Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Teak (Tectona) is a genus of tropical hardwood trees in the family Verbenaceae, native to the south and southeast of Asia, and is commonly found as a component of monsoon forest vegetation. They are large trees, growing to 30-40 m tall, deciduous in the dry season.
There are three species:
- Tectona grandis (Common Teak) is by far the most important, with a wide distribution in India and Indo-China.
- Tectona hamiltoniana (Dahat Teak) is a local endemic species confined to Myanmar, where it is endangered.
- Tectona philippinensis (Philippine Teak) is endemic to the Philippines, and is also endangered.
Cultivation and uses
Teak is easily worked and has natural oils that make it suitable for use in exposed locations. Teak cut from old trees grown slowly in natural forests is more durable and harder; teak from young trees grown in plantations is more prone to splitting and water damage.
Its popularity has led to growth in sustainable production throughout the seasonally dry tropics in forestry plantations. Teak does not grow in the rainforest and its consumption encompasses a different set of environmental concerns, such as the disappearance of rare old-growth teak.
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