The taxonomy and nomenclature of this species is widely confused with Agathis borneensis Warb. and Agathis philippinensis Warb., which are treated here as distinct.
Abies dammara (Lamb.) Poir.
Agathis alba (Rumph. ex Hassk.) Foxw.
Agathis celebica (Koord.) Warb.
Agathis hamii Meijer Drees
Agathis loranthifolia Salisb.
Agathis orientalis (Lamb.) Mottet
Agathis pinus-dammara Poir.
Dammara alba Rumph. ex Hassk.
Dammara celebica Koord.
Dammara loranthifolia Link
Dammara orientalis Lamb.
Dammara rumphii C.Presl
Pinus dammara Lamb.
Common Name: Amboina Pine
Trees growing in the forest of Gede Pangrango
Photograph by: CIFOR
Agathis dammara is one of the most massive trees of the mountain forests of Malaya[
]. Usually growing up to 50 metres tall, with exceptional specimens to 65 metres, this evergreen tree has a tapering, conical shape[
]. The long, clear bole can be 1.8 metres in diameter[
A major source of Dammar resin, which is widely used in medicine and industry, the tree is also commonly grown as an ornamental[
Large stands of this species have been completely extracted throughout much of its range, most notably in Kalimantan. Exploitation continues to be heavy and regeneration in residual stands is insufficient to replace lost populations. The tree is classified as 'Vulnerable' in the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species(2011)[
Southeast Asia - Indonesia, Philippines.
An emergent tree, scattered but locally common in lowland rainforests; at elevations up to 1,200 metres, though in the Philippines it is reported to grow at elevations up to 2,100 metres[
|Other Uses Rating||
|Cultivation Status||Ornamental, Wild
Agathis dammara is a plant of the subhumid highlands in the tropics, where it is found at elevations from 300 - 1,600 metres[
]. It grows best in areas where annual daytime temperatures are within the range 28 - 34°c, but can tolerate 12 - 38°c[
]. It prefers a mean annual rainfall in the range 2,500 - 3,500mm, but tolerates 2,000 - 4,000mm[
Older trees grow well in sunny positions, but need the shady, sheltered conditions of the woodland when small[
]. Plants can grow on a variety of soils, including podzolized sands (in heath forest), ultrabasic soils, limestone, igneous and sedimentary rocks[
]. The root system is sensitive to a lack of oxygen and the species does not tolerate waterlogging[
]. Prefers a pH in the range 5.5 - 6.5, tolerating 5 - 7.5[
Seedling plants need shade, and growth is slow during the first year. Later, when released from competition from weeds, growth is more rapid[
Trees can commence producing cones when about 15 years old, though viable seeds are not usually produced before they are 25 years old[
It is cultivated as a plantation tree and used in enrichment planting and reforestation schemes in various areas within the natural range[
The trunk richly contains the famous dammar resin, which is widely used in industry and medicine[
]. The resin is graded into hard, semi-hard and soft[
]. It is used for varnishing enamels and interior work[
]. The resin used to be an important component of varnish and was used in the production of linoleum[
]. Much of the quality of the resin depends upon the age of the product since it can be obtained both from living trees or from the soil in semi-fossil condition[
Harvesting of the resin commences when the bole is around 25cm in diameter (approx 20 years old). Triangular cuts (becoming circular with age) are arranged in vertical rows around the trunk. The cuts are several centimetres wide at first, but become enlarged at every tapping and eventually become holes of 15 - 20cm in depth and width. The average number of holes for a tree about 30 metres tall and 60 - 80cm in diameter is 9 - 11 in each of 4 - 5 vertical rows. For the higher holes, the tapper climbs the tree supported by a rattan belt and using the lower holes as footholds.
The exuded resin is allowed to dry on the tree before it is collected. The frequency with which the tree is visited to refreshen the cut varies from once a week to once a month, depending on how far the tree is from the village. Tapping can continue for 30 years[
The scaly, fibrous bark is burnt to deter mosquitoes[
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[
It is used as a general purpose softwood for construction, boat masts, joinery, household utensils, matches, veneer, packaging, moulding, plywood and pulpwood[
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[