Teak (Tectona grandis Linn. f.): A Renowned Commercial Timber Species

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Teak (Tectona grandis) is one of the most valuable timber yielding species in the world, with predominant distribution in tropical or sub-tropical countries. However, natural teak available only in few countries like India, Myanmar, Laos People's Democratic Republic and Thailand. Teak grows well in deep, well-drained alluvial soils, fairly moist, warm, tropical climate with pH ranges from 6.5-7.5. Teak is cultivated in many Asian, African and South American countries for timber production. The global teak plantations are estimated to be three million hectare with major share in India (44%) followed by Indonesia (33%). India is considered as richest genetic resources of teak with large areas of natural teak bearing forests (8.9 million ha), plantations (1.5 million ha), clonal seed orchards (1000 ha) and seed production areas (5000 ha). The studies on diversity of teak populations showed that teak is an out crossing species with major portion of diversity present within the populations. The productivity and quality of teak timber varies depending upon the site and environmental conditions. Teak wood is moderately heavy, strong and tough,straight grained, coarse textured and ring porous with specific gravity varies from 0.55 to 0.70. The sapwood is white to pale yellow in colour and clearly demarcated while heartwood is dark brown or dark golden yellow in colour. Teak is one of the most durable timbers in the world, practically, impervious to fungus and white ant attack and resistant to decay. Teak wood is used in ship and boat constructions, furnitures and aesthetic needs. Genetic improvement programmes have been undertaken in countries like Thailand, India, Malaysia and Indonesia. The programme includes provenance identification and testing, plus tree selection and clonal multiplication, establishment of seed orchards and controlled hybridization. Several aspects like phenology, reproductive biology, fruit characteristics, silvicultural practices for cultivation, pest and diseases problems, production of improved planting stock, harvesting and marketing, wood properties and future tree improvement strategy to enhance productivity have been discussed in this paper.
* Corresponding author: (E-mail) palanisamy23@hotmail.com
Teak (
Tectona grandis
Linn. f.): A Renowned Commercial
Timber Species
K. Palanisamy1*, Maheshwar Hegde1, and Jae-Seon Yi2
1Institute of Forest Genetics and Tree Breeding, R.S.Puram, Coimbatore-641002, India
2College of Forest & Environmental Sciences, Kangwon National University, Chuncheon, South Korea
ABSTRACT : Teak (Tectona grandis) is one of the most valuable timber yielding species in the world, with predominant
distribution in tropical or sub-tropical countries. However, natural teak available only in few countries like India, Myanmar, Laos
People’s Democratic Republic and Thailand. Teak grows well in deep, well-drained alluvial soils, fairly moist, warm, tropical
climate with pH ranges from 6.5-7.5. Teak is cultivated in many Asian, African and South American countries for timber
production. The global teak plantations are estimated to be three million hectare with major share in India (44%) followed by
Indonesia (33%). India is considered as richest genetic resources of teak with large areas of natural teak bearing forests (8.9 million
ha), plantations (1.5 million ha), clonal seed orchards (1000 ha) and seed production areas (5000 ha). The studies on diversity
of teak populations showed that teak is an out crossing species with major portion of diversity present within the populations.
The productivity and quality of teak timber varies depending upon the site and environmental conditions. Teak wood is moderately
heavy, strong and tough,straight grained, coarse textured and ring porous with specific gravity varies from 0.55 to 0.70. The
sapwood is white to pale yellow in colour and clearly demarcated while heartwood is dark brown or dark golden yellow in colour.
Teak is one of the most durable timbers in the world, practically, impervious to fungus and white ant attack and resistant to decay.
Teak wood is used in ship and boat constructions, furnitures and aesthetic needs. Genetic improvement programmes have been
undertaken in countries like Thailand, India, Malaysia and Indonesia. The programme includes provenance identification and
testing, plus tree selection and clonal multiplication, establishment of seed orchards and controlled hybridization. Several aspects
like phenology, reproductive biology, fruit characteristics, silvicultural practices for cultivation, pest and diseases problems,
production of improved planting stock, harvesting and marketing, wood properties and future tree improvement strategy to enhance
productivity have been discussed in this paper.
Keywords : Tectona grandis, Timber, Plantation, Genetic improvement
Journal of Forest Science
Vol. 25, No. 1, pp. 1~24, April 2009
Teak (Tectona grandis Linn. f.) is one of the most
valuable timber yielding species in the world, belongs to
the family Verbenaceae, which has predominant distri-
bution in tropical or sub-tropical countries. The name
Tectona has been derived from the Portuguese word teca,
a derivative of Greek word tekton meaning a carpenter.
Grandis, in Latin, means large (Cowen, 1965). The genus
Tectona is represented by only three species, namely
Tectona grandis Linn. f., T. hamiltoniana Wall., and T.
philippinensis Benth. and Hooker. f. T. grandis differs
morphologically from T. hamiltoniana by quadrangular young
branchlets with inflated fruiting complex while T. hamil-
toniana has 6-8 angled young branchlets with fruiting
calyx not inflated. T. philippinensis is endemic to Philip-
pines. Bor (1939) reported the morphological variations in
shape, size, colour and texture of leaves and petiole within
the species of T. grandis.
In India, the other vernacular names of teak are Sagun
(Hindi), Thekku (Malayalam), Sagwan (Marathi), Saguan
(Kannada), Singuru (Oriya), Tekkumaram (Tamil) and
Adaviteeku (Telugu). In other countries it is called as
Kyun, Lyiu (Myanmar), Teck (French), Teca (Spanish),
Mai Sak (Thailand), Djati (Indonesia) and Fati (Malay).
Journal of Forest Science
Fig. 1. Natural distribution of Teak (Kaosa-ard, 1996).
Table 1. Teak plantations in Asian regions.
Region Country First Planting Present plantation Area (ha)
Indian Peninsular India 1844 1,500,000
Continental South East Asia
Insular South East Asia Indonesia 1895 1,100,667
Source: Kaosa-ard (1996).
Teak occurs in natural forests in India, Myanmar, Laos
People’s Democratic Republic and Thailand (Fig. 1) (White,
1991). There are many factors affecting the distribution,
stand formation and growth and development of this species.
The main factors include climate, soil, elevation and light
(Kaosa-ard, 1981).
Teak has been introduced to Indonesia, Sri Lanka,
Vietnam, Malaysia, East and West Africa (Tanzania, Ivory
Coast, Nigeria, Ghana, and Togo), The Caribbean (Cuba,
Puerto Rico, Panama, Trinidad and Tobago), South America
(Brazil) and Central America (Costa Rica) (Hedegart, 1976;
Keogh, 1979). The total area of global teak plantation
was estimated to be 3 million ha (Centeno, 1997) of which
94% are in Tropical Asia, with major share in India
(44%) and Indonesia (31%) followed by Thailand (7%)
and Myanmar (6%) (Ball et al., 2000). About 4.5% of
teak plantations are in Tropical Africa (Cote d’Ivoire and
Nigeria) and the rest are in tropical America. The teak
plantations in natural regions is given in Table 1.
The natural distribution of teak in different countries is
reviewed and given below.
Teak (Tectona grandis Linn. f.): A Renowned Comm ercial Timber Species
In India teak occurs naturally below 24° N latitude in
the States of Kerala, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Orissa,
Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Gujrat, Rajasthan, Uttar
Pradesh and Manipur (Troup, 1921). The total area of
natural teak bearing forests is around 8.9 million ha
(Tewari, 1992). The species that commonly grow along
with teak are bamboos, Anogeissus latifolia, Lagerstroemia
parviflora, Chloroxylon swietenia, Erythorixylon monogynum,
Hardwickia binata, Pterocarpus marsupium, Terminalia
tomentosa, Adina cordifolia, and Cleistanthus collinus (Rao,
2005). The first teak plantation in India was established
in Nilambur, Kerala in 1846 and parts of it have been still
preserved. The commercial cultivation of teak was taken
up during the 1960 s and it is planted in large scale every
year. The majority of the teak plantations are managed in
rain-fed conditions.
Indonesia has large teak forest area of 774,000 ha
(Hedegart, 1976) distributed in the northern, western, cen-
tral and eastern parts of Java, islands of Kangean , Muna,
Bali and Subana. Although teak is found as wild species
there is still a controversy whether the teak in Indonesia
is indigenous or exotic. According to Altona (1922) teak
in some parts of Java has a regular planting distances to
indicate that teak forests in Indonesia has developed as a
result of plantations raised during the Hindoo era (i.e.
beginning of the 14th to the beginning of the 16th century).
Teak in Thailand is distributed from 14° to 20° N
latitude and between 97° to 101° E longitude particularly
in the areas of Lampang, Mae Hong Son, Chian Mai,
Lamphun, and Kamphaeng Phet (Kijkar, 2005).The natural
teak forest in Thailand decreased from 2,324,300 ha in
1954 to about 150,000 ha in 2000 mostly due to the
demand for agricultural land and constructional wood by
human population.
