These forests are also known as monsoon forests. Trees grow in areas having about 26°C temperature and rainfall between 100-200 cm.
The trees shed their leaves during spring and early summer season, when the shortage of water is acutely felt. The sub-soil water is not sufficient to maintain leaves through the dry season.
These trees are different from deciduous trees of temperate areas which shed their leaves when snow covers the land and the sub-soil water also gets frozen.
In this way these trees protect their moisture from getting evaporated because the leaves are the main source of evaporation. The height of the trees is 30-50 metres.
The trees do not have undergrowth. The sun rays reach the lower portions of the trees; as such, grass grows.
The main trees like Teak, Sagwan (Tactona Grandis), Sal (ShoreaBxbusta), Chandan (Santalum Album), Dhak, Sheesham (Dalbergia Sissoo), Khair (Acacia Catechu), Hura (Termanatia Chebula), etc. are commercially useful. Bamboos, Mahua and Coconut trees also flourish.
Sagwan is a strong wood. It has large commerical value. It is expensive. It is known for its shine and smoothness.
On account of durability and capacity to maintain its shape it is used in furniture and cabinet making. It is demanded for house construction activity, boat and ship building.
Sal is a very heavy, tough and hard wood type of tree. It is reddish in colour, strongly cross fibred and is not destroyed by ants, insects, etc. It is usually used as railway sleepers, railway carriages, handles for tools, etc.
Khair is used for chewing betel leaves, sugarcane, crushers, rice pestles, plough etc. Mahua (Bassin Latifolia) is widely used for oil extraction while its flowers and fruit are used for eating.
These forests grow and predominate in areas from Siwalik ranges in the north to the eastern flanks of the Western Ghats in Peninsular India. The north-eastern part of the Peninsula (part of Orissa), the upper part of the Mahanadi, the hilly areas of M.P., the Chhotanagpur Plateau, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu etc. the foot-hills of the Siwalik, the Terai, etc. have tropical wet deciduous forests.