Raintree also sometimes known as saman, monkey pod or suar, originated from Central and South America. But it has been widely introduced to South and Southeast Asia, as well as the Pacific Islands, including Hawaii. It has a wide-canopied tree with a large symmetrical umbrella-shaped crown. Rain Tree grows extremely fast and has a very wide ecological amplitude, adapting to almost all weather climates: from extremely harsh waters to midlands and hills. So, it is suitable for most soil types.
The crown typically reaches a height of 15–25 meters (49–82 feets) and a diameter of 30 meters (98 feets). Very large trees may reach 50-60 meters (160-195 feets). It’s often used as shade trees, landscape trees due to its fast growing, beautiful and wide canopy, and it is hard to fall in a storm.
This spieces usually have a short, stout trunk of about 1-2 meters (3-6.5 feet) in diameter at breast height (tree diameter measured at 1.37 meters, 4.5 feet above the ground), but the trunk can attain 2-3 meters (6.5-10 feet) dbh in exceptional cases. In the dense planting condition, trees may attain greater height (to 40 meters, 130 feet) with a narrower crown diameter than when planted in the open space.
Its weight is average, not too heavy. Heartwood is golden brown to dark brown, while sapwood is pale yellow, very easy to distinguish from the core. wood is very stable and durable, does not warp, is resistant to pests and insect attacks. Especially, this wood has the straight, wavy and eye-catching wood grain, not easily mixed with other woods.
Not only for shade, but rain tree is also relatively high economic value for wood industry. They are also used in many fields: wood used to make common wood furniture, for mosaic, carving handicrafts for tourists. Rain Tree/ Samanea Saman/ Monkey Pod fruit and leaves have up to 12-18% protein, making it a very good feed source for cattle.
Rain Tree/ Samanea Saman/ Monkey Pod wood slabs are widely used as countertops in living rooms, kitchens, restaurants and offices. Prices range from moderate to high.