Friday, 7 August 2015

Sandalwood in Kununurra

Kununurra in Western Australia (WA) has changed in what is grown in the soil.
Previous visits showed us heaps of Mango Trees, Sugar Cane, Melons and various other fruits that will grow in the Tropics.  This visit the Sugar Mill has been closed. No where near as many Mango Trees and Melons, in place of these there are many plantations of Sandalwood trees.

Below are questions and answers regarding those trees.

SANDALWOOD TREES:
Q. What is the difference between Indian and Australian Sandalwood?
A. Of the 15 different species of sandalwood that grow throughout the world, there are 2 main varieties that are traded internationally. These are santalum spicatum (Australian sandalwood) and santalum album (Indian sandalwood). Australian sandalwood currently supplies well over half of all sandalwood traded around the globe annually. Australian sandalwood has historically been used in the agabati and incense markets in China, Taiwan and Hong Kong and most other Asian countries. It has been widely accepted in these areas for over 150 years. In recent years Australian sandalwood oil has been incorporated into many high end perfumes and other cosmetic products. Australian sandalwood does produce a lower oil content than Indian sandalwood although it consistently produces the oil forming heartwood from a very young age. Australian plantation sandalwood has been tried and tested in small plantations throughout WA for over 25 years by both private and Government organizations.

Q. Where else is Sandalwood being grown?
A. Western Australia currently has the largest sandalwood plantation resource in the world. Australian sandalwood is being grown in commercial plantations throughout the Wheatbelt of Western Australia, and Indian sandalwood in the tropical far north of WA mainly in the Kununurra region within the Ord River Irrigation Area. There are however some small plantations of Indian sandalwood being grown in India and the Pacific Islands.

Q. Why does Sandalwood need a host tree?
A. Sandalwood trees are root hemi-parasites and require host trees for healthy growth. The host trees provide extra water and nutrients to the sandalwood delivered by a unique root connection called haustoria. The two trees form a symbiotic relationship throughout the life of the sandalwood tree. The best host species are the nitrogen-fixing plants, especially the wattles (Acacias) which are also native to Western Australia.




Sandalwood growing along with the host trees. 


My purchase on our visit to the Sandalwood Shop in Kununurra.

40 comments:

  1. I had no idea that WA had such a large share of sandalwood trees. Fascinating. Does it smell really good (as I suspect that it does)? Thanks for the education.

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  2. I love the smell of the end product. Can't smell sandalwood near the plantations but in the products I purchased and the shop, lovely perfume..
    You are welcome..:)

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  3. Margaret, thanks for sharing I have never seen sandal woood. And I diidn't know they live in symbiotic with others trees

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  4. Lovely photos, and the product packaging is very attractive.

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    1. Thank you... The packaging is nice and earthy..

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  5. Fascinating. I had no idea that we had a native sandalwood. A scent I love. Thank you.
    Last time I went to WA for work I was there over a weekend so went on a bus trip to see virgin Jarrah forest. When we were nearly there the bus driver told us the virgin forest had only been milled once - sixty years ago. And sixty years growth was tiny. Very slow growing hard-wood. And I still fume at the concept of renewable virginity.

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    1. You are welcome :)
      Goodness 60 years ago...wonder what they would look like today and what size...

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  6. Margaret
    What an excellent summation of the Australian sandalwood industry.
    It certainly has a great fragrance - I use the spray for refreshing my unit.
    I certainly had no idea that Kununurra was a production area of such importance.
    I can see even more so why the WA government and private enterprise has such
    strict quarantine laws in place.
    I looked up the wiki report on it to learn more - apparently the aboriginal tribes of the area
    eat the kernels, nuts and fruits of the trees. I found that interesting also.
    Now back to the coastline and glorious Broome and what is there. Can't wait for
    your reporting and educational skills. Oh to be luxuriating poolside or on the beach
    at the Cable Beach Club instead of here where it is lovely again - just 24 days of
    August to go for us on the east coastline whilst you wallow in the tropical north west.
    Cheers and safe driving.
    Colin

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    1. Well I didn't know that the aboriginals eat the kernels, nuts and fruit...clever people to know what's good for themselves. I'm learning too.
      Thanks for the safe driving wishes..we arrived safely.

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  7. What an interesting post. I didn't know Sandalwood was grown in such abundance in WA and that it's the world's largest plantation. Fascinating information...thank you.

    I, too, like sandalwood. It was the main incense and aromatic oils I used to buy. I've not bought any for quite a while, but now you've prompted me to want to do so once again.

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    1. You are welcome...it's all interesting for me too..
      That's pleasing to read you might get sandalwood again for your home...

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  8. Amazing what you learn on blogs, I knew we grew sandalwood but not in those large amts.
    Merle.........

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    1. Yes, it is amazing what we find out from others. I learn from your blog too :)

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  9. Oh, I'm surprised to hear that - I'm learning something new every day. Thanks for the look into the Sandalwood industry.

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  10. Thanks for our lesson on the Sandalwood trees.

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  11. Well, I had no idea. How interesting. Isn't the label on the shower gel just terrific.

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    1. Fabulous label Andrew. I wanted a larger shower gel but alas, they didn't have one...maybe I can order online later.

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  12. When I was about 15 my almost boyfriend bought me a bottle of Sandalwood perfume at Christmas. I'd never smelled it before, but said "thank you, it's my favourite", but then I never used it, just put the bottle away somewhere and forgot about it. The boyfriend didn't last, he was only after one thing and i wasn't giving it.
    I now know rather a lot more about Sandalwood after reading this.

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    1. Oo! Memories :) was nice of him to give you your favourite.. It's lovely am using the gel now..
      I'm learning too.

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  13. Hi M oh I am loving your trip I am learning so much. I know you are loving every minute. HUGS xo G

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    1. That's nice you too are learning...as I'm too. Having a ball thanks..Hugs M xox

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  14. I so enjoy being an armchair traveler with you on your exotic travels!

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  15. That is really interesting about sandalwood and the host tree. What happens to the Acacia after the Sandalwood is harvested? Is a new sandalwood planted in it? I'm going to look up that region now on google maps.

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    1. Not real sure about the host tree, but I expect they leave the host tree and plant another sandalwood tree. They might even scrap the whole lot and start again....

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  16. That is interesting info about the sandalwood trees. They were just changing crops when we visited about 5 years ago. I didn't know they needed a host tree.

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    1. Oh we're they changing then. Oh well I suppose eventually they will grow other things. Things come & things go.

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  17. Thanks for interesting informations about the sandalwood trees !
    Happy weekend !

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  18. Hi...I'm visiting from 'Senior Adventures.' What a great way to meet new people. I've been known to click a pitcher now and then. Look forward to following yours. Cheers -Mac

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    1. It is a good way to me people from all walks of life...

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  19. I love the smell of sandalwood. Didn't know it grew in Australia or that it was parasitic. Very interesting!

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  20. Awesome article. I do not know if I have ever smelled sandalwood before or not, but I have seen candles with its scent advertised.

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    1. Thanks.
      Maybe if you get the opportunity you can smell the scent...

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