Podocarpus reichei J.Buchholz & N.E.Gray
Podocarpus matudae is a large evergreen tree[
]. The bole can sometimes exceed 150cm in diameter[
The tree is harvested from the wild for commercial use of its wood.
This species is very widespread, but occurs in scattered (severely fragmented) localities and 11-12 subpopulations. As an occasional to common tree in the right type of forest, it does not form extensive stands. There is no doubt that the species is declining, mainly due to habitat loss. The plant is classified as 'Vulnerable' in the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species(2013)[
C. America - El Salvador, Guatemala, southern and central Mexico
Cloud forests; at elevations from 1,250 - 2,370 metres[
]. Mixed pine forest, pine-oak forest, montane rain forest, and evergreen cloud forest, often in ravines near streams; at elevations from 800 - 2,370 metres[
|Other Uses Rating||
|Cultivation Status||Ornamental, Wild
Based on data from 70 collection localities, Podocarpus matudae grows in a region where the mean annual temperature is 18.8°c, with an average minimum in the coldest month of 8.6°c, and a mean annual precipitation of 1520mm[
]. Precipitation is high, with annual rainfall of 1,500 - 3,000mm and frequent fog at high elevations[
]. The plant can withstand moderate frosts, tolerating occasional, short-lived temperatures falling to between -6.6°c and -1.1°c[
Podocarpus matudae is slow growing and can only be harvested sustainably at very long rotations, while successful regeneration requires a forest habitat with a mixture of other trees (microclimate) as well as the animal vector for its dispersal. It is therefore not suitable for plantation forestry[
In warm temperate to subtropical countries it would be a suitable amenity tree for streets and parks. It is occasionally seen in cultivation, mainly restricted to arboreta and other living plant collections, and in the western USA usually under its synonym Podocarpus reichei[
Species in this genus are generally slow-growing[
A dioecious species; both male and female forms need to be grown if fruit and seed are required.
The wood of this tree is fine grained, yellow, and of high quality for building and construction purposes[
We do not have a specific description for the wood, but the following is a general desciption of Podocarpus wood in the Americas:-
The heartwood is pale yellow to yellowish brown; it is not distinct from the sapwood. The texture is fine and uniform without conspicuous zones of latewood; somewhat lustrous; the grain is usually straight but may be slightly interlocked; odour or taste are absent or not distinctive in seasoned wood. The heartwood from trees grown in Belize is reported to be moderately durable with ground contact under tropical exposure. Durability of other species from elsewhere are reported as low. The wood air-seasons rapidly with little or no warping or checking. Movement in service is rated as small. It works easily with hand and power tools; nails easily; and takes stain, varnish, and paint satisfactorily. The wood is used for joinery, millwork, furniture components, boxes and crates, general construction, veneer and plywood, pulp and paper, pattern making[
The seed can be sown at any time of the year in a sandy soil, though it is probably best sown as soon as it is ripe[
]. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on until large enough to plant out.
Cuttings of half-ripe terminal shoots, 5 - 10cm long, in a frame[
If you have any useful information about this plant, please leave a comment. Comments have to be approved before they are shown here.