Tectona grandis is the Latin name for TEAK, a hardwood of the family Verbenaceae, Tectona Grandis is said to be indigenous to India, Burma, Thailand, Indochina and Java. It has been extensively planted for timber or as an ornamental within its natural range and throughout the tropical regions of the world, including East and West Africa, as well as Cuba and the Caribbean, and South America from Panama to Brazil.
Tectona grandis, is not a timber from tropical rain forests, and indeed, teak cannot grow in rain forests – it is a deciduous tree which grows particularly well in the dry, hilly terrain typical of plantation forests in Southeast Asia.
Specifically in Java Indonesia, Perum Perhutani is the government agency which is responsible for managing Indonesia’s extensive forests and plantations. Java has very large Teak plantations which were first planted by the Dutch in the early 1800’s. These plantations are now well managed by Perum Perhutani.
Perum Perhutani operate a strict policy regulating the number and size of trees which can be felled, as well as with regard to the numbers of trees which are replanted to maintain the productivity of the teak forests for future generations. The teak plantations produce a high value crop that is a very valuable source of income in their local area. And the associated furniture and timber products industry provides regular local employment to many thousands of people.
When plantation grown the tree will attain a height of up to 45m [150ft] with a diameter 1 – 1.5m [3 – 5ft]. It will be ready for harvesting at around 50 – 60 years. If well maintained the tree can produce a clear stem of up to 30m in length giving a high timber yield. It produces a very large leaf similar to a tobacco leaf which is around 12″ long and wide.