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COMMERCIAL TREES


Bakawan
Ipil-Ipil
Yakal
Alamaciga
Guijo
Tanguile
Narra
Apitong
Pine

BAKAWAN

     Known as the king of the forest swamps, this tree "shoots straight skyward, lording the rest of its kind. It grows up to 12 meters high with many branched prop roots that hold on to the soil. These roots make the tree so strong that even the raging waters and the strong winds cannot dislodge it from its mooring. The shining leaves are about 8 to 16 centimeters long and 3 to 8 centimeters wide. They are oblong-elliptic and pointed at both ends. The flowers are white or cream colored. The fruit is ovoid, brown or olive on color and pendulous.

     There are other species of bakawan and all together they constitute the so-called mangrove forests, which are found on tidal flats at the mouths of streams and along the shores of sheltered bays. Among them are the pototan, pagatpat, and api-api.

     Besides its use as fuel, the bakawan has many other uses. It is an important factor in the prevention of rain and stream erosion, breakage of fish ponds, and regulating temperature. The woos is utilized for furniture, foundation, piling, posts and poles; the bark is a cure for haematuria and diabetes. The dried leaves, withboiled, make an effective tonec after childberth and a good remedy for fever. Ornamentally, the young bakawan is a substitute for Christmas tree during the holeday season.






IPIL-IPIL

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     Ipil-ipil is a small tree found thoughout the Philippines. It grows rapidly and abundantly and has high value as fuel. It is also very useful in reforestation work. It is especially valuable for planting in grasss areas where it can compete with the grass and drive it out.

     The tree grows from 2 to 6 meters high. It has compound leaves about 25 centimeters long with hairy rachises. The flowers are white. The pods are thin and flat about 18 centimeters long and 2 centimeters wide. Each pod contains from 15 to 25 shining brown seeds.

     Ipil-ipil is a number one wood for fuel. It is well known to owners of bakeries. previous investigations show that a cubic foot of dry wood of ipil-ipil produces 93.447 calories of heat.Its percentage of ash is lower than that of any other firewoood. Bakeries cliam that it is easer to remove the residue of ipil-ipil from the over than of bakawan

     The leaves, pods and seeds of this tree are excellent food for men and animals alike. The seeds from the ripe pods make a good substitute for coffee. They are also used in making bags, pins and necklaces.

     In some places, the tree is known by the name Santa Elena. The seeds are grown easily for thy retain their vitality for along period. The seeds which may not germinate at once may remain in the soilfor several months. If not destroyed by birds, they will germinate as soon as the rain falls.

     Private landowners may try to engage in planting this tree with the object of producing fuel as an industry.






YAKAL

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     Of the hardwood variety in the Philippines, the yakal is on of the most abundantly in Luzon, the visayas, and mindanao. It grows into a thick forest. It is a large tree that grows to a height of 25 meters. Its trunk is straight with 1.8 meters in diameter.

     Yakal lumber is very much in demand by our builders. It is commonly used for important frameworks of buildings other than posts. If molave and ipil are not available , yakal is used as posts.

     It does not last long though when buried in the ground, unlike molave and ipil. Window sills are generally made of yakal. One main defect of yakal is that it easily cracks when exposed to the sun.

     Yakal is harder and heavier than apitong or tangile. It is yellowish in color. It resembles guijo. It is heavy and has a fine texture although it is darker and heavier than guijo. It lasts long even when kept in the open under bad weather. It is not often attacked by termites. It is used for floorings, beams, joist, bridges, wharfs and ship framing..






ALMACIGA

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     It is a large and tall tree attaining a diameter of 3 meters and a length of from 50 to 60 meters. It has a crown shaped like a pyramid. The bark easily breaks and is greenish or brownish gray in color. The leaves are simple, nearly opposite and leathery.

     The chief value of almaciga is in the resin obtain from its bark which is a principal ingredient in the manufacture of high-grade varnish. It is also used in making patent leather, sealing wax, and soap. In the Philippines the algamaciga resin is chiefly used as incense during religious ceremonies, for caulking boats and as smudge to drive away mosquitoes.

     Almaciga tree grows in Babuyan Islands, Luzon, Palawan, and Mindanao. It is found also In Vietnam, Malaya, and Moluccas Islands.

     The sapwood and heartwood of this tree are indistinct. It is buff or whitish. Its grain is straight and its texture is glossy and homogenous.

     The wood is hard and heavy, weighing about 5.75 kilograms per cubic meter when dry. It is not a strong wood, but it does not twist. It is used for sounding boards, rules, and cases of scientific intruments. It is most suitable for paper pulp and pencil sticks.






GUIJO

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     This tree is abundant in almost all forest of our country. It is a large tree which has the tendency to grow straight. It has a round trunk similar to the lauan tree. It attains a height of 15 to 20 meters with s diameter of 180 centimeters. The texture of the wood is fine and glossy. It is a hard heavy wood weighing about 8.5 kilograms per cubic meter when dry.

     Its sapwood is four to five centimeters thick and is light gray in color. Its grain is crossed with a distinct “ribbon” figure when cut into 4 parts [quatered].

     The wood holds nails and glues well. It does not last long when in contact with the ground and when exposed to weather, but it lasts long when used for interior work.

