This species is sometimes treated as no more than a synonym of Agathis dammara[
Agathis beccarii Warb.
Agathis beckingii Meijer Drees
Agathis latifolia Meijer Drees
Agathis macrostachys Warb.
Agathis rhomboidalis Warb.
Agathis borneensis is a large, evergreen tree that can grow up to 55 metres tall. The bole, which can be clear of branches for up to 20 metres, is up to 3.5 metres in diameter[
This species is one of the most valuable and sought after timber trees in Southeast Asia and it is traded on the international market. It also provides a high quality resin. It is planted on a fairly large scale in forestry plantations in Jawa, but only locally on a small scale within its native range[
Deforestation and targeted logging have been ongoing for many years, they have accelerated in recent decades, and are continuing to deplete the global population of this species, especially in Borneo and Sumatera which form the major part of its range. An estimate of 50% reduction between 1950 and 2025 is probably on the conservative side. The plant is classified as 'Endangered' in the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species(2013)[
Southeast Asia - Malaysia, Indonesia.
Scattered in rainforests at elevations from near sea level to around 1,200 metres in upland tropical rainforest. It is also found in dense, nearly pure stands on low-lying sandy peat soil in many parts of Borneo and in one area in Malaya[
|Other Uses Rating||
|Cultivation Status||Cultivated, Wild
Older trees grow well in sunny positions, but need the shady, sheltered conditions of the woodland when small[
The bark is rich in resin[
]. It exudes from wounds made in the bark and is used for producing varnish and linoleum[
Agathis species in general yield a high quality resin, often known as Manila Copal. The resins obtained from Agathis borneensis, Agathis dammara, Agathis lanceolata, Agathis macrophylla and Agathis philippinensis are the most important commercially, but all members of the genus yield usuable quantities.
The resin is obtained in three forms. Firstly, it naturally exudes from the bark, branches, cones etc of the tree, especially as a result of any damage - some of these exudations can weigh as much as 20 kilos. The second form, known as fossil resin, is dug up from the ground - some of this resin can be of fairly recent origin (perhaps secreted by the roots of trees that have been felled, but much of it can be up to 50,000 years old, perhaps formed on a tree that fell naturally and was then gradually buried. The third form of resin is harvested by tapping the tree, though this can easily damage the tree and lead to premature death.
The resin has a range of applications. Traditionally it has been used as a fuel for camp fires, as a torch, as a waterproofing on boats, as a medicine, the smoke from the burning resin is used as a black dye and for tatooing. The resin is used commercially in making high quality varnishes, lacquers, linoleum[
The heartwood is a pale cream, golden brown, to dark reddish or yellowish brown if resinous; it is usually not distinct from the sapwood[
]. The wood is lustrous; the grain mainly straight; texture fine and uniform; generally without distinctive odour or taste[
]. It is generally not durable, vulnerable to termite attack and prone to blue stain[
]. It works easily with hand and machine tools, finishes with a clean smooth surface; has good nailing and screwing properties; good veneer peeling characteristics; paints and polishes well; easy to glue[
]. It is used for a range of purposes, including vats and tanks, patternmaking, millwork, boatbuilding, furniture components, face veneers, shingles and pencil slats[
The wood is used as general-purpose softwood for joinery, boat building, construction under cover, household utensil, music instrument, tools, panelling, turnery, paper, charcoal, moulding and packaging[
Seed - it cannot tolerate desiccation and does not store for much more than 2 months in normal conditions. It does not require pre-treatment. Sowing is done with the wing part of the seed pointing upwards and 66% of the seed buried in the soil. Germination commences within 6 days, with 90 - 100% germination rates within 10 days[
Cuttings of leading shoots[
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