Teak and Plantation Teak Teak
Teak Tectona grandis Heartwood yellowish, olive or light to dark brown.
More or less variegated or streaked. Highly resistant to decay.
VITAL STATISTICS: Tropical. Height 150 feet to 160 feet. Trunk
diameter of 6 feet to 8 feet. The Asiatic teak may achieve a huge trunk
circumference of 40 feet. Distribution: southern India, Thailand, Burma
and Java; also Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam and the East Indies. Grown in
commercial quantities throughout Southeast Asia, numerous plantations
have recently been developed within this natural range and also in tropical
areas of Latin America and Africa. Because it can be harvested in as
little as 16 years it is an ideal plantation species. As the forest
grown teak becomes increasingly hard to bring out, plantations are a
cost effective answer.
DESCRIPTION: Teak naturally grows in groups among other tropical
species. It is a very hard, heavy, strong wood, distinctively oily to
the touch. This oil in the wood makes teak very durable. It is a "natural
preservative" making all applied treatments totally unnecessary. It
is resistant to insects, fungus, and marine borers; termites won't touch
it! It is also resistant to rot and moisture damage. When first cut,
it is a tawny golden color streaked with dark brown and gold. The color
lightens as it dries and can look white when it has been aged and sun
bleached, as on boat decks.
USES: Teak is one of the most valuable of all woods. It is
expensive due to its scarcity and because it is so difficult to harvest
and transport. The over-riding advantage of teak is its unique ability
to prevent rust and corrosion when in contact with metal. This makes
it invaluable in the shipbuilding industry and exterior millwork
applications Teak finishes well and when stained can look like ebony
or mahogany. Due to its oil content, pretreatment is, at times, necessary
to ensure good glue bonding. Teak works well with both hand and machine
tools. Because of the presence of silica in the grain it has a tendency
to dull tools, but this can be overcome with proper tool usage. It
is readily available as veneer and as lumber. Teak is used principally
in shipbuilding and in the construction of expensive boats and yachts.
Because of its decay resistance, it is used extensively as exterior
decking, millwork, trim and windows; also for garden furniture, park
benches and many marine applications. Indoors it is used for flooring
and paneling in banks, auditoriums and offices. It is strongly associated
with Scandinavian, Chinese and modern furniture design and decorative