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Teak is one of the most well-known timbers in the world. Because of its various favourable characteristics and properties, such as fine grain, beautiful golden colour and durability with respect to weather, insects (termites) and fungi, teak is suitable for multiple utilizations.

Source: University of Copenhagen, Apichart Kaosa-ard
Release Date: 1994
Download Original: Tectona Grandis – Nursery Techniques

An overview of Teak

Teak (Tectona grandis Linn. f.) is indigenously confined to the South and Southeast Asian region. Its natural occurrence is limited to a number of countries in the regions, i.e. India, Myanmar, Thailand, Laos and Java in Indonesia. Since the price of teak is relatively high compared with various other kinds of timber and its sources of supply are limited, the species has been introduced and large-scale teak planting programmes have been set up in several countries in the tropics. These countries include Trinidad, Togo, Nigeria, Benin and many more.

Teak in Thailand

In Thailand, teak occurs naturally throughout the northern part of the country covering an area of 170.000 km2. Due to population pressure, both the stock of teak trees in the forests and the forest areas have been depleted rapidly. The remaining teak forest area is approximately 25,000 km2 (RFD, 1984). Moreover, Thailand, which was one of the major teak exporting countries, has started to import teak timber from neighbouring countries, e. g. Myanmar and Laos. In 1984 for example, 30,840 m3 of teak timber was imported to Thailand for processing and for local consumption (RFD, 1984). Therefore teak plantations have been widely established throughout the country particularly in the north where the species is native.

The first teak plantation in Thailand was established, on trial, in 1910 and a number of pilot plantations of this species were established thereafter. The first two large-scale plantations are Mae Huad plantation in Ngao District, Lampang province, and Mae Ta plantation in Long District, Prae province. Since 1960, the teak planting programme has been incorporated in the National Social and Economic Development Plan and has been continuously implemented.

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