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Research Report

Managing smallholder teak plantations: Field guide for farmers

Agus Astho Pramono
M. Anis Fauzi
Nurin Widyani
Ika Heriansyah
James M. Roshetko
Copyright Date: Jan. 1, 2011
Pages: 96
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Table of Contents

  1. (pp. iv-v)
    Dede Rohadi

    Teak (Tectona grandis L.f.) is a highly valuable timber species, sought by wood industries to produce good quality furniture and wood for house construction, carving, shipbuilding and many other purposes. In Indonesia teak was first established on plantations by a state-owned company. Today it is also widely cultivated by millions of smallholders who grow the trees on their privately owned plots. Gunungkidul district, in the province of Yogyakarta in central Java, provides a good example; teak has been widely planted by farmers there since the 1960s. Today, the tree has become an important household asset and often serves as the...

  2. (pp. 1-4)

    Teak (Tectona grandis L.f.) is a high-quality timber species of the Verbenaceae family. The species’ natural distribution includes India, Myanmar and Thailand.

    Teak was first brought to Indonesia and planted by Hindu missionaries who came to Java in around the second century AD. Today teak is a profitable plantation crop promoted by government agencies, the private sector and farmers.

    Teak plantations are widely established across Indonesia; in some places they have become an inseparable part of local cultural and socioeconomic systems.

    In Indonesia, teak plantations have the potential to improve livelihoods of farmers, traders and wood processing industries. Plantations play...

  3. (pp. 5-8)

    Silviculture is:

    The science and art of forest management based on knowledge of tree growth.

    It includes species and variety selection, seed and seedling management, site preparation, spacing and planting patterns, fertilising, pruning, thinning, forest health monitoring and management, and harvesting.

    It also includes management for nontimber forest products, conservation and environmental services.

    The value of teak wood is determined by tree attributes: diameter and straightness of the stem, length of clear bole, wood fibre straightness, and presence or absence of wood defects, such as those caused by branch knots, disease or insects. Appropriate silvicultural treatments improve the quality of...

  4. (pp. 9-16)

    The growth and physical appearance of trees are influenced by characteristics they inherit from the parent trees and the situation in which they grow. These are called genetic and environmental factors.

    A healthy stand of fast-growing trees that will yield high quality timber can be obtained from healthy, fast-growing seedlings derived from good quality seed.

    Good quality seedlings will show maximum growth when planted on suitable land and fair growth on less suitable land.

    In contrast, poor quality seedlings will grow more poorly on any type of land.

    When seedling production is well planned and conducted, smallholders have good quality...

  5. (pp. 17-28)

    Typically teak seed is difficult to germinate. This is because it is difficult for water and air to penetrate the seed coat. Water and air are the main requirements for germination.

    For rapid seed germination, specific conditions and treatments are required to prepare the seed coat to allow water and air to penetrate.

    Treating the seed before sowing is essential for rapid and uniform seed germination.

    To prepare the seed coat and germinate the seeds, soak the seeds in one of these six ways.

    Soak the seeds for 3 days (72 hours) in cold running water, drain the seeds and...

  6. (pp. 29-42)

    Several planting systems are appropriate for teak including monoculture (single species), mixed species and agroforestry.

    Consider land conditions and land use before choosing the best planting system for teak.

    Apply an agroforestry system on fertile soil because the benefits from land use can be maximised. Besides selling the timber produced, farmers can also sell or use the agricultural products.

    Apply a monoculture or mixed species system on infertile soil, rocky soil or rocky terrain to improve soil quality and to prevent landslides or erosion.

    Apply mixed species or agroforestry to increase diversity of products for short, medium and long-term revenue....

  7. (pp. 43-58)

    Teak grows well, grows fast, and produces high-quality timber when the land and trees and well maintained. Maintenance includes weeding, fertilising, replanting, pruning, thinning, maintaining coppices and controlling pests and diseases.

    Yes, it is necessary. In a young teak plantation weeds including vines, shrubs and grass need to be cleared regularly around teak trees. These weeds compete for light, water and soil nutrients. Left uncontrolled, the weeds could hinder the growth and even kill the teak trees.

    In a mature teak plantation after the canopy closes, weeding can be done less frequently. Understorey weeds below mature trees generally die by...

  8. (pp. 59-62)

    To provide maximum returns, harvest teak trees when:

    the tree is mature enough to produce good quality wood, at least 15–20 years old;

    The price for teak timber is high.

    The volume of standing trees can be calculated using teak volume tables, which depend on the quality of the site where the teak is planted. See a sample volume table for teak in Appendix 2.

    Measure the diameter of the stem at breast height, called DBH. The standard for DBH is 130 cm.

    Timber stem volume is calculated by multiplying the average basal area at the base and the...