The taxonomy and nomenclature of this species is still widely confused with Agathis dammara. The two species are treated here as distinct, though there are also several works that place Agathis philippinensis as a synonym of Agathis dammara.
Common Name: Dammar
Dammar is a very large, evergreen tree with a pyramidal crown; it can grow up to 60 metres tall. The bole is up to 3 metres in diameter[
The tree is harvested from the wild for its timber and resin.
The tree is classified as 'Vulnerable' in the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species(2011)[
Southeast Asia - Indonesia and the Philippines.
An emergent tree in primary forests at medium and higher elevations[
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A plant of low to fairly high elevations in the humid tropics, it is found at elevations from 150 - 2,200 metres[
]. It grows in areas where the mean annual temperature is in the range 22 - 32°c, and the mean annual rainfall is 2,500 - 5,000 mm[
Prefers a freely draining, acidic soil. It has special tolerance for shallow, infertile soils[
]. Plants are shade tolerant and wind resistant[
It is planted as an enrichment crop in inadequately stocked areas or underplanted in existing plantations, as it needs partial shade in the early stages of its development[
The resin obtained from the tree is used in the treatment of arthritis and asthma[
To treat arthritis, the resin is softened by steam or indirect heat (not open fire) and spread on cloth or gauze and applied over the affected area[
Smoke from the burning resin is inhaled to treat asthma[
The resin contains an essential oil with the following constituents: d-limonene, d-a-pinene, J-pinene and camphene[
The tree is tapped for its resin, which is traded as Manila copal[
]. The resin oozes out of cuts in the bark[
]. It is used locally as an incense in religious ceremonies; as a torch; to facilitate starting fires; for caulking boats; as a smudge for repelling mosquitoes etc[
]. It is used commercially mainly in the manufacture of high-grade varnish; but also for other processes such as making patent leather and sealing wax; in the manufacture of cheap soaps; for paper sizing; and in liniments[
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[
]. A high quality timber[
], it is used for a range of purposes, including vats and tanks, patternmaking, millwork, boatbuilding, furniture components, face veneers, shingles and pencil slats[
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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