Santalum Album, or Indian Sandalwood, is a threatened species. It is indigenous to South India, and grows the Western Ghats and a few other mountain ranges such as the Kalrayan and Shevaroy Hills. Sandalwood from the Mysore region of Karnataka (formerly Mysore), and marayoor forest in Kerala, southern India, is high in quality. New plantations were created with international aid in Tamil Nadu for economic exploitation. Sandalwood is expensive enough so that, unlike most trees, it is harvested by removing the entire tree instead of sawing it down at the trunk close to ground level. This way, wood from the stump and root can also be used. Sandalwood in India is widely used in the handicraft industry. The main source of true sandalwood, S. album, is a protected species, and demand for it cannot be met. Many species of plants are traded as "sandalwood". The genus Santalum has more than 19 species. Our company uses strictly the genus Santalum Album (the true sandalwood) for making beads and carvings. Many suppliers use synthetic fragrance chemical produced as an alternative to the natural product and sell the same as true sandalwood.
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