Teak bearing forests of Laos are in continuation of the
forests of Myanmar and Thailand, since ecological aspects
are more or less similar. About 70,000 ha of plantations
are reported.
The distribution of teak in Myanmar is almost through-
out the country with as much as 14,600,000 ha area of
indigenous forests of teak (Hedegart, 1976), and teak
plantations are being raised every year.
Teak grows well in deep, well-drained alluvial soils,
fairly moist, warm, tropical climate with pH ranges from
6.5 to 7.5 (Kulkarni, 1951; Tewari, 1992). It also occurs
in dry localities subject to great heat and drought in the
hot season and soil pH 5.0 to 8.0. Teak showed poor
growth and form on dry sandy soil, shallow or hard pan
soil, acidic, laterite, black cotton and waterlogged soils.
Teak usually grows in the 800-2500 mm rainfall regime
and from sea level to an altitude of about 1,200 m. It
occurs naturally over a wide range of rain fall, i.e. very
dry area in which the annual rainfall is less than 900 mm
to the very moist areas with the annual rainfall of over
3,500 mm (west coast of India). Based on rainfall in India
teak forests are classified into five types, i.e. very dry,
dry, semi moist, moist and very moist (Table 2). In the
Indian Peninsula, teak experiences maximum temperatures
upto 48 and minimum about 2 in the dry zone of
Central India while in the moist parts of the South India
Journal of Forest Science
Table 2. Teak subtypes in India.
Subtype Rainfall (mm) Region
Very moist > 2500 Western Ghats
Moist 1600-2500 Western Ghats, Central India
Semi Moist 1200-1600 Central & East India; Western Ghats
Dry 900-1200 Central India, Eastern India
Very Dry < 900 Central India, Eastern India
(west coast), the maximum and minimum temperatures
ranges from 43and 13respectively (Seth and Khan,
1958; Kaosa-ard, 1981).
Teak is a light demanding species relatively high light
intensity, i.e. between 75 and 100% of the full sunlight
for better growth and development (Troup, 1921; Kaosa-
ard, 1981). The failure in seedling and/or stand establish-
ment of this species, either in natural forests or in plan-
tations is mostly due to light competition and suppression.
Tree morphology
Teak is a deciduous tree with an average height and
DBH (diameter at breast height) of 20 to 35 meter and 29
to 54 cm in 50 years, respectively, often fluted near the
base and pale brown and grey in colour. The giant teak
tree in Thailand is 3.2 meters in DBH and 46 meters in
height, while the largest standing teak tree is in the Baw
Forest Reserve of Myanmar measuring 2.4 m in DBH and
46 m in height, and in India the largest teak tree (40 m
tall and 2.1 m DBH) is available at Parambikulam, Kerala
(Katwal, 2005). It has been reported that teak can grow
upto 500 years.
Leaves are opposite, broadly elliptic, obovate, about
30-70 cm long and 25-40 cm broad, glabrescent above
and stellate-pubescent below, at the base rounded to
acute; in apex obtuse to acute, and for petiole stout and
5-6 cm long. Teak tree sheds its leaves from November
to January (India) and remain leafless for long time (3 to
4 months). The new leaves appear from April to June
according to locality. However, when the trees grow in
moist conditions or canal beds they remain with full
foliage and become leafless for a short period only (1
month). These trees showed fast growth may be due to
the availability of the leaves and continuous supply of
photosynthates (Palanisamy et al., 2005).
Flowering phenology
Generally teak starts flowering 6 years after planting,
but profuse flowering occurs after 15 years. In India the
flowering phase commences immediately after the new
shoots and leaves flushing stage in late May and con-
tinues upto August or September which coincides with
the south west monsoon. There is a record of its flower-
ing during January in Tirunelveli, Southern India (Krishna
Murthy, 1973). The flowering time varies depending on
local climatic conditions. In general, the flowering time of
the species in the northern latitudes such as in India,
Myanmar, Thailand and Laos, is between July and October
whereas in the Southern latitudes such as in Indonesia and
Papua New Guinea it is between December and March. A
series studies in Nigeria clearly demonstrated the latitudinal
effects on flowering in teak. The flowering season in
upper latitude is June to October whereas in lower latitude
is February to September (Egenti, 1981). There seems to
be certain relationship between light and flowering in
teak. The trees bordering the plantations produce profuse
Teak (Tectona grandis Linn. f.): A Renowned Comm ercial Timber Species
Fig. 2. Teak flower structure. 1- flower panicle and 2- perfect flower (Source: Kaosa-ard, 1996).
Fig. 3. Fruits of teak. Left- young and right- dried.
flowering whereas in close stands, flowering occurs only
in dominant and co-dominant trees, and is confined to be
upper parts which are exposed to bright sunlight, and the
trees do not produce inflorescence on the lower parts may
be due to lack of sunlight (Tewari, 1992). Teak flowers
are small, 6 to 8 mm in size, white or rarely purplish pink
colour occur in large inflorescences or panicles (20 to 90
cm) which initiate from terminal buds of stem and branch
shoots. The total number of flowers in each panicle varies
from 1,200 to 3,700 (Bryndum and Hedegart, 1969) and
8,000 in Papua New Guinea (White, 1991). The flower
structure is shown in Fig. 2.
Fruit is a drupe, globose, 5 to 20 mm in size, enclosed
by an accrescent calyx with thick shaggy exocarp of
matted hairs, epicarp inflated, spongy, and staellate pubes-
cent, endocarp stony, 4-celled, seeds 1-4, oblong and
exalbuminous. The fruits ripen from November to January
and fall gradually, some remaining on the tree throughout
the hot season. The fruits are yellowish and brownish in
colour and the number varies from 1150 to 2800 per kg.
Fruits in moist areas are heavy compared to drier areas.
Young and dried fruits are shown in Fig. 3.
Journal of Forest Science
Table 3. Reproductive success rate in Teak.
Field of investigation Finding Reference
Pollen fertility
Breeding system
Mating system analysis
Natural selfing rate
Controlled selfing rate
Controlled crossing success rate
Index of self incompatibility
Pre-emergent reproductive success (PERS)
in open pollination
PERS in open pollination
99% fertility
Weakly protandrous
98% out crossing
Nagarajan et al. (1996 b)
Rawat et al. (1992)
Kertadikera and Prat (1995).
Nagarajan et al. (unpublished data)
Tangmitcharoen and Owens (1996)
Tangmitcharoen and Owens (1996)
Tangmitcharoen and Owens (1997)
Palupi and Owens (1996)
Nagarajan et al. (unpublished data)
Source: Nagarajan et al. (2001)
Floral biology
Inflorescence is terminal and/or axillary, dichotomous
and cymose panicles. Teak flowers are bisexual. Calyx
campanulate with six unequal oblanceolate sepals, corolla
funnel-shaped yellowish or whitish yellow, tube short with
six sub equal petals, imbricate in bud, broadly oblong-
lanceolate 6 mm long; stamens 6, alternating with petals,
inserted near the base of the corolla, filaments 3 mm and
anthers oblong 1-5 mm. The ovary globose, 2 mm long,
densely hairy, 4 locular and style 4 mm long with bifid
stigma. The flowers are protandrous and entemophillous
and the flowering period for each panicle is between 2 to
4 weeks with the opening rate of 30 to 300 flower buds
a day (Bryndum and Hedegart, 1969; Hedegart, 1973).
Flowering starts from the lower to the upper parts of the
Teak flowers start opening from midnight to early
morning with the opening period of 1 day. Although
flower starts opening from midnight it is ready for
pollination until late morning and this is due to light
requirement in the processes of pollen transfer and recep-
tivity (Bryndum and Hedegart, 1969; Hedegart, 1973).
Nectar secretion starts from 08.00 h and anther dehisces
from 08.30 to 09.00 h. Nectar is the chief pollinator
attractant in teak. It is produced in large volumes over a
long period of time and available in maximum in the day
of anthesis. The reproductive success in teak is given in
Table 3.
Teak pollen is very sticky and fertility is to the extent
of 99%. Though teak has been reported to be self in-
compatible (Hedegart, 1976) and highly outcrossing, both
self and cross pollen traverse the style and reach the ovary
(Tangmitcharoen and Owens, 1996). But in selfing several
abnormalities such as reversing of pollen tubes, irregular
or spiraling of tubes, increased callose deposits and swollen
tube tips in various parts of the pistil does occur (Tanmit-
charoen and Owens, 1996). The pollination period of teak
commences in late morning, peaks during mid-day, i.e.
between 11:30 and 13:00 h and then declines in the evening
(Bryndum and Hedegart, 1969; Hedegart, 1973). Bees, flies,
butterflies and ants are the major pollinating agents in
Fertilizaton and fruit development
After pollination, the pollen grain germinates on the
stigma and sends its tube through the style to the embryo
sac in the ovary. Two sperm nuclei are released from the
pollen tube and one of them enters and unites with the
egg nucleus to form the diploid zygote. At the same time
the remaining sperm nucleus unites with the secondary
nucleus of the embryo sac to form the primary endo-
sperm. This double fertilization process occurs within 24
Teak (Tectona grandis Linn. f.): A Renowned Comm ercial Timber Species
Single seed filled
(Source: B. Nagarajan, Personal communication)
Fig. 4. Cross section of Teak fruit filled with single seed (Nagarajan et al., 1996b).
