Amazing, Rapid-Growing Teak Tree: Tectona Grandis
By 2005 Amega Wood, Ltd.
Teak tree (Tectona grandis) grows in most areas between the Tropic of Cancer and the Tropic of Capricorn. Teak trees can grow up to 150 feet tall and have large, leathery, reddish green leaves that are shed in the drier months of the year. Teak’s sap has anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties that make it resistant to parasites and disease. Teak also contains rubber and silica, which repel water. They also give the wood great pliability, making it better able to withstand high pressure without cracking. This, combined with the fact that it is an extremely heavy wood, with dense fibers that make it relatively easy to cut and graft, make it one of the finest woods from which to construct outdoor furniture.
In Thailand, teak used to be harvested from the rocky tropical hillsides in the northern, western, and central regions. Now, it is illegal to cut down a tree in its native habitat, so the majority of teak lumber comes from private plantations in northern and central Thailand. All teak taken from there must be certified by the government to verify that it comes from an approved source. These strict environmental laws are saving many natural Teak forests.
Teak has been highly valued worldwide throughout history. Native to Southeast Asia, it dates back as early as 7th Century Siam (now Thailand), where it was used to construct and decorate royal residences, religious buildings, and trade ships. Other cultures began using teak wood for shipbuilding in the Middle Ages, and its buoyancy, water resistance, durability and anti-fungal properties make it an ideal material for marine construction to this day.
Paul, The Wise Gardener!