Alstonia polyphylla Miq.
Dyera borneensis Baill.
Dyera lowii Hook.f.
Common Name: Swamp Jelutong
Growing tree (this could be a closely related, but very similar species)
Photograph by: Icemoon
Swamp jelutong is a large tree that can grow up to 60 metres tall.
The plant is harvested from the wild for its timber and latex, which are used locally and also traded.
The risk of extinction of this species, due to over-exploitation, was recognised 60 years ago[
]. It is considered 'Endangered' in Sarawak. The current burning of its main habitat, the peat swamp forests, is likely to seriously impact this species[
Southeast Asia - Borneo and Sumatra.
Restricted to, and scattered in, swamp forest, peat-swamp forest and kerangas on ground water podzols[
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The plant is often found in the wild in Kerangas forest - a type of moist, heath forest found on acidic, sandy soils that are low in nutrients, especially nitrogen[
There is some plantation development in Sarawak and Kalimantan. In southern Kalimatan, line plantation of D. Polyphylla by the local population needed thinning two years after planting to provide more light for the planted stumps[
Tapping of plantation-grown trees may start 30 - 35 years after planting, when trees reach a diameter of about 35 cm[
A valuable latex can be tapped from this tree[
The heartwood is creamy white to pale straw coloured with the frequent presence of large latex canals; it is not differentiated from the sapwood. The grain is mostly straight; texture moderately fine and even; slightly lustrous; without taste but with a slight sour odour that is distinctive. The wood is very light in weight; soft; it is not durable, being susceptible to fungi, dry wood borers and termites. It seasons rapidly with only a slight risk of checking or distortion; once dry it is stable in service. The wood works easily with hand and machine tools, but they need to be kept very sharp in order to obtain a smooth finish; latex in the wood may clog the sawteeth; nailing and screwing are poor; gluing is correct. The wood is excellent for carving and is also used, among other things, for making patterns, pencils, matches, match-boxes, boxes and crates, furniture components, interior joinery and panelling, drawing boards, blockboard and veneer[
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