Fig . 5 . Controlled pollination in teak (India)
hours after pollination (Siripatanadilok, 1974). The petals
and stamens fall off from the flower after pollination in
that flowering day. Though the flower production is high
in teak the fruit set is very low (1-2%) (Bryndum and
Hedegart, 1969; Hedegart, 1973; Egenti, 1981). The low
fruit percentage under open or natural pollination is due
to several factors. The main factors include the short
flowering period of individual flowers (one day), the short
pollination of pollen receptivity period which is only a
few hours of the mid day, and the low proportion of
pollinators to the flowers and coincidence flowering with
monsoon. Fruit maturation takes 150 to 200 days (Kaosa-
ard, 1996) from November to January.
Ratio of fruit to seed
Apart from low flower to fruit ratio teak also has very
low ovule to seed ratio which is influenced by a number
of factors. Most fruits produce only one fully developed
seed and 3 locules are empty (Fig. 4).
A study made on the seed filling from different loca-
tions within India showed emptiness of 13 to 86% (Gupta
and Kumar, 1976). The recent studies in the clonal seed
orchard at Kerala (India) showed seed filling in the fruits
is very poor, i.e. empty fruits 23%, one seeded 52% and
>1 seeded 25%.
Controlled Pollination
The chromosome number of teak is 2n = 36 (Kedharnath
and Raizada, 1961). The basic problems in controlled
pollinating teak are access to the flowers and their very
delicate nature. Most of the controlled pollinated fruits
abscise between the first and third week due to heavy
winds. A series of studies on controlled pollination of
teak in Thailand indicated that the percentage of fruit
setting in the self-controlled pollination is only 4%, when
compared to that of the cross controlled pollination which
is up to 60% (Bryndum and Hedegart, 1969; Hedegart,
1973). Though controlled pollination experiments have
been conducted for teak in Thailand and India (Fig. 5), a
suitable methodology has not been developed.
Journal of Forest Science
Teak has wide distribution in different climatic and
edaphic conditions with a high level of natural variations.
Kedharnath and Mathews (1962) first formulated a pro-
gramme for the genetic improvement of teak in India and
following this teak improvement activities gained impor-
tance in all the teak growing states. For the past four
decades considerable progress has been made on pro-
venance variations, selection of plus trees, establishment
of clonal seed orchards and seed production areas to aug-
ment productivity in teak.
Provenance Variations
The term provenance used in forest genetics and tree
breeding refers to the geographic source of a population
or a stand of trees, of which seeds are collected for test-
ing or planting. Teak occurs over a wide range of climatic
and geographic conditions, and three main populations,
i.e. the Indian Peninsular, the Burmese-Thai-Laos and the
Insular (Indonesian) populations have been identified. Pro-
venance variations in wood quality, growth rate, stem form,
seed morphology and germination and other characters,
have been observed in teak. The All-India Provenance
trials initiated in 1930 with 11 provenances indicated that
the local provenances performed well. However, pro-
venances from moist Southern India (Nilambur, Kerala)
seem to be stable and vigorous.
Teak wood in India showed variation in the quality of
the timber, colour, texture and grains according to climatic
and edaphic condition. Teak from the Malabar coast in
India (Western Ghats region) attains huge sizes due to
high rainfall (2000-3000 mm) and it is preferred for struc-
tural needs like ship and boat construction. On the other
hand, teak from Central Indian region is known for colour,
texture and grains preferred for furniture and other aesthetic
needs. Teak from Seoni, Kanker and parts of Bastar
(Madhya Pradesh), the timber is golden yellow in colour
with the heartwood blending into the sapwood. Teak tim-
ber of Chandrapur (Maharashtra) is well known in Indian
market for its colour and texture. Teak wood of Godavari
valley in Andhra Pradesh is highly priced for furniture
and cabinet making for its ornamental figuring. Teak timber
from Rajulmadugu of Andhra Pradesh has pink coloured
heartwood which makes it highly valuable.
International provenance trial
International provenance trials with 75 provenances and
48 field trials were established in early 1970s by IUFRO-
DANIDA Forest Seed Centre (DFSC). Keiding et al. (1986)
evaluated the International provenance trial in 21 sites.
The general evaluation at different age showed (i) that
provenances from Indonesia are generally of good sur-
vival, health, fast growth, but rough in respect of branch
size, epicormic branching and buttressing, and a tendency
to wavering stem form, (ii) provenances from the Kerala
State of India in general appear to be of good production,
good stem quality and with fine branch size, but may be
slightly inferior in health in initial stages, and (iii)
provenances from Thailand revealed a tendency to grow
a bit slower than other provenances, seem to produce
trees with good persistence (clear bole), with good form
and branching characteristics, and have relative light
epicormic branching. These general observations can be
of value when planting teak as an exotic (Kjaer, 2005).
The Indian moist provenances were found to be the best
for moist and semi-moist regions of West Africa and Brazil,
and also recommended for Central American region (Keiding
et al., 1986). The Chinese provenance trials established in
1973 showed that South Indian Provenance (Sungam, Kerala)
produced more volume and drought resistance (Kjaer, 2005).
In India, the International provenance trial was esta-
blished at Maredumilli in Andhra Pradesh with 11 pro-
venances in the year 1973 (Table 4). The evaluation of
the trial after 26 years indicated no significant difference
on survival rate, growth, gbh, straightness and roundness
of stem and health characteristics (Rao et al., 2001). Genetic
analysis showed low heritability in height and gbh and
moderate to high heritability for straightness and round-
ness of stem. Among the indigenous seed sources Konni
Teak (Tectona grandis Linn. f.): A Renowned Comm ercial Timber Species
Table 4. Details of provenances included in international trial plot of teak in Maredumelli, Andhra Pradesh, India.
Provenance Seed
Lot Number* Latitude Longitude Elevation
Provenance Region
Konni, Kerala SC 3020 09°03'N 76°41'E 61 2540 India, Moist West Coast
Jhirpa, M.P. SC 3032 22°36'N 78°28'E 396 1016 India, dry Interior
Murda R.F., Orissa SC 3035 22°22'N 82°45'E 300 1200-1500 India, semi-moist East coast
Bak Bahal, Orissa SC 3036 20°27'N 82°47'E 315 1200-1500 India, semi-moist East coast
Bouake, Ivory Coast SC 3037 07°48'N 5°07'E 310 1200 African landrace
Nan Cham Pui SC 3038 18°29'N 99°49'E 520 1200 Thailand
Ban Maekut Luang SC 3039 16°49'N 98°36'E 220 1644 Thailand
Ban Pah Lai SC 3040 18°13'N 99°59'E 200 1100 Thailand
Ban Mae Pan SC 3041 19°02'N 99°02'E 450 1200 Thailand
Ban Doi Thon SC 3043 19°03'N 99°59'E 562 1200 Thailand
Local source SN 001
17°36'N 81°48'E 500 1470 India, semi-moist
*FAO/DANIDA Seed Lot Number (Source: Rao et al., 2001).
Table 5. International provenance trial of teak (IP 001) in Nago, Lampang Province, Thailand.
DANIDA No Province Country Latitude Longitude Rainfall (mm)
3049 Central Java Indonesia 7°12'S 111°22'E 1.200
3002 Maharashtra India 21°30'N 77°15'E 1,638
3008 Mysore India 15°21'N 14°52'E 1,398
3013 Mysore India 14°51'N 14°41'E 2,565
3039 Tak Thailand 16°49'N 98°36'E 1,644
3041 Chiang Mai Thailand 19°27'N 99°02'E 1.200
3043 Chiang Rai Thailand 19°03'N 99°59'E 1.200
SPA Lampang Thailand 18°40'N 99°55'E 1,000
Source: Kaosa-ard (2000).
(Kerala) and exotic source Ban Mae pan (Thailand) were
the best for all the parameters studied.
In Thailand two international provenance trials are main-
tained with 8 and 25 provenances, in Nago (IP 001) and
Pha Nok Khao (IPO 38) respectively and the details are
given in Table 5 and 6. Variation in growth, stem quality,
health, flowering habit and wood quality have been observed
among the provenances. The provenance variation in Nago
is given in the Table 5, 6, and 7. The growth performance
of Indonesian provenance was superior while the stem
quality is better in Thai provenance. Wood density is
higher in Indian provenance compared to other provenances.