     The wood is commonly used for frames of automobile bodies and other vehicles furniture, cabinets, frames of boats, building posts, and beams. Guijo lumber from Basilan, Zamboanga, and Southern Luzon is used for friction blocks, while that obtained from Luzon is too hard. It is good for alcohol tanks.






TANGUILE

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     It is a large, tall tree with a bole [trunk] reaseching as high as 50 meters with a diameter of two meters. It grows fast and has a branchless straight trunk. Its sapwood is from 4 to 5 centimeters thick, light colored and sharply marked off from the heartwood which is red. The texture is fine like that of mahogany. It has no distinct smell. It is a hard and comparatively light wood. Tanguile trees are found abundantly in most lumbering regions. They are widely distributed and are usually associated with red and white lauans at lower altitudes, and with guijo and yakal at higher altitudes.

     As lumber, it is known as “dark-red Philippines mahogany.” It resembles the genuine mahogany in grain, texture, and physical properties.

     It is used in the manufacture of furniture and other fancy interior wallings and built-in cabinets. It is often used for making sashes. Tanguile sawdust is excellent for preserving ice blocks. Because it is cheaper than narra, it can be purchased by families of meaner means.

     It is the most common lumber for construction purposes. It belongs to the third group of lumber and is not attacked by termites. It glues fast and takes any stain easily. When used indoors, it lasts long. It does not last long when exposed to the ground or bad weather.






NARRA

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     The narra belongs to the bean family because its fruit or pod is winged. Like the molave, it grows in places where there are distinct wet and dry seasons. It grows best in low, damp soil. Many are found on the flat plains of the mangrove swamp. The tree reaches a height of seventy-five feet and a diameter of two to tree feet. It grows at the rate of one centimeter in diameter a year. The branches form a wide-spreading, open, vase-shaped crown which is about one-half the height of the tree.

     The trunk is irregular; the bark, soft. It is grayish yellow color. The inner bark is red, streaked with darker red tubes.

     The leaves are numerous, small, and glossy green. The flowers are small and bright yellow. They bloom in June and July. The fruit or pod is flat and contains only one seed.

     It is also a shade tree. Its wood and lumber are used for high-grade furniture and cabinet wood, frames, try squares, yard and meter sticks, dry measures, automobile javels, jewels and clothes chest, canes and table tops.

     In come localities narra is known as asana, nala, tagga, and apalit.

     The narra answers all the requirements for an ideal national tree because of its popularity, aesthetic value, hardiness, rapidity of growth, nativity, and history. It represents and expresses the character of the country and its people.

     The narra tree is a symbol of many things. Its is tall and symbolizes the lofty ideals of the Filipino people. It is tall and strong and enduring and many signify the persistence of the Filipinos in their demand for freedom. While other trees are bent or uprooted by storms, the narra usually withstands such disaster. It may strip its leaves or break off smaller branches, but the tree itself remains upright. As the narra has resisted the tempest, so has the Filipinos fought his oppressors.

     When the bark of the narra is injured, a red sap oozes out. This reminds us of the blood shed by our people in their desire to tree our country from foreign rule.

     During certain parts of the year, the narra tree sheds its foliage and new leaves grow. Every year it undergoes a change. This symbolized the disappearance of old customs and their replacements by new ones — the onward march of progress.






APITONG

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      The apitong, like the tanguile, grows almost anywhere in the Philippines. There are plenty of apitong trees in the forest is composed mostly of taguile and apitong. The apitong tree has practically the same growth as the tanguile. The word is not very hard; it is rather coarse and warps quite readily. It has the same uses as the tanguile, but is easily deatroyed when attacked by termites.

     There are eleven species of apitong trees which produce wood and called apitong in the lumber trade.

     This wood is evported under trade name of “Bagac.”

     Apitong tree grows from medium to large. The truck has diameter of 10 to 250 centimeters. All species have almost rounded trunks.

     It has sapwood 4 to 6 centimeters thick. Its heartwood is reddish to light brown. Its grain is slightly crossed and occasionally wavy. Ots texture is moderately fine to moderately coarse and glossy. It has a resinous smell.

     Apitong lumber is used for post of houses, joints, and beams. It belong also to the third group of timber but is a little cheaper than tanguile. Unlike the tanguile, apitong is seldom used in furniture making. Most often apitong is used as “form lumber” for building constructions.

     Its wood treats well with any preservative. It does not last long when left on the grounds, but it last long when used for interior work. When well-seasoned it is used for floorings, car construction, and railroad tiers.






PINE

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      The pine tree grows in place of high altitude like baguio. The mountains of Northern Luzon provide us with the Benquet pines. The Benguet pine is abundant in the mountain Province, particulary in Benguet and Bontoc.

     Pine tress grow in pure stands except in place of lower elevetions where they are mied with hardwoods. Pine forest provide us with a potential sourse of turpentine.

     The pine tree grows tall with a few soeading branches. Its wood is quite hard, especially in the heart. Its texture is coasrse, and easily attacked by termites. Pine lumber is made into posts, and is used in the construction of houses. It is extremely used in the mining districts of Mountain province. The tree produces turpentine which can be utilized commercially.