Khair (Acacia catechu) is a medium sized, deciduous, thorny tree which grows upto 15 metres tall and has a crooked and forked trunk. The tree grows upto an elevation of 1300 metres.The extract ‘katha’ is used as an ingredient in ‘paan’ (betel leaf) and is also used to treat sore throats and diarrhoea. Katha is used in many Ayurvedic medicines. An extract ‘Cutch’ is used for tanning leather and as a dye. The branches are used as fodder for cattle and goats.The timber is used as firewood and for making furniture and tools. The wood is considered sacred and is used in religious ceremonies (havanas) and funerals.The high commercial value of ‘Katha’ led to illegal felling of Khair trees in the Shivalik foothills and is an area of concern.