Genetic diversity
The diversity of teak populations studied using mole-
cular markers (isozymes and RAPDs) (Kertadikara and
Prat,1995; Kjaer and Suangtho, 1995; Nicodemus et al.,
2005) showed that teak is an outcrossing species with major
portion of diversity present within the populations. A
recent study on genetic variation within and among ten
populations of teak from Western Ghats and Central Indian
regions showed that 78% of variation existing within the
population and the rest between populations (Nicodemus
et al., 2005). In general, populations from the Western
Ghats region possessed more diversity compared to those
Journal of Forest Science
Table 6. International provenance trial of teak (IPO 38) in Pha Nok Khao, Khon Kaen Province, Thailand.
DANIDA No Province Country Latitude Rainfall (mm)
3049 Central Java Indonesia 7°12'S 1,200
3007 Maharashtra India 19°23'N 1,524
3016 Karnataka India 11°55'N 1,270
3018 Tamil Nadu India 10°30'N 2,032
3019 Tamil Nadu India 10°23'N 2,032
3020 Kerala India 09°03'N 2,540
3021 Kerala India 11°21'N 2,565
3033 Orissa India 19°52'N 1,300
3034 Orissa India 20°00'N 1,300
3036 Orissa India 20°2'N 1,300
3038 Champui, LP Thailand 18°29'N 1,200
3039 Mae Kut, Tak Thailand 16°49'N 1,644
3041 Chiang Mai Thailand 19°27'N 1,200
3042 Mae Hong Sorn Thailand 18°14'N 1,282
3043 Phayao Thailand 19°03'N 1,200
SPA133 Lampang Thailand 18°40'N 1,000
3053 Pakse Laos 15°04'N 1,925
3055 Savannakhet Laos 16°33'N 1,309
3056 Savannakhet Laos 16°33'N 1,309
3057 Pak Lay Laos 18°13'N 1,200
3047 Bangsri, Pati Indonesia 06°30'S 3,900
3048 Nanas, Blora Indonesia 06°57'S 1,700
3050 Temandsang Indonesia 07°12'S 1,200
3051 Beran, Saradan Indonesia 07°35'S 1,835
3037 Bouake Ivory Coast 07°48'N 1,200
Source: Kaosa-ard (2000)
Table 7. Provenance variation in Teak at the age of 23 year in Nago (IP 001), Lampang Province, Thailand.
Provenance Survival (%) Diameter (cm) Commercial height
Persistent height
(m) Bark thickness (cm) Depth of *pilodyn
penetration (mm)
3049 74 24.3 12.5 11.5 1.2 15.3
3002 70 18.5 7.8 7.1 1.2 13.6
3008 76 20.4 8.7 7.5 1.3 13.7
3013 79 21.7 10.5 8.5 1.3 14.5
3039 79 22.9 12.8 10.9 1.2 14.9
3041 67 23.9 13.3 11.5 1.3 15.3
3043 66 23.4 12.4 11.4 1.3 15.3
SPA 89 24.2 14.0 12.7 1.3 16.0
Average 75 22.5 11.6 10.1 1.3 14.8
Significance - * * * Ns *
Source: Kaosa-ard (2000).
Teak (Tectona grandis Linn. f.): A Renowned Commercial Timber Species
Fig . 6 . Selection of plus trees in teak in plantation at Kerala (India)
from Central India. The current selection strategy of select-
ing a few outstanding trees from different populations needs
to be revised and many superior trees should be selected
to capture the within-population diversity. Western Ghats
and Central Indian regions may be designated as separate
breeding zones since these populations are genetically
Seed production area (SPA)
Seed production areas (SPA) are established by con-
verting the best natural stand or plantation by removing
the inferior trees, and allowing to remain only good trees
to produce quality seeds for raising plantations. It func-
tions as an interim measure till the seed orchards produce
seed. About 5000 ha of SPAs of teak are established in
different teak growing states in India (Mandal et al., 1997).
Selection of plus trees
Selection of outstanding trees called plus trees from
natural populations and plantations is the first step in tree
breeding programme. Plus trees are selected based on (i)
vigour i.e. greater height and diameter (ii) straight cylindrical
clear bole without too much of taper, bumps, epicormic
shoots, flutes and buttresses (iii) narrow or compact crown
with light branching (iv) a reasonable amount of seed
production and (v) less pest and disease incidence. Plus
trees of teak are generally selected based on check tree
method, and selected tree must be distinctly superior to
the average of the stand. Emmanuel and Bagchi (1984)
identified the following phenotypic characters for selection
of plus trees of teak. Selection of plus trees is expensive
and time-consuming, but indispensable for improvement
of teak (Fig. 6).
1. Age
More than thirty years.
2. Growth
i) Vigourous, healthy and showing superiority
in height and diameter when compared with
the surrounding trees.
ii) Dominants or co-dominants height being more
than 15 m.
Journal of Forest Science
3. Stem Form
i) Straight stem.
ii) Stem cylindrical, circular without excessive
iii) Absence of spiral grain, if present not to
exceed 5 degrees.
iv) Free from pronounced buttress or fluting.
4. Crown and branching
i) Narrow to intermediate in width.
ii) Not suppressed either from the top or from
the sides at any time.
iii) Light and spreading branches which are either
flat or moderately ascending.
iv) Good natural pruning. Less epicormic branches.
v) Dense mass of healthy foliage.
5. Free from leaf skeletoniser and leaf defoliator.
6. Moderate to good flowering and fruiting.
About 700 plus trees of teak have been selected in diffe-
rent teak growing states in India upto 1980 (Kedharnath,
1984), and fresh selections are being made by Forest Depart-
ments and Research Institutes.
Seed orchards
In order to improve the quality of plantations, it is
necessary to ensure the use of good quality seeds and
establishment of permanent sources in the form of seed
orchards for the continuous production of genetically im-
proved seeds in desired quantity. There are two types of
seed orchards namely, Seedling Seed Orchard (SSO) and
Clonal Seed Orchard (CSO). The CSOs are established
with the bud grafts of selected plus trees to produce seeds
at an early stage. Reports from different states in India
indicate that some grafts may start flowering and fruiting
within 3-4 years after establishment. However an orchard
may require about 15 years to reach full fruit productivity
level. On the other hand the SSO is a plantation of
seedlings of selected seed source which takes a longer
time to produce seeds, but it has the advantage of having
a broader genetic base.
Clonal seed orchards
The clonal seed orchards (CSO) are established from
1960 onwards to supply genetically superior seeds for
plantation programme. About 1000 ha of CSO has been
established in India in different teak growing states, whereas
Thailand has about 1,830 ha of CSOs. The major con-
straint in CSO in India and Thailand is poor flowering,
asynchrony in flowering, low fruit and seed set. In Thailand
a CSO on a good site produces about 70-100 kg per ha
(Meekaew, 1992). The reason for low fruit yield is not
clearly understood. Indira (2005) stated that asynchroni-
zation of flowering, rain fall, spacing and site factors
affects fruit production in seed orchards. Nagarajan et al.
(1996a) reported that clones of one region when moved
to another region, flowering and fruiting were signifi-
cantly affected. For example, out of 235 clones assembled
in the National Germplasm Bank at Lohara in Maharashtra
(India) 123 have not flowered. It is suggested that a CSO
should have plus trees from the same provenance or ecotype
with as many trees as possible to avoid non-overlapping
of flowering and to maintain a broad genetic base (Kedhannath,
1984; Subramanian et al., 1994). Due to the limited seed
production in CSOs most of the plantations in India are
raised through unselected seed source that leads to low
Seedling seed orchards
For the establishment of seedling seed orchards (SSO),
seeds are collected from 300 to 400 plus trees from diffe-
rent locations and establish a progeny trial with bulked
seeds or family identity. The progeny trial will be sub-
jected to two thinning at the age of 10 and 15 years.
After evaluation and ranking, first thinning will be done
10 years after planting by removing the inferior trees and
retaining only the best trees. At the age of 15, second
thinning will be done and converted the progeny trial into
seedling seed orchard by maintaining only superior trees
for seed production.
Teak (Tectona grandis Linn. f.): A Renowned Commercial Timber Species
Expected gains from seed orchards
Kjaer and Suangtho (1997) estimated that seedlings from
classified seed stands will yield at least 8% higher value
production than seedlings from unclassified seed sources.
This increased value production originates from both im-
proved volume production and from better stem form.
CSOs are expected to be at least 4% better than classified
seed sources because they consist of selected clones from
the best seed stand. This means a total of an estimated
12% (8% + 4%) higher value production from CSO-
progeny compared to seedlings from unclassified seed
sources. An additional 5% can be gained from collecting
seed exclusively from the best clones in the CSOs yield-
ing an estimated total gain of 17% compared to planting
stock from unclassified seed sources (Kaosa-ard et al.,
Kjaer and Foster (1996) calculated the economic value
of using improved planting stock. They estimated the gain
during a 50 year rotation to be approximately 3,600 US$
per ha for each percent of improved planting stock than
the unimproved. A gain of 17% from using highly improved
material, as mentioned above, thus corresponded to an
estimated increased value of 17% × 3,600 US$ = 61,200
US$ per ha established plantation over a 50 year rotation.
