Agathis orbicula is an evergreen tree that can grow up to 40 metres tall.
The tree is harvested from the wild for commercial use of its wood.
Logging of Agathis specis in Borneo involves all members of the genus found in lowland to lower montane forest habitats. Of the seven localities documented by herbarium collections of Agathis orbicula, only two appear to be within protected areas. From these circumstances a continuing decline of mature trees in the population is inferred. The plant is classified as 'Endangered' in the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species(2013)[
Southeast Asia - Borneo (Kalimantan Timur, Sabah, Sarawak)
Evergreen tropical rainforest; at elevations from 450 - 1,050 metres[
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Young plants grow better in the shelter and shade of the woodland, but require increasing amounts of light as they grow larger[
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 wood obtained from the various species of Agathis is very uniform. It is a cream white or light yellow in colour, often with a pink reflection, turning golden brown on exposure; there is no clear demarcation between heartwood and sapwood. The grain is straight, the texture fine. Drying rate is normal to slow; there is a risk of blue stain. The blunting effect on tools is normal and the peeling and slicing is reported to be good; planed surfaces are lustrous; it takes stains well; nailing is good; gluing is correct[
]. It is used for various interior purposes such as high class furniture, veneer, boxes and crates, light carpentry, musical instruments, moulding, sliced veneer, joinery, panelling, matches, wood-ware[
Agathis orbicula is a timber tree producing valuable wood. Loggers rarely if ever distinguish this species from other Agathis species (e.g. Agathis borneensis) that occur in the same general area[
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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