Original Research

Stem diameter and bark surface area of the fluted trunk of Balanites maughamii (Balanitaceae)

V. L. Williams, K. Balkwill, E. T. F. Witkowski
Bothalia | Vol 37, No 2 | a321 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/abc.v37i2.321 | © 2007 V. L. Williams, K. Balkwill, E. T. F. Witkowski | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 18 August 2007 | Published: 18 August 2007

About the author(s)

V. L. Williams, School of Animal, Plant and Environmental Sciences, University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa
K. Balkwill, School of Animal, Plant and Environmental Sciences, University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa
E. T. F. Witkowski, School of Animal, Plant and Environmental Sciences, University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa

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Abstract

Balanites maughamii Sprague (Balanitaceae) is a woodland tree used and harvested for bark products in the traditional medicine trade o f South Africa. The tree has a distinctively fluted and buttressed stem, especially in mature individuals. This short communication quantifies the relationship between two diameter measurements D1 and D2 that respectively exclude and include the bark surface contained in the convolutions of the flutes at five height intervals up the stem to 2 m. Regressions show D1 to be an accurate predictor of D2 (r^ =0.97-0.99) over a range of tree sizes, hence obviating the necessity to measure both D1 and D2. The circumference and bark surface area on the stem was determined to estimate the quantity of bark that can potentially be harvested. At least 69% of the stem circumference and bark surface area was estimated to be contained within the convolutions of the flutes.


Keywords

<i>Balanites</i> <i>maughamii</i> Sprague, commercial bark harvesting, diameter at breast height (dbh), traditional medicine

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