Teak is a tropical hardwood tree, cultivated for its valuable timber. The wood is very durable and resistant to termites. It is used for furniture, exterior construction, carving, boat building and other purposes.
Basic information and facts
South and south-east Asia: the area including India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, north of Thailand and the north-west of Laos.
Teak is cultivated in South and South-east Asia, Africa and the Caribbean. Highest production is in Myanmar.
Deciduous or evergreen:
It is a deciduous tropical tree.
It is a large upright tree with few gray or grayish brown branches and large leaves.
Teak has small white fragrant flowers.
The large papery leaves often have a hairy lower surface. Leaves can be 15 to 45 cm long.
Teak produces globose fruits with a diameter of 1.2 to 1.8 cm. The fruits are not edible.
Climate and weather:
Teak grows in a wide range of tropical climates, but often found in climates with distinct wet and dry seasons.
The tree is mainly pollinated by insects, but sometimes wind-pollinated.
Trees are up to 40 meters tall.
Spacing of teak trees is usually in the range of 3 x 3 to 3 x 4 meters.
Teak trees are usually propagated from seeds.
Trees are harvested at an age of 20 years or older. Elephants are often used to transport logs from the forest to roads or rivers.
Teak wood is resistant to termites, which makes it a valuable hardwood that is used for furniture and exterior construction. Because of its water resistance the timber is used for boat building.
Did you know that?
- A lot of deforestation in Myanmar and Thailand is the result of illegal logging and illegal timber trade, especially of teak wood.
- Teak monoculture is not sustainable. Monoculture of teak suppresses almost all undergrowth and this can cause serious soil erosion, especially on slopes.