Croixia luzoniensis (Fern.-Vill.) Baehni
Dichopsis luzoniensis Fern.-Vill.
Palaquium ahernianum Merr.
Palaquium latifolium NÃ¡ves ex Fern.-Vill.
Common Name: Red Nato
Red nato is an evergreen tree that can grow up to 40 metres tall. The straight, cylindrical bole can be up to 150cm in diameter[
The tree is the best source of gutta-percha in the Philippines, although it is inferior to some of the species, such as P. Gutta, from Maleysia. It also supplies a wood that is used locally and traded.
Destructive harvesting of the trees for gutta-percha in the past has seriously eroded population levels[
]. The tree is listed as 'Vulnerable' in the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species(2010)[
Southeast Asia - Philippines.
Lowland primary rainforest at elevations below 200 metres[
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A plant of low elevations in the moist tropics.
The tree is the best source of gutta-percha in the Philippines[
]. Gutta-percha is a natural latex obtained from the sap of the tree. Allowing this fluid to evaporate and coagulate in the sun produces a hard, durable, non-brittle but non-elastic latex which can be made flexible again when heated to temperatures over 50Â°c, and then retains any form given while cooling. Prior to the advent of synthetic materials, gutta-percha had a wide range of uses - most particularly as an insulating material for electricity wiring and for underwater telegraph wires, a purpose for which it is very well suited since it is bio-inert and so is not attacked by marine plants or animals. Gutta-percha can be moulded into any shape and has been used to make items such as ornate furniture, pistol grips, acid-resistant receptacles and â€˜mourningâ€™ jewellery, where its dark colour was an advantage. It has been widely used as the core of golf balls and is still used in modern dentistry where its bio-inertness makes it ideal as a temporary filling for teeth and as a filling material inside tooth fillings[
]. It is used locally for fixing tools into their handles[
We do not have any specific information on the wood of this species, but it belongs to a group of timbers collectively called 'Nyatoh'[
]. The general description of nyatoh wood is as follows:-
The heartwood is a dark pink to a red-brown; it is clearly demarcated from the 4 - 9cm wide band of sapwood. The texture is medium; the grain straight or interlocked, sometimes wavy. The wood is light in weight, soft to moderately hard; somewhat durable, being resistant to dry wood borers, moderately resistant to fungi but susceptible to termites. It seasons somewhat slowly, with a high risk of checking and distortion; once dry it is stable in service. There is a very variable content of silica according to the species, but in general the wood has a high blunting effect so stellite-tipped and tungsten-carbide tools are recommended; nailing and screwing are good, but require pre-boring; gluing is correct. The wood has a range of applications, including for highclass furniture and cabinet making, panelling, joinery, flooring, light carpentry, turnery, moulding and veneer[
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