Fruit harvest
The fruiting season of teak in India is mostly between
November to March. On an average a 40 year old tree
produces about 3 kg fruits. The amount of fruits produc-
tion depends on age of the stand, type of stand, location,
edaphic and climatic factors and it is difficult to give
exact figures about seed production. Generally, seed pro-
duction is in the order of 20-30 kg/ha/year in plantations
and seed production areas with low management, whereas
in seed orchards with more intensive management seed
production may be as high as 200-300 kg/ha/year. Teak
fruits are usually collected from the ground. In seed source
areas, the ground is usually cleaned and sometimes burnt
to prepare seed collection. To ease collection, a cover
may be spread out on the ground. The fruits fall over a
period of 3-4 months in the dry season. Fruits are collected
twice in a season, so that early fallen fruits do not remain
on the forest floor for long. A teak fruit contains 4 seeds,
but mostly filled with 1 or 2 seeds only.
Fruit characteristics
The general fruit characteristics (Thailand) are given below
(Kaosa-ard, 1996).
Fruit diameter : 0.5-2.0 cm
1 kg of containment : 1,800-2,200 fruits
Viability : 50-70%
Germination : 30-50%
Germination period : 10-50 days
Dormancy period : 1-2 years
Seed storage : 2 years (ordinary store)
Nursery grown : 1 year
Plantable size : 0.8-1.5 cm in diameter
Production : 25 plantable seedlings/m2
Processing and handling
After collection, the fruits are cleaned for branches,
leaves and damaged fruits and then dried in the sun for
2-3 days. After drying, the calyx is removed in a cement
mixer, seed thresher or by squeezing and beating the seed
in a bag. Finally the impurities are removed by winnow-
Fruit storage
Teak seeds can be stored for up to two years at around
12% moisture content and stored in airtight containers
(glass jars or sealed plastic bags) and kept in a dry,
shaded and relatively cool place. If stored at low moisture
content and in a cold store (0-4), the germination
capacity of the seed can be maintained for 5-10 years. If
Journal of Forest Science
seeds are to be used in the same planting season, no
special storage is needed. Seed can be piled in a con-
venient place near the nursery, preferably in a shed or in
a storeroom, but not necessarily dried. Seed can be stored
this way for maximum 3-4 months.
Dormancy and pretreatment
Germination of teak is often poor and sporadic due to
some degree of dormancy. The real cause of teak seed
dormancy is still obscure. However, three main factors
are believed to influence seed dormancy: (1) seed struc-
ture, (2) seed maturity and (3) seed biochemistry (Kaosa-
ard, 1986). Kadambi (1972) stated that the main cause of
delay in the germination of teak seed is the thick pericarp,
which does not soften sufficiently for the embryo cells to
open. Pretreatment of the seed is needed to break this
dormancy. One method of achieving this is by alternate
wetting and drying of the seed before sowing. Place the
seed in a hessian bag and dock the bag in water, pre-
ferably in a running stream, for 12 hours. Then spread the
seed out in the sun to dry for 12 hours. This is repeated
for for 1-2 weeks. Another method is dry heat. The fruits
are heated for 48 h at 80. This method is difficult to
implement for large seed lots as it requires a large oven,
but it can improve germination considerably.
Seed sowing and germination
Sowing is done directly in the field or in the nursery.
If sown directly, normally 3-4 fruits are sown per hole to
secure that at least one seedling will develop, because the
seed filling is poor in teak. Sowing in the nursery is done
in a seed bed with soil or sand.
Beds are raised about 50 cm above ground level by
filling with a layer of 5 cm of gravel on the bottom, 35
cm of clean coarse sand in the centre and 10 cm of a
50/50 mixture of peat and coarse sand on the top. Seeds
are sown in the top layer (sand and peat) and water twice
a day. It is important not to sow the seeds too deep, as
this will hinder germination. Germination starts in 10-15
days after sowing, reaches its peak in 35-45 days and
then decreases steadily to 80-90 days. Generally ger-
mination of teak seed is poor and the germination per-
centage varies from 30 to 50% in moist teak (Kaosa-ard,
1986; Kumaravelu, 1993) and 5 to 10% in dry teak in
India. Optimum moisture content is required for effective
germination. Grading of fruits according to size helps in
improving germination. Teak seed germination increases
with increase in size of fruits. In general, moist teak
possesses larger-sized fruits and higher seed filling than
dry teak. The viable un-germinated seeds will maintain
viability and germinate in the following year(s) when con-
ditions are favourable. Such germination behavior is due
to dormancy. Teak plants are very sensitive to shade, and
when there is large variation in germination time, the later
germinating seedlings can be shaded to death if they
emerge under a large seedling.
Planting material
Planting material consists of stumps, seedlings or tissue
culture raised plants. Stump planting is the common prac-
tice in India. For the preparation of stumps, one year old
seedlings are uprooted followed by removal of the leaves,
lateral roots, a portion of shoot and tap root, and stumps
of size 20-25 cm (approximately 4 to 6 cm shoot and 15
to 20 cm tap root length) are prepared. Stump planting is
preferred because of easy transportation and it also
showed better growth may be due to stored energy. In the
case of seedling, after germination it is shifted to
container or polythene bags and maintained in the nursery
until they reach 30 to 40 cm in height and planted in the
field. Tissue cultured plantlets are generally produced from
superior clones which have the potential to increase the
Planting and thinning
In India stumps are generally used for raising plan-
Teak (Tectona grandis Linn. f.): A Renowned Commercial Timber Species
Table 8. Teak plantations in India
State Plantation area* (ha)
Andhra Pradesh 105,000
Assam 37,000
Andaman and Nicobar 10,000
Gujarat 121,580
Karnataka 137,245
Kerala 74,914
Maharashtra 275,907
Madhya Pradesh 147,695
Orissa 73,000
Tripura 75,000
Total 1,057,341**
* Owned by Government forest departments and forest
development corporations.
Source: Subramanian et al., 2000.
tation, and it is planted in closer spacing of 2×2 m to
enhance initial height growth with straight and clean bole.
In Thailand and other countries 3×3 m and 4×4 m spac-
ing are also followed. Closer spacing needs early thinning
to reduce the number of stems to allow girth increment
and also provide sufficient sun light as teak is light
demanding plant. Two mechanical and three silvicultural
thinnings performed by the Forest Departments and Forest
Development Corporations in India. The interval of thinn-
ing cycle is at age of 5, 10, 15, 20, and 30 for 60 year
rotation, in Kerala and at ages 5, 8, 16, and 20 for 40
year rotation in Maharashtra. After final thinning 150 to
170 trees per hectare are maintained. Pruning is not
common in teak plantations in India, although de-budding
and pruning of side branches is necessary in young plan-
tations to improve the value of the basal timber.
Irrigation and fertilizer applications
Generally teak plantations are raised in natural condi-
tion without any irrigation, and irrigation is followed only
in farmlands. In India the protected irrigation in Maharashtra
(Gogate et al., 1995) and the canal bank teak plantations
in Tanjore, Tamil Nadu (Palanisamy et al., 2005) are
reported to increase the growth rate. It has been stated that
the irrigation reduce the rotation period and enhance
productivity, however the quality of the timber is yet to
be studied. The application of 50 g of urea and 30 g of
super phosphate after six months and 75 g of urea and 60
g of super phosphate after 24 months of planting increases
the growth rates in the early growth phases (Balagopalan
et al., 1998). The fertilizer application is effective in the
younger plantations when it is in active growth.
Extent and productivity
The first teak plantation in India was established in
1846 at Nilambur, Kerala, and teak plantations are raised
in large scale annually, at present about 1.5 million ha of
plantations exist in India (Subramanian et al., 2000). The
extent of teak plantations in major teak-growing States in
India is given in Table 8.
The rotation period of teak plantations in India differs
according to the site conditions, environmental factors and
management. The dry teak plantations of Madhya Pradesh
have 80 years rotation, 50 to 60 years in Kerala and 40
years for plantations of Maharashtra Forest Development
Corporation. Laurie and Ram (1940) prepared the All
India Teak Tables for the productivity of teak using sample
plots of India and Myanmar, and later Sowani and Gadkari
(1977) prepared a revised version of these tables for
Indian teak. The productivity of teak i.e. the total yield
and Mean Annual Volume Increment (MAI) in different
age and site qualities reported in All India yield and Standard
Volume Table are given in Table 9.
The MAI of the Nilambur (Kerala) teak plantations
ranges from 0.97 to 5.64 m3ha-1year-1, and the average
productivity is 2.85 m3ha-1year-1 in 53 years rotation
period (Subramanian et al., 2000). In Indonesia the MAI
at the harvest age (40 to 90 years) was 2.91 m3ha-1year-1
(FAO, 1986). The productivity in moist semi deciduous
forest in Ghana is 8-10 m3ha-1year-1 (Oteng-Amoako and
Sarfo, 2005) while in Central America it is 8 to 12 m3
ha-1year-1(Arias, 2005). Recent studies conducted on teak
growing in farmlands with irrigation, fertilizer application
and management revealed the possibility of reducing the
Journal of Forest Science
Table 9. Total yield and MAI of teak for specific age and different site quality class in India.
