Toona sureni

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Local names:
Burmese (ye tama), English (suren toona,red cedar), Filipino (danupra), Indonesian (suren), Malay (surian wangi), Thai (surian), Trade name (toon,surian,red cedar,limpaga)

Toona sureni is a medium-sized to fairly large tree, up to 40 (60) m tall and diameter up to 100 cm (300 cm in mountainous areas) with dark brown young branches. The bole is branchless for up to 25 m and buttressed up to 2 m. Bark is usually fissured and flaky, whitish, greyish-brown or pale brown, scented when cut.

Leaves large, 10-15 cm long, 2.5-7cm wide, arranged spirally, often clustered at the end of the twigs. There are 8-30 pairs of leaflets. Leaflets entire, nearly opposite, elliptic, apex mucronate, base unequal, margin entire or crenulate, glabrous, usually hairy on veins on upper side.

Inflorescence racemose, at the end of branches, forked and hanging. Flowers small, bisexual but functionally unisexual, yellowish white with strong smell. Corolla margins with fine hairs. Stamens 5, free, nearly as long as petal, sometimes with staminodes. Disk (receptacle) stout, rounded lobed and stigma cup shaped. Ovary tomentose, 5-locular, each locule with 8-10 ovules.

Fruit an oval capsule, in terminal panicles, each containing more than 100 fruits. Each fruit dark brown, elliptic, 3-3.5 cm long and 1cm diameter, fruit coat with many white spots,  has a central axis (columella), divided in 5 sections (from top to bottom, opening as a star), each section containing 6-9 seeds.

Seed flat, brilliantly brown, 3-6 mm long and 2-4 mm wide, irregular, winged at one or both ends.


It is common in primary forests, often found on riparian hillsides and slopes but also in secondary semi-evergreen forests

Native range
Bhutan, China, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Nepal, Papua New Guinea, Thailand

Tree management

T. sureni is a fast-growing and light-demanding species. In sheltered valleys with well drained areas and free from weed competition, natural regeneration is adequate. In a plantation in Vietnam, this species has high productivity with a height increment of 0.9 m/yr and a diameter increment of 1.4 cm/yr. Usually the spacing of 1.5 m by 1.5 m is used in plantations.

Seeds are collected when the fruits turn brown, but before they open by shaking or cutting the branches. Late seed collection results in heavy seed losses due to the opened fruits. Fruits are dried in the sun for 1-2 days until they open. After de-winging the seeds are separated by winnowing.

Seed storage behaviour is orthodox. There are about 64000/kg.

It is common in primary forests, often found on riparian hillsides and slopes but also in secondary semi-evergreen forests

T. sureni is normally propagated by seeds and vegetatively through cuttings. The seeds germinate easily, and need no pre-treatment. Seeds are sown in seedbed under 60 % shading and seedlings can be transplanted into containers after one month.

Root suckers are produced abundantly and coppice fairly well. Small leafy cuttings (1.5-2.5 cm diameter)  taken from young plants, with bases dipped in a growth hormone (indolebutyric acid) and set in a propagation chamber will root fairly easily in a sawdust medium.

Timber: The sapwood is pink and heartwood light red or brown. It has a density of 270-670 kg/m3 at 15% moisture content. It is used for high-class cabinet wood, furniture, interior finishing, decorative paneling, crafts, musical instruments, cigar boxes and veneers.

Shade or shelter: T. sureni is often planted in tea estates as a windbreak.

Medicine: The bark and roots are astringent and tonic, used against diarrhoea while the leaf extracts have antibiotic effects.

Ornamental: It is used for shade and as roadside tree.

Intercropping: It is intercropped with other species hence an agroforestry species.

Essential oil: The bark and fruits produce essential oils.