Handbook 5

PROSEA 5: ‘Timber trees’

5(1): Major commercial timbers

I. Soerianegara and R.H.M.J. Lemmens (Editors)

5(2): Minor commercial timbers

R.H.M.J. Lemmens, I. Soerianegara and W.C. Wong (Editors)

5(3): Lesser-known timbers

M.S.M. Sosef, L.T. Hong and S. Prawirohatmodjo (Editors)


Prosea 5(1): ‘Timber trees: major commercial timbers’ deals with the most important timbers of South-East Asia. This region produces the major part of the timber on the world market; timber is a major export product and increasingly important domestically. Uncontrolled logging, together with other human activities such as shifting cultivation, leads to destruction of tropical forest.

Sustainable management of natural forest and the establishment of timber plantations integrated with land-use programmes will protect forests from destruction and generate permanent timber production in the future. Reliable and up-to-date information on all aspects of tree species and their wood is a prerequisite for sustainable utilization. Among the 55 timber trade groups described in this volume are meranti, balau, keruing, kapur, white seraya, mersawa, merbau, sepetir, narra, kempas, teak, nyatoh, mengkulang, ramin, ulin, pulai, kauri, pine, mahogany and eucalypt.

Prosea 5(2): ‘Timber trees: minor commercial timbers’. The South-East Asian timbers of minor commercial importance are in shorter supply and/or have less outstanding properties than the major commercial timbers. Many are currently used as core veneer and as the raw material for wood-based panels. The market for such products is expanding, so the use of these timbers is expected to increase. For example this has already happened with rubberwood and Acacia mangium. Increasing utilization of minor commercial timbers should be compatible with the concept of sustainable use of tropical forest. The up-to-date information on all aspects of these timbers has been compiled in this volume, which complements Prosea 5(1). Over 800 species from 62 genera are covered in detail, and the prospects for certain species as plantation trees or for enrichment planting in natural forest are also indicated. The timbers dealt with include amberoi, dao, durian, ebony, jelutong, kedondong, kelat, medang, mempening, penanga, podocarp, rengas, rubberwood, simpoh, surian, tembesu and wattle.Prosea 5(3): ‘Timber trees: lesser-known timbers’. This volume on lesser-known timbers completes the Prosea trilogy on timber trees. Lesser-known timbers merit attention because of the growing appreciation of their importance in the sustainable management of tropical forest and of their potential for forest plantations. The increasing use of wood-based panels, requiring less outstanding timber qualities and less uniformity, also intensifies their use. Thes lesser-known species are also essential to supply timber for local use and therefore for rural development. The up-to-date information on these timbers contained in this volume supports all these applications. It includes information on palm wood as well. As wood prperties are related to botanical classification, it is important to identify trees and wood correctly. Therefore, there is an extensive list of wood anatomical features plus macroscopic photographs of all timbers. The volume covers 309 genera and about 1550 species, amonst others African mahogany, agoho, antiaris, balsa, ficus, lilin, maple, mempisang and tempinis.

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