Age Item Yield in different site quality classes (m3 ha-1)
20 Total yield 229.6 212.37 184.73 151.14 119.65 78.019 55.63
MAI 11.27 10.64 9.24 7.56 6.02 3.92 2.80
50 Total yield 499.95 427.88 354.41 280.24 220.41 156.74 107.76
MAI 10.01 8.54 7.07 5.60 4.41 3.15 2.17
51 Total yield 506.67 434.04 359.73 284.65 223.56 158.70 109.30
MAI 9.95 8.49 7.04 5.58 4.38 3.12 2.16
53 Total yield 520.10 446.35 370.36 293.46 229.86 162.62 112.38
MAI 9.84 8.41 6.98 5.56 4.32 3.06 2.13
55 Total yield 533.54 458.67 381.00 302.28 236.16 166.53 115.45
MAI 9.73 8.33 6.93 5.53 4.27 3.01 2.10
56 Total yield 539.23 464.20 386.18 306.90 239.66 168.98 116.92
MAI 9.66 8.28 6.90 5.51 4.25 3.01 2.09
58 Total yield 550.75 475.25 396.53 316.14 246.65 173.88 119.86
MAI 9.52 8.20 6.84 5.49 4.23 3.01 2.06
60 Total yield 562.23 486.31 406.89 325.37 253.65 178.78 122.80
MAI 9.38 8.12 6.79 5.46 4.20 3.01 2.03
65 Total yield 588.47 510.80 429.28 347.41 273.24 191.02 131.90
MAI 9.03 7.84 6.58 5.32 4.20 2.94 2.03
Source: Subramanian et al. (2000).
rotation period to 25 years with increase in productivity.
In India about 300 species of insects have so far been
reported to be associated with teak. The teak defoliator
Hyblaea puera and Eutectona machaeralis commonly known
as the teak skelotonizer are the major pests of teak in
India. Out-break of both are common in teak plantations
throughout the country. H. puera feeds on tender foliage
during the early part of the growth season and E.
machaeralis feeds on older foliage towards the end of the
season. When younger plantations are infested, defoliation
by these pests can cause 44 percent loss of the potential
volume increment (Nair et al., 1985). Distinct morphological,
physiological and biochemical differences are found in
association with different levels of susceptibility, tolerance
and resistance. The other pests include the tree borer
Alcterogystia cadambae, flower and seed feeders, sap suckers,
root and bark feeders, gall formers and leaf minors. Biology
and ecology of the important insect pests have been dealt
by many researchers (Mathur and Singh 1960; Browne
1968; Khan et al., 1985). Mechanical and biological control
methods have been adopted to control the pests. However,
it is difficult to control them in the plantations. Recently
in India attempts have been made to identify defoliator
resistant clones for breeding and plantation programme.
Genetically improved planting stock is an essential pre-
requisite for substantial increase in productivity. Clonal
seed orchards (CSO) are the main focus on genetic im-
provement of teak to produce quality seeds for the plan-
ting programme. However, the CSO showed very low
seed production and most of the plantations are raised
through seeds of unselected seed source. Vegetative pro-
pagation plays an indispensable role in teak breeding pro-
Teak (Tectona grandis Linn. f.): A Renowned Commercial Timber Species
gramme. It has many uses like mass multiplication of
desired genotypes for establishing clonal plantations, seed
orchards and breeding populations to improve producti-
vity, preservation of genotypes and in induction of early
flowering for accelerated breeding programme. Clonal pro-
pagation has the potential to capture greater genetic gain
and uniformity which is not achievable through seed
materials. Various methods of vegetative propagation like
grafting, rooting of cuttings and micropropagation have
been reported in teak to produce quality planting stock.
Rawat and Kedharnath (1968) standardized the stump
budding and grafting technique for teak which has been
used for establishing clonal seed orchards in India, Thailand
and Indonesia. For bud grafting, the buds are collected
from plus trees and grafted with 1 to 2 year old root
stock raised in the nursery. Under favourable season and
nursery conditions 100% success of grafting was reported.
Vegetative propagation of branch cuttings of mature teak trees
Generally teak tree sheds its leaves in the month of
November / December and new sprouts emerge in March
/ April. Before onset of leaf fall the deciduous trees
accumulate nutrients in the shoots which are subsequently
utilized for emergence of new sprouts. The formation of
new sprouts leads to elevation of endogenous root form-
ing substances including auxin (Palanisamy et al., 1998)
resulting rooting in branch cuttings. Branch cuttings of
size 15 to 20 cm length and 1 to 2 cm thickness are
collected from superior teak trees in the month of April
to June. After removing the leaves, the cuttings were
treated with auxins (1000 to 2000 ppm in liquid form) at
the basal end (1 to 2 cm) for 1 to 12 h. After auxin treat-
ment the top end of the cuttings was sealed with paraffin
wax to avoid any water loss and plant it in mist chamber
or polytunnel with intermittent misting and maintain 80 to
90% relative humidity and temperature around 30° to 32
for rooting. Rooting occurs 45 to 60 days after planting,
and it showed very moderate rooting (Nautiyal et al., 1991;
Palanisamy et al., 1995; Monteuuis et al., 1995). How-
ever, this technique is not suitable for mass multiplication
and planting programme because rooting is season specific
and it takes longer time for rooting.
Clonal propagation of superior teak trees through coppice shoots
Palanisamy and Subramanian (2001) reported a cost
effective clonal technology for multiplication of superior
teak trees (>50 years) through coppice shoots. Coppice
shoots emerge at the base of the tree after felling and it
is physiologically juvenile and the propagules raised through
coppice shoots are suitable for operational planting pro-
gramme. Coppice shoot propagation involves selection of
superior teak trees in plantations or natural populations,
felling of the selected tree, rooting of coppice shoots in
mist chamber or polytunnel and hardening of the pro-
pagules for raising plantation.
The superior trees of teak were selected from the plan-
tations felled at 20 to 30 cm (approximately) above the
ground level. The coppice shoots emerged 2 to 3 weeks
after felling. Coppice shoot cuttings (1.0 to 1.5 cm in
diameter and 15 to 20 cm in length) were collected from
selected trees and planted in polythene bags containing
coarse sand and kept in polytunnel or mist chamber under
intermittent misting with 80 to 90% humidity. New sprouts
emerged from the planted coppice shoots within a week
and these sprouts (4 to 6 cm length and 0.2 to 0.3 cm
diameter) were collected and treated with 2000 ppm IBA,
and then planted in root trainers (150 cc) filled with
composted coir fibre as rooting media and kept in poly-
tunnels or mist chamber at 80 to 90% RH for rooting.
Rotting occurs within 15 to 20 days after planting. About
60 to 90% rooting was observed throughout the year. This
is the most suitable method for mass multiplication of
plus trees of teak (Palanisamy and Subramanian, 2001).
Clonal trials have been established with coppice shoot
plants of superior trees (Palanisamy, Personal communi-
cation). Fig. 7 shows the rooted cuttings for plantation
Journal of Forest Science
Fig . 7 . Clonal propagules raised through cuttings.
Fig . 8. Plantlets produced in vitro (Source: Yasodha et al., 2005).
Tissue culture is an important tool for large scale mul-
tiplication of desired genotypes within a short period.
Micropropagation of teak has been developed and it is
commercially practiced in Thailand and Malaysia (Mascarenhas
et al., 1993; Devi et al., 1994; Monteuuis et al., 1995;
Kaso-ard et al., 1998; Goh et al., 2005). In India, National
Chemical Laboratory, Pune has established field trials of
tissue cultured raised plants in collaboration with Maharashtra
Forest Development Corporation (Nadgauda et al., 2005).
However the cost of the tissue culture plant is expensive
compared to traditional seedlings or stumps. Seedlings
produced in vitro from superior trees are expected to
increase yield (Fig. 8).
Vegetative propagation of CSO seedlings
The seed production in clonal seed orchards of teak is
very low and not meeting the annual planting target in
India. Palanisamy and Subramanian (2001) and Palanisamy
et al. (2005) have developed a technique for mass multi-
plying CSO seedlings through vegetative propagation to
produce quality planting stock. One year old CSO seedlings
were used for mutilpication. It has been estimated that
approximately 65,000 plants may be raised from 1000
quality seedlings in a year at the rate of 90% rooting and
indicating to raise the entire plantation with improved
planting stock.
The main purpose of breeding strategies is to improve
the genetic gain by selection, breeding and propagation.
The breeding programme consists of base population, breed-
ing population and propagation population.
Base populations
The base populations are the most genetic diverse popula-
tion and it is the fundamental population for genetic
selection in the breeding programme. The genetic varia-
Teak (Tectona grandis Linn. f.): A Renowned Commercial Timber Species
tion of this population will be maintained as long as
possible for the long term breeding programme. There are
3 main categories of the base populations. They are (i)
natural populations (ii) plantation populations and (iii) land
race populations.
