joy give me a private msg and I'll see what I can do.

      Australian Native seed suppliers are up to it as well...I can recommend Nindethana Seeds, Albany, Western Australia
      (because they are friendly and helpfull and I've bought from them mail order before)

      regards Kimbo


      • #4
        Re: Sandalwood - now that is one tree to grow for $

        Thanks for this. I'm looking for interesting plants to assist with windbreaks and with blackwater/greywater treatment. I guess they wouldn't suit this, being desert dwellers. But the windbreak option might be good. Trish


        • #5
          Re: Sandalwood - now that is one tree to grow for $


          Sandalwood is related to the quandong tree and I have often heard them confused at the amateur level. Sadly, I have searched the roadsides of Arnhem Land and havent found any. I have burned quandong twigs for perfume but it is nothing special in the scent department. If you live near traditional aboriginals ask them where any 'peach' trees are and check them out. Remember though they are an important food source for a wide variety of animals and birds so treat them with respect.

          Whilst there plant a few seeds under nearby bushes where they will be protected and may germinate. I believe the fruit may have to go thru the intestinal system of an emu, bustard or camel to successfully germinate but this is just amateur speculation. Camels give quandong trees a hard time which cannot be helping them. I have found quandongs across the drier parts of NT/SA/NSW & top of Victoria and every specimen has been surrounded by animal and bird tracks.

          Once, in the far northern corner of South Australia, friends and I were camping and we collected some wood in the dark and put it on the back of the ute. In amongst it was a stick about 30mm x 1m and it's perfume was so strong we had to move away from the fire and stop cooking. It sent us and the mozzies packing and seemed to burn for ages. Residual scent stayed with the vehicles for ages and the camping gear for a very long time.

          On another trip I located a bullwaddy tree and collected a pile of sticks for the fire later on. It generated enough heat to turn a 10mm barbecue plate a cherry red and buckle it. I had started the fire [a small one] and then we went for a walk looking for rabbits [and anything else we could see]. In real desert country I tend to camp away from trees and dont burn logs as the calorific value of most of those desert type woods is generally excellent and sticks is all that is needed.

          I dont know how much commercial incence is diluted but it cant be pure sandalwood from my experience.



          • #6
            It is now selling just shy of $15,000/t. The perfect tree crop for the West Australian Wheatbelt. Even better when you can graze plantations with smaller breeds of sheep.


            • #7
              Nice, also tolerant of salty soils from what Ive heard.


              • #8
                Sorry to say they aren't tolerant of salt but that is more likely related to their inability to tolerate seasonal waterlogging.


                • #9
                  The Australian Sandalwood Network
                  "You can fix all the world's problems in a garden. .Most people don't know that"
                  Music can solve all the world's problems. Not many people know that- MA 2005
                  "Politicians will never solve 'The Problem' because they don't realise that they are the problem" R Parsons 2001


                  • #10
                    Now the Sandalwood is being sold in kilo grams. Each kilo gram price varies based on the age and heartwood of the tree.


                    • #11
                      Prefers non eucalipt host!
                      I put a few seeds in yet to see any results!! YET

                      Miss u Kimbo!!
                      Last edited by andrew curr; 10-07-2015, 01:47 PM.