Dalbergia Sissoo (Sheesham) is one of the most useful timber sources in India. Its main use is for furniture making - Sheesham furniture is becoming increasingly popular in the UK. Sheesham lends itself perfectly to the cabinet making industry as it seasons well and does not warp or split. It is extremely durable and is one of the timbers least susceptible to dry-wood termites. The wood offers resistance to sawing and cutting but is excellent for turnery, takes a good polish and finishes to a smooth surface. Each piece of Sheesham furniture will have a unique colouring thanks to the well defined grain of the wood, which can brought to a fine finish by hand waxing.
Sheesham furniture often features hand forged wrought iron work, known as Jali ironwork. For more information visit our Jali page.
For further timber information on Sheesham hardwood click here.
Other uses. As well as high quality furniture, Sheesham is also used for marine and aircraft grade plywood, charcoal for heating and cooking, musical instruments, ornamental turnery, carving, engraving, tool handles and sporting goods. Its root wood is used for tobacco pipes. In village industry Dalbergia sissoo (sheesham) is popular for doors and windows.
Fodder. Young branches and foliage form an excellent fodder with dry matter content of 32.46%, crude protein 2.7-24.1%. The foliage has normally been used as an emergency feed when other fodder sources fail.
Apiculture. A useful source of honey but the flowers are only lightly attached to the flower branch and fall easily. The bees are therefore not able to take advantage of the large numbers of flowers. The honey produced is dark amber with a strong flavour.
Fuel. The species is fast growing, hence suitable for firewood. Sapwood and heartwood have calorific values of 4.9 and 5.2 kcal/g respectively.
Fibre. Sulphate pulp from wood is used in producing writing and printing paper.
Sheesham, also called Shishan, Shisham, Sissoo or Sisu, is grown throughout the sub-Himalayan region, from the Indus to Assam. The tree is also found in many parts of India, especially in the Punjab, Utta Pradesh, West Bengal and Assam. It is also grown in Nigeria. Large quantities of the Sheesham timber are available from Uttah Pradesh and the Punjab, while limited quantities can be obtained from West Bengall and Assam. The Sheesham wood is described as golden brown to deep brown in colour, with darker streaks that give the wood an attractive appearence. The wood is hard with a uniform and medium course texture. It has a good natural resistance to decay and is considered to be a popular carving and engraving wood in India.