Anisoptera cochinchinensis Pierre
Anisoptera marginatoides Heim
Anisoptera mindanensis Foxw.
Anisoptera oblonga Dyer
Anisoptera robusta Pierre
Dipterocarpus parallelus Korth. ex Burck.
Dryobalanops hallii Korth
Shorea nervosa Kurz
Common Name: Mersawa
Mersawa is a large, evergreen tree with a relatively small crown; usually growing 30 - 50 metres tall, but with exceptional specimens to 65 metres[
]. The cylindrical bole can be unbranched for about 20 metres, it is straight, long and around 150cm in diameter[
]. The bole is fluted at the base with a few buttresses that can be up to 4 metres tall[
The tree yields a high quality timber and a resin, both of which are used locally and also traded internationally.
The plant usually occurs on premium land that is favoured for conversion to agriculture. In some parts of its range it is an exceptionally rare tree; in the Philippines, for example, only a single collection exists[
]. It has been classified as 'Endangered' in the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species(2011)[
Southeast Asia - Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam, Malaysia, Indonesia, Philippines.
A canopy tree in semi-evergreen dipterocarp; evergreen, and humid lowland forest[
]. Evergreen or open and degraded forests at elevations up to 500 metres[
]. Often found along the banks of rivers or streams[
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A plant of lowland areas in the moist tropics, where it is found at elevations up to 700 metres[
]. It prefers growing in areas where the average annual temperature is around 27.5°c with little seasonal variation[
]. It grows best where the mean annual rainfall is in the range 1,500 - 2,500mm, with a dry season that can last from 4 - 6 months[
Young trees grow better in the dappled shade of the forest floor, but older trees require more light. Grows best on deep, well-drained, sandy, acid soils[
]. It is suitable to degraded grey soil or yellowish brown soil on old alluvium or basalt tuff which can be low in nutrients[
]. Prefers a pH in the range 4 - 5[
Trees can commence flowering when about 8 - 9 years old from seed[
The plant flowers and fruits very irregularly (once every 3-4 years)[
The fragrant oily-resin has a good aroma[
]. It is used locally for caulking boats and is exported to be processed for paints and lacquers[
]. The resin is soft at first, then becomes hard, grey, strongly smelling[
The heartwood is orange-yellow, darkening to golden brown with whitish resin veins present; it is not clearly demarcated from the 5 - 8cm wide band of sapwood. The texture is coarse; the grain straight or interlocked. The wood is of light to moderate weight; it can be soft to fairly hard; somewhat durable being fairly resistant to termites but susceptible to fungi and dry wood borers. It seasons slowly with only a slight risk of distortion or checking; once dry it is moderately stable to stable in service. The wood contains silica and has a high blunting effect - stellite-tipped and tungsten carbide tools are recommended; there is a tendency to tearing on quartersawn timber; nailing and screwing are good; gluing is correct. The wood has a range of uses including flooring, boxes and crates, interior panelling and joinery, turnery, veneer[
Seed - there is no dormancy, but germination of stored seed may be enhanced by soaking it in warm water at 30 - 35°c for about 6 - 8 hours prior to sowing[
]. Sow the seed in a semi-shaded position in a nursery seedbed[
]. The optimum temperature for germination is around 26°c[
]. In an experiment there was 50% germination after 5 days. Germination percentage for fresh seed should be greater than 80%. Prick out the seedlings into fairly large containers when about 5cm tall and plant out into their permanent positions when 60 - 80cm tall[
]. It normally takes about 12 - 14 months from sowing the seed until plants are ready for planting out[
The seed has a very short period of viability[
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