(i) Natural populations: The natural populations are the
most important gene resource population in the breed-
ing programme. It contains large variation in genetic
structure, and there is a greater chance for genetic
improvement from this population.
(ii) Plantation populations: Plantations also have the
resource of genetic materials for breeding programme.
The teak provenance trial in Thailand showed that
the plantation seed sources perform better in growth
rate than the natural seed sources of the same region
(Keiding et al., 1986; Kaosa-ard, 1993) possibly due
to selection and thinning during which the inferior
trees are removed.
(iii) Land race populations: Teak has been introduced to
many countries since 1800 s (FAO, 1957). Through
many generations of domestication, the species have
been well adapted and developed into a landrace
species at the country and regional levels. These land
races have become the major sources of genetic
materials for the region. Generally the land race
populations are less diverse as they are developed
from a small sample of seed.
Breeding populations
Breeding populations are established with open pollinated
seeds from selected plus trees to create new individuals of
better genetic quality. At the initial stage of the pro-
gramme, the plus trees are selected from the base popula-
tions and in the advanced generation they are selected
from successive progenies in the breeding populations. In
long term breeding programme, new plus trees of better
genetic combination and gain are created throughout the
successive generations of breeding populations.
Propagation populations
Propagation populations are established by using selected
families from breeding populations and maintained for
production of seed and clonal propagules. Propagation
populations includes clonal seed orchard for seed pro-
duction and clone bank and vegetative multiplication garden
for production of clones.
Proposed breeding programme of teak in India
Mandal (1996) proposed a breeding programme of teak
for India which is given in (Fig. 9). In India about 700
plus tree of teak have been selected from both natural
source and plantations in different parts of the country,
and some of them have been assembled in the germplasm
bank, and fresh selections are being carried out. Open
pollinated seed (half-sibs) from these trees will form the
basis of the first generation breeding population.
The breeding population in the programme comprise
with main population of 400 open pollinated families
each of 10 tree plot and core populations comprising of
50 elite families from the main population. It is proposed
that the breeding cycle for each generation is 16 years.
The programme starts by planting the entire breeding
population (400 open pollinated families) as progeny trial
(Fig. 9). The progeny trial will be subjected to two
thinnings. After ranking the families, first thinning will be
done 10 years after planting and retaining only the best
trees. Core populations will be formed at this stage by
selecting 50 best families. At the age of 15, second thinn-
ing will be done in the main population and convert it
into seedling seed orchard (SSO) by maintaining only
superior trees and removing all the inferior trees. For
establishing second generation breeding populations 350
best trees will be selected from the main population
following the first flowering and second thinning. Open
pollinated seed from the 350 superior trees from main
population along with the 50 trees from natural popula-
tions or plantation source will be used for raising second
generation breeding population.
Journal of Forest Science
Fig. 9. Breeding strategy for teak in India (Modified Mandal, 1996).
The Core population will be used mainly for the esta-
blishment of clonal seed orchard for commercial seed pro-
duction and establishment of multiplication garden to
provide clonal propagules for clonal plantation. In Thailand
Kaosa-ard (1996) has proposed similar breeding programme
for teak.
Teak wood is moderately heavy, strong and tough, hard,
straight grained, coarse textured and ring porous with
specific gravity varies from 0.55 to 0.70. The sapwood is
white to pale yellow in colour and clearly demarcated
while heartwood is dark brown or dark golden yellow in
colour. The specific gravity as well as strength properties
of sapwood are uniformly lower than that of heartwood.
Teak is one of the most durable timbers in the world,
practically, impervious to fungus and white ant attack and
resistant to decay. It shows little tendency to crack and
split during seasoning. It can be seasoned free from defects
with a little protection against rapid drying conditions.
Air Seasoning: Teak is a model wood for air seasoning.
It does not offer any difficulty in air seasoning as it
suffers very little or no damage from the usual seasoning
Kiln Seasoning: Teak does not offer any difficulty in
Teak (Tectona grandis Linn. f.): A Renowned Commercial Timber Species
kiln seasoning, but it is rather slow in drying. Care is
required in determining the moisture content of wood
during the process of seasoning.
Physical and Mechanical Properties of Mature Teak Wood
Physical properties:
Density* : 0.67 g/cm3
Coef volumetric shrinkage : 0.34%
Total tangential shrinkage : 4.7%
Total radial shrinkage : 2.6%
Stability : Stable
Mechanical properties:
Crushing strength* : 56 Mpa
Static bending strength* : 98 Mpa
Modulus elasticity* : 13740 Mpa
(*At 12% moisture content; 1 Mpa = 1 N/mm2)
Short Rotation Teak wood
Teak is a long rotation crop (50 to 80 years). However,
the rotation period may be reduced by suitable silvicultural
practices. The productivity of short rotation teak is high
with a mean annual increment range of 10-20 m3/ha/year
(Ball et al., 2000). The major concern of the farmers and
commercial organizations is whether the wood quality is
maintained in fast growing short rotation plantations. Bhat
(1995) compared the wood density of young and mature
teak trees of same location and stated that only a 5%
increase in wood density in 50 year old trees as compared
to 8 year old trees. The recent findings indicate that the
short rotation timber of teak is not so inferior in density
and strength as to make it unsuitable for structural uses,
and the maturation age is attained at about 15 to 25 years
(Bhat et al., 2001).
Kjaer et al. (1999) investigated the heartwood percent
in a 17 years old trial, and found a high degree of varia-
tion between trees, where heartwood percent varied between
30% and 90% for trees of the same size. Selection of fast
growing plants with high heartwood percent will substan-
tially increase the production of heartwood from short
rotation plantations.
Teak enjoys worldwide reputation as a quality timber
on account of its remarkable physical and mechanical
properties, particularly elasticity, strength and durability.
Because of its good wood working, finishing qualities, most
appealing grain, texture and colour it is used for furniture,
carving, cabinet making, door and window making. It has
been extensively used for decking, deck houses, rails, bul-
warks, hatches, weather doors and planking. The traders
and timber users recognized several varieties of teak sui-
table for different end uses. The huge teak trees from
Western Ghats region (high rain fall range) used for
structural needs like ship and boat building, construction
and bridge building. Teak from Central Indian region is
known for colour, texture and grains preferred for furni-
ture and aesthetic needs. Teak wood of Godavari valley
in Andhra Pradesh is used for furniture and cabinet mak-
ing for its ornamental figuring. Teak wood markets and
depots are available in all teak growing states in India.
Teak timber and pole are classified differently in various
states in India depending upon their utilization. In Kerala
four classes of timber are recognized (Tewari, 1992) as
given below.
I class - 150 cm and above girth, 3 m and above in
II class - 100 cm to 149 cm in girth, 3 m and above
in length
III class - 76 cm to 99 cm in girth, 3 m above in
IV class - 60 cm to 75 cm in girth, 3 m and above in
Myanmar and Ivory Coast dominate the export trade in
teak logs while China and Thailand are the largest im-
porters. The largest manufacturers of teak products are
Indonesia, Thailand, and India. Most of the sawn timber
Journal of Forest Science
produced in India is consumed in the domestic market
and India imports teak wood from Myanmar, Ivory Coast,
Benin, Togo, Ghana and Brazil. The worldwide demand
for teak wood is much greater than the available resources
(Dupuy, 1990), and teak plantations are being established
in large scale in most of the teak growing countries to
meet the global demand.
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  • ... Teak (Tectona grandis L.F.) is a tropical hardwood tree species belonging to the Lamiaceae family. It is native to India, Myanmar, Laos, and Thailand, and is widely naturalized and cultivated in tropical and subtropical countries [1]. Teak is a high-value timber tree, mainly owing the beautiful texture and natural durability of the timber. ...
    Full-text available
    The properties of teak wood, such as natural durability and beautiful color, are closely associated with wood extractives. In order to further understand the performance differences between teak heartwood and sapwood, we analyzed the chemical components of extractives from 12 wood samples using an ultrahigh-performance liquid chromatography-electrospray ionization-tandem mass spectrometry (UPLC-ESI-MS/MS)-based metabolomics approach. In total, 691 metabolites were identified, and these were classified into 17 different categories. Clustering analysis and principal component analysis of metabolites showed that heartwood samples could be clearly separated from sapwood samples. Differential metabolite analysis revealed that the levels of primary metabolites, including carbohydrates, amino acids, lipids, and nucleotides, were significantly lower in the heartwood than in the sapwood. Conversely, many secondary metabolites, including flavonoids, phenylpropanoids, and quinones, had higher levels in the heartwood than in the sapwood. In addition, we detected 16 specifically expressed secondary metabolites in the heartwood, the presence of which may correlate with the durability and color of teak heartwood. Our study improves the understanding of differential metabolites between sapwood and heartwood of teak, and provides a reference for the study of heartwood formation.
