A medium-sized to large deciduous tree. It is a light-demander, but young seedlings benefit from light shade. It is fairly frost-hardy, withstands fire well, and recovers well after burning. It coppices fairly well.
In Nepal up to 1100 m, associated with Shorea robusta or with other species of Terminalia.
The fruits ripen between November and March; 140-220 dry fruits and about 540 clean dry nuts weigh 1 kg. They should be collected from the ground as soon as they fall, and not from the trees, and dried thoroughly in the sun, after which the hardened fleshy covering is removed. Seed stored for 1-2 years germinates better than fresh seed. Soaking in water for 48 hours improves germination.
The seed can be sown in beds for stump production after one year in the nursery; or the seedlings can be pricked out into containers.
Slow to moderate. Mean annual diameter increment of natural trees 0.5 to 0.8 cm.
The wood is used in India for furniture, carts, agricultural implements and house-building. It weighs about 920 kg m-3. The leaves are a medium-quality fodder, with 10.8-14.3 per cent crude protein; they are used on a small scale in Lalitpur District. The fruits are the black or chebulic myrobalans, and at one time were exported from India on a large scale for tanning. In Nepal they are used to make a conserve.
So far not much planted, but a possible multipurpose tree for the Terai.