Flowering branch and the gear that brought it down
Photograph by: Min Sheng Khoo
Dipterocarpus tempehes is a large tree that can grow up to 50 metres tall. The straight, cylindrical bole can be 116cm in diameter with buttresses up to 2 metres high, 3 metres long and 10cm thick[
The trees are a source of keruing timber. They are harvested from the wild for their timber, which is used locally and also traded internationally.
Because of habitat loss, the plant has been classified as 'Critically Endangered' in the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species(2011)[
Southeast Asia - Malaysia, Indonesia.
An upper canopy tree, it is locally abundant and is mainly found on clay rich alluvium in fresh water swamps and on stream banks[
]. In undisturbed mixed dipterocarp forests at elevations up to 400 metres[
|Conservation Status||Critically Endangered
|Other Uses Rating||
A plant of the lowland, moist tropics, usually found at elevations below 400 metres[
Young trees grow best in the shade of the forest, but become increasingly light-demanding as they grow larger[
Members of this genus generally only regenerate naturally in the shade of the forest. Seedlings and saplings can persist in dense forest shade for many years. In their first 2 years the young plants cannot tolerate major openings in the canopy, but after they are well established (about 120cm tall) the canopy can be opened up around them to speed up their growth[
Although we have seen no specific information for this species, all members of this genus contain an oleo-resin in the trunk - though it is not always freely produced and is also not always of good quality[
]. The resin is obtained by cutting a hole in the trunk near the base (about 90 - 150cm from the ground) and then dipping out the resin with a spoon as it collects there. To prolong the flow, a fire made from dead leaves or brushwood is made in the hole at intervals - this burns off the dried resinous film and allows the resin to flow again[
]. No specific information is given, other than to say that it is harvested commercially.
The tree is a source of keruing timber[
]. We do not have specific information for this plant, but a general description of the wood is as follows:-
The heartwood varies from light to dark red-brown or brown to dark brown, sometimes with a purple tint; it is usually well defined from the 5 - 7cm wide band of gray or buff sapwood. The texture is moderately coarse; grain straight or shallowly interlocked; lustre low; there is a strong resinous odour when freshly cut, it is without taste. The wood is moderately heavy to heavy; moderately hard; somewhat durable, being resistant to dry wood borers, fairly resistant to fungi but susceptible to termites, though silica content may be high, resistance to marine borers is erratic. It seasons