January 19, 2013

Keruing or Asian Mahogany

A day out with children and learn about nature is a good day. There are so many trees they can learn about and grow to love. This is a good way to continue our conservation of our environment.

What about a short lesson about the keruing? The Keruing is decreasing in number and we should actually  start  replanting them.

Keruing is a special species of tropical hardwood found in Malaysia (especially in Sarawak twenty years ago) and Indonesia.

Some of the best home furniture and flooring are made from this timber.

And I remembered a friend who once took us for some jungle trekking pointed out the trees for us to photograph. He quipped, "Take photos if you like. Not many people care about these trees nowadays. In this patch, only a few are left, the rest have been logged by probably illegal timber people who know that one tree this size can build a small house in fact." That was many years ago.

Today, indeed, very few Keruings are left in the jungles of Sarawak. Some timber concessionaries have already logged all of them.

But if you drive to Long Lama or any where in the Baram you can still see the tall beautiful silhouette of the Keruing trees, beckoning to you. But unlike the tapang tree, bees do not build their nest on them.

This beautiful tree is fo und both on lowland and hilly terrain. It is quite  easy to recongise.


Beautiful bench made from keruing ( google)

Asian Mahogany, or Keruing, is made up of about 70 species of the Dipterocarpus genus. These large hardwoods can grow to heights of 230 feet. The various species are found throughout the eastern hemisphere in areas such as the Philippines, Pakistan, India, Thailand, and Sri Lanka. Asian mahogany trees can reach heights of up to 200 feet when fully mature with diameters of up to six feet.
of Malaysian origin. It is found mostly in lowland forest but may also be found in some hilltop forests.

It is more often used as a flooring material. But it should not be exposed to excessive moisture or
standing water.

It is a pity that many Malaysians cannot easily tell the names of the trees which are found around them.

Nowadays we may have to consider what we are teaching our kids . It is a pity that many parents take the easy way out - give them an iPad.


Anonymous said...

In our rubber garden, some natural trees come back. It took such a long time, nearly a century, to see how the original trees may grow again in the tropical forests. A big mistake made by the white Rajah and white hair to diminish our natural forests.

Sarawakiana@2 said...

I hope more people will continue to genuinely grow back the trees on our barren hills...We must pray that it is not too late!!

wenn said...

that'a a lovely tree..

Sarawakiana@2 said...

Yes, it is a lovely tree and its timber is great. A pity that we do not easily get them nowadays for our furniture making or home building.

Anonymous said...

It will take many years for trees like Keruing, Meranti, Kapur and many tropical hardwood trees to grow to a decent size, many of those logged are over 100 years easily!!

Sarawakiana@2 said...

Thanks Anonymous. Yes it is true, today most of the trees which are carried by lorries along the timber roads are not as old .

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