Anogeissus Pendula is a small tree that is found in abundance in the hills around Jaipur. It is a hardy tree that can survive even in the extreme conditions which explain its presence across Aravali hills in Rajasthan. The name of the Anogeissus Pendula tree in Hindi is Dhok, Dhauk, Kardhai, Dhonk, Dhau, and Dhoy. It is most commonly referred to as the Dhok tree in North India.
Anogeissus Pendula Uses
The tree is significant as it provides timber; it is one of the hardest wood available in this geographical region. Its leaves are used as fodder. The unique feature of this tree is that it can grow on the rocky surface with ease which means it is one of its kind of trees. Being hardy, it can survive in the toughest conditions. While traditional medicine like Ayurveda recognizes many of its medicinal properties, modern medicine hasn’t utilized it completely. The tribal and rural folks have been using Anogeissus Pendula for many medicinal uses for ailments like dysentery or for its anti-oxidant properties.
In winters the leaves turn red-brown. After a point, the tree sheds the leaves. This tree is rated as one of the top hardwood around.
It is also found in parts of Madhya Pradesh, Delhi, and Haryana. It is more of a shrub than a tree because it doesn’t grow tall. Its bark is grey-silver in color. While hiking across Aravali, I noticed that this tree is being cut by the locals as a source of fuel.
I’m not sure if the forest department is doing further plantation of this tree species in hills. Instead of planting invasive trees like Israeli Babool, there is a need to plant more of local tree species like Dhok tree that adapt very well to the harsh climatic conditions of Rajasthan, especially in Aravali belt. The ill-effects of Israeli Babool and Eucalyptus have long been established.
Jhalana hills famous for the Jhalana leopard safari is dotted with a good number of Aanogeissus Pendula trees. I hope that we all do something to ensure its survival.
Check out other stories in the Trees of Jaipur.