  • ... & Hook.f. Among them T. grandis is one of the most valuable timbers yielding species (Palanisamy et al. 2009). Fatima et al. (2019) selected two plastid-specific rbcL, matK and one nuclear-specific trnH-ITS conserved barcoding markers to compare and identify the discrimination of Tectona grandis from three different regions in Karnataka. ...
    Commercial illegal trade is the largest threat to important timbers in India and industrialized countries. Timber species valued for its wood and wood products are smuggled in the adulterated form that cannot be taxonomically identified. The development of DNA marker method to identify and control the origin of tree and tree products from tropical tree species would greatly contribute to distinguish legally from illegally harvested wood. Therefore, DNA barcoding has been anticipated as a reliable technique for wood species identification that can ensure that the tree harvested and traded are the same species/origin. The availability of DNA barcodes for increasing numbers of timber species allows rapid and accurate species identification. This is the first attempt to assemble all the timber barcodes which are available as a reference for the timber species of India. This paper describes whole DNA barcoding process from collection of plant material, to extract DNA and amplification as well as sequencing the amplified region to barcode generation.
  • ... Salah satu teknik yang banyak dilakukan untuk memperbanyak klonklon jati adalah teknik okulasi atau bud grafting (Pudjiono & Adinugraha, 2013;Win, Tun, & Htum, 1982). Keuntungan perbanyakan tanaman dengan cara ini adalah menyelamatkan sifat genetik yang superior pada tetua dan diturunkan kepada anakan hasil perbanyakan vegetatif (Palanisamy, Hegde, & Yi, 2009). Selain itu, keunggulan lainnya antara lain pelaksanaannya relatif mudah, persentase keberhasilan tinggi dan efisien dalam penggunaan mata entres karena satu cabang/ranting dapat menghasilkan beberapa bahan tanaman (Junaidi, Atminingsih, & Siagian, 2014). ...
  • ... & Hook.f. Among them T. grandis is one of the most valuable timbers yielding species (Palanisamy et al. 2009). Fatima et al. (2019) selected two plastid-specific rbcL, matK and one nuclear-specific trnH-ITS conserved barcoding markers to compare and identify the discrimination of Tectona grandis from three different regions in Karnataka. ...
  • ... f.) has the extraordinary weather resistant capacity and therefore found a place as one of the most popular hardwood timber species. Tectona grandis is native to tropical and subtropical countries 59,60 . The sawdust of teak tree is a waste product which can be gainfully utilized as a cheap adsorbent for the elimination of dyes from the aqueous solution. ...
    Full-text available
    Present investigation explores the possible reusability of synthetically contaminated wastewater containing crystal violet (CV) organic dye using Tectona grandis sawdust (TGSD) waste as a very low-cost adsorbent. The adsorbent was characterized by proximate, SEM/EDX, FTIR, and XRD analyses. Batch adsorption studies were carried under changing conditions of contact time, the initial concentration of CV, pH, TGSD dose, TGSD particle size, and temperature. The experimental data were tested using Langmuir, Freundlich and Temkin isotherm models, and the data were best followed by Langmuir one. The kinetic results were examined in the light of different models and pseudo-second-order was obtained to be best obeyed. The values of ΔH° (28.642 kJ/mol), ΔG° (-10.776 to -7.080 kJ/mol) and ΔS° (121.8 J/K/mol) in the temperature range of 293-323 K suggested the overall process to be spontaneous, endothermic and associated with an increase in randomness. On the basis of experimental results and their analyses, it has been established that TGSD is one of the most effective adsorbents among those obtained from the domestic, agricultural and industrial wastes. Thus this adsorbent can be effectively utilized to make the impure wastewater reusable.
  • ... Each fruit may contain 1 to 4 seeds and one kilogram contains 1000 to 3500 fruits. Natural teak forests exist between 9 o to 26 o N latitude and 73 o to 104 o E longitude, 0 to 1200 m altitude, with temperature ranges from 14 to 36 o C and rainfall 800-2500 mm (Palanisamy, 2009b). Teak thrives well in deep, well-drained, fertile alluvial soil with a pH of 6.5 to 7.5 and a relatively high calcium and phosphorus content (Kulkarni, 1951;Tewari, 1992). ...
    Full-text available
    In the present study fruits were collected from the seven natural populations of teak from Ponnampet, Mudigere, Shivamogga, Sirsi, Kiravathi, Dandeli and Bidar. Nursery experiment was carried out during April 2004 to June 2005 at Agriculture Research Station (Paddy), College of Forestry Campus, Sirsi. Teak populations have showed the significant variations among different locations for various fruit and seed characteristics. For seed length and seed breadth highest was found in the Ponnampet population 5.57 mm and 3.96 mm respectively and least was observed in the Bidar population 5.31 mm and 3.63 mm respectively. Shivamogga population has showed highest for the seed thickness with 2.51 mm, followed by Dandeli and Mudigere 2.42. Whereas least was found in the Bidar population (2.33 mm). The germination per cent of teak in different location was poor (<14%) may be due to poor seed filling which is a major problem in teak. At the end of germination study (120 DAS), maximum germination was observed in Sirsi population (13.1%), followed by Kiravathi (11.10%). Both Shivamogga and Ponnampet recorded low germination (6.3%). Highest total biomass was observed in Kiravathi (86.4 g) followed by Dandeli (80.8 g) and lowest was observed in Ponnampet (38.0 g). The results revealed a significant positive association of collar diameter with shoot biomass (r=0.952) and number of lateral roots (r=0.863). Similarly, seed breadth showed significant positive association with 100 fruit weight (r=0.549) and fruit diameter (r=0.544).
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    An insecticidal mannose binding lectin gene of Withania somnifera, WsMBP1 was constitutively expressed in tobacco plants. Instar-wise study on the response of Hyblaea puera larvae to the total protein extracted from transgenic tobacco was conducted and survivability percent was 33.33% and 55.55% in the first and the second instars, respectively. Minimum survivability of 22.22% was registered in the third instar. Further, two-fold reduction was observed in mean pre-pupal and pupal weight in the third instar larval populations fed with lectin protein compared to the control populations. The functional confirmation of the insecticidal activity of WsMBP1 established its potential as a novel gene resource for future transformation studies in developing teak genotypes tolerant to its leaf defoliator, H. puera.
  • Article
    Teak (Tectona grandis) has been widely planted in 70 tropical countries because of the utility and value of its wood. This species was introduced to Indonesia more than 100 years ago, and large plantations—covering 1.2 million ha—can be found on Java Island. However, little information currently exists about the genetic diversity and origin of these trees. We collected plant materials from three regions across Java Island (east, central, and west) and sampled trees spanning three age classes in each region, to clarify the genetic diversity and structure of teak plantations on Java Island. We investigated teak plantation and clonal experiment populations using multiplexed ISSR genotyping by sequencing (MIG-seq) and compared the genetic diversity and structure with the provenance test populations derived from natural teak forest in India, Myanmar, Thailand, and Laos. Analyses using 459 single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) loci revealed that native provenances had higher genetic diversity than the Indonesian teak plantations. Moreover, old teak plantations demonstrated lower genetic diversity than young plantations. Further analyses showed that most Indonesian teak plantations are genetically related to Laos, Thailand, and Myanmar provenances. We conclude that there is a weak genetic structure on teak plantations among the regions, which indicates that most plantations were established using plant materials from a specific part of the natural teak distribution. Information regarding the genetic diversity and structure of plantation forests should be taken into account when making future plantation programs.
  • Article
    Full-text available
    Ayurvedic system of medicine is one of the oldest systems in India. Herbs and herbal products, with their incredibly wide use throughout time and place, continue to provide real health benefits while maintaining safety profile. The conservative drug available in the marketplace treat inflammation and analgesia produces various side effects. For conquer these problems medicinal plants play a major role to alleviate many diseases related with inflammation and analgesia. Tectona grandis (Family-Lamiaceae) is one of the most famous timber plants in the world and is renowned for its dimensional stability, extreme durability and hard which also resists decay even when unprotected by paints and preservatives. Teak is the major exotic species found in tropical regions. It allays thirst, and acts as antihelmintic, expectorant and anti-inflammatory. The objective of present study was to evaluate in vitro anti-inflammatory activity and antihelmintic of ethanolic extracts of Tectona grandis leaves. The results of plant extracts were found to have significant (P<0.005) anti-inflammatory activity and showing effective against parasitic infections.
  • Article
    Tectona grandis Linn (Teak), is locally known as Sagwan, belongs to Lamiaceae family. It is one of the most valuable timber in the world, due to its beautiful surface and its resistance to termite and fungal damage. The main active ingredient compounds that are responsible for these action are tectoquinone, lapachol and deoxylapachol. Naphthoquinones, anthraquinones and isoprenoid quinones are abundant metabolites in teak. In addition to these, teak contains several other phytochemicals such as triterpenoids, steroids, lignans, fatty esters and phenolic compounds. Pharmacologically, the plant has been investigated for antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-pyretic, cytotoxic, analgesic, hypoglycemic, wound healing and antiplasmodial activities. The present review highlights the phytochemical and pharmacological aspects of teak.