Teak Wood (Tectona Grandis)
Teak / Jati / Tectona Grandis
Tectona Grandis is the Latin name for Teak, and Jati is the Indonesian name for Teak where the lumber come from. Teak is a hardwood of the family Verbenaceae
Characteristics of the teak tree and its location
Tectona Grandis is said to be indigenous to India, Burma, Thailand, Indochina and Java Indonesia. 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 45 m [150 ft] with a diameter 1 – 1.5 m [3 – 5 ft]. It will be ready for harvesting at around 50 – 60 years. If well maintained the tree can produce a clear stem of up to 30 m 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.
Characteristics of teak wood
Teak is an extremely dense [40 lbs cu ft when dry] coarse grained hardwood.
Teak wood is generally straight grained, but occasionally wavy. It has a coarse and uneven texture. The wood contains a high level of silica which causes rapid blunting of cutting edges. When fresh cut the surface of the wood is dull in appearance, and the timber has a distinctive, pleasantly aromatic odor which has been likened to the smell of leather. Fresh sawn teak has a slightly ‘oily’ feel due to the high oil content.
One of the most commonly quoted facts about the characteristics of teak is its durability. It is resistant to rot caused by fungal decay, and the high level of resinous oil present in the timber helps to act as a natural insect repellent giving the timber very high resistance to attack by termites and other wood boring insects.
The timber is said to be resistant to water and many chemical reagents, including acids. It does not have a strong reaction when it comes in contact with metals.
All these statements regarding the durability of teak are born out by the fact that we can see many instances of the timber which have withstood the test of time when used as key components in the boat building industry, or more sedately when used for making municipal furniture for our parks.
All our Teak Furniture is manufactured from genuine Teak.