Teak Wood Farming
Teak (Tectona grandis) is the most important timber tree in India as it is for constructing almost all the furniture. The qualities of this species of timber tree that make it so special are its attractiveness in color and grain, durability, lightness with strength, ease of seasoning without splitting and cracking. Also with the wood of the teak wood tree, there is an ease of working and carving, resistance to termite, fungus, and weathering, etc. The species belongs to the family Lamiaceae and is known locally as Sagwan. Due to the quality of the wood, higher prices are obtained. It can be grown in all parts of the country with the exception of the dry western zone. It mostly prefers deep, fertile, well-drained deep alluvial soil. For the growth of this tree, sandy soil is considered to have the best soil texture. Does not grow in soils with a pH lower than 6.5.
Teak is naturally widespread in the peninsula region below the 24th parallel. There are teak forests in many regions of our country like Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Kerala, Uttar Pradesh (small area), Gujarat, Orissa, Rajasthan, Andhra Pradesh, and Manipur. Teak wood tree species are native to India and Southeast Asia.
Teak is a deciduous tree and can reach a height of more than 30 m. Young leaves are red in color, but turn dark green when mature. The inflorescence is large, flowers are white, produce sticky pollen for cross-pollination, and swell when mature. The flowers appear from June to September and the fruits ripen from November to January. The teak wood tree sheds its leaves from the month of November to January.
Importance of Teak wood tree
Teak is the best wood for the production of doors, window frames and shutters, cars and carriages, furniture, cabinets, boats, agricultural implements, decorative flooring, and wall coverings due to its moderate weight, adequate strength, dimensional stability, and durability, easy workability, and processing qualities.
The leaves are used in indigenous medicine and their extract shows complete suppression of Mycobacterium tuberculosis. The flowers are said to be helpful in treating conditions such as bile, bronchitis, and urinary discharge. The leaves contain yellow and red dyes that are suitable for dyeing silk, wool, and cotton. The bark is considered astringent and can help with bronchitis.
Some points prior to the plantation of Teak wood tree
Teak wood germination is usually low due to dormancy. To break the lethargy of the seeds, they must be pre-treated for a week alternating watering and drying.
Sowing was carried out in raised beds (10 x 1 x 0.3 m), which had been prepared with a mixture of soil and sand. Watered regularly and protected with coconut leaves or rice straw. Germination begins 10-15 days after sowing and lasts 35-45 days. Once the seed has started to germinate, remove the cap. The seedlings can be transplanted into polythene bags or kept in seedlings for 10 to 12 months to prepare stumps.
Selection of site
Determine the suitability of a particular site for teak, because teak will only thrive if it is planted in the correct site. A slight variation in growing conditions can cause huge fluctuations in yield.
To grow teak wood tree, deep, well-drained alluvial soil is needed. Also, a moderately humid and warm tropical environment is needed. The pH value of soil should be 6.5 to 7.5. Since teak is prone to soil degradation, plantations should be planted in mountainous and somewhat flat terrain, avoiding slopes greater than 12o.
It grows in places with rainfall between 8002500 mm and up to an altitude of approximately 1200 m above sea level. It can withstand temperatures of 1344 ° C.
For best growth and development, high light intensity is required between 75 and 100% of total sunlight.
Drainage and irrigation
Teak is very sensitive to poor drainage, so it must be watered during periods of stress to promote growth.
The land should be thoroughly cleaned and well prepared by clearing and burning shrubs to reduce fuel contamination within the site. Siding and pitting should start well before the onset of the rain. In India, a 2 x 2 m spacing is practiced with an initial sowing density of 2500 strands/ha. The quality pits (25 cm long, 25 cm wide, and 25 cm deep) allow the seedlings to build a suitable root system that ensures survival.
Teak can also be grown together with agricultural crops at a distance of 4 m x 4 m or 5 m x 5 m. A mixture of FYM, fertilizer, and soil must be filled for this 45 x 45 x 45 cm well.
Choose cloned plants or high-quality seedlings to plant. Seed Production Areas (SPAs) are created by converting the best natural stand or plantation by removing poor quality trees and leaving only good trees to provide high-quality seeds for plantation cultivation. Serves as an emergency solution until seed plantations produce seeds.
Gap filling of holes
It must be done in the same rainy season and at the time of acquiring seedlings, an additional 20% must be reserved for this process. When mortality is high, farmers must choose to replant the field.
Weeds and other species adversely affect their growth. Therefore, weed control is an important intercultural activity in teak plantations. Weed control can be achieved through a combination of manual and chemical weed control methods.
Pruning and thinning
Pruning should only be done when there is an active growing season. To protect trees from fire, all epicormic and branches should be moved 6 m inward during pruning, and debris around the trees should be removed. Keep cuts clean to limit disease transmission.
To avoid competition between trees, thinning must be done. To create more room for growth, all hairpins and underdeveloped crowns and stems should be removed.
Protection and management
Forest fire management must be planned with a clear monitoring and combat strategy.
In India, around 300 species of insects have been associated with teak so far. Teak leaves (Hyblaea puera and Eutectona machaeralis) cause great damage in young plantations. Root rot caused by zonalis polypores is also common in plantations. The pink fungus of the disease causes cancer and peeling of the bark. Powdery mildew caused by Olivea tectonae and Uncinula tectonae leads to premature defoliation. 4,444 fresh leaf extracts of Azadirachta indica were found to be the most effective against teak skeletonizers.
Premium teak is delivered at the age of 20 with an average diameter of 27.2 cm and an average height of 23.2 m.
Measures to improve productivity in teak plantations
- Use of high-yielding clones
- Use of genetically superior seeds
- Use of hybrids
- Always choose a good location for planting
- Proper silvicultural practices
The teak trade has increased significantly in recent years. Teak is very popular still heavily valued and in demand in European countries, but only as long as its legal and sustainable origin can be proven. Since teak species do not tolerate competition and are site-specific, attention should focus on the use of improved plants and early use of silvicultural treatments to achieve rapid growth and high plantation yields.
The increasing volume of the teak trade required a systematic approach to monitoring the supply chain. As of January 1, 2022, the international trade in teak will be recorded in the nomenclature of the Harmonized System 2022 edition (SA 2022). The SA 2022 is used for the uniform classification of goods traded internationally and globally. The HS system developed by the World Customs Organization (WCO) is intended to facilitate the collection of data on customs duties and international trade. With these innovations in the teak trade, there will surely be a major policy focus for the development of the teak sector in the near future.
The International Tropical Timber Organization (ITTO) promotes the sustainable management and conservation of tropical forests, as well as the expansion and diversification of international trade in tropical timber from legally and sustainably managed forests. The policy guidelines are developed and standards to promote sustainable forest management (SFM) and sustainable tropical timber management and trade.
Teak is highly valued for its quality wood, good carpentry, refinement capacity, and its most attractive grain, texture, and color, which makes it very valuable and encourages its use for furniture, carving, joinery, door, and window construction. The deck, the huts, the railing, the bulwark, the hatches, the weather protection doors, and the planks were made of it.
The huge teak trees of the Western Ghats region (with a high rainfall range) are used for structural requirements such as ship and boat building, construction, and bridge construction. The teak wood that comes from Central India is popularly known for its color, texture, and grain, making it ideal for furniture and aesthetic purposes.
Teak from the Godavari Valley in Andhra Pradesh is used for furniture and carpentry for its ornamental figures. There are teak markets and warehouses in all teak-producing states of India.