This paper describes the comparative growth performance of and monetary returns for Eucalyptus tereticornis and Dalbergia sissoo plantations in northern India. The growth is analysed in terms of annual and relative growth rates of bole, crown and marketable heights and volumes, and diameter at breast height. The measurements were taken at 6-8 and 19-21 years of age. The economic gains are considered for five components, i.e. timber, fuel-wood, fodder, oil and ash. The old plantations of D. sissoo are found to be more sustainable in terms of growth performance and net monetary return. The total monetary gains estimated are Rs. 13.4 million per hectare in the case of D. sissoo, but only Rs. 7.4 million per hectare for E. tereticornis, even after including the value of all rotational crops possible within the 21-year life span. This integrated analysis challenges the long claimed forest policy that fast growing trees perform better than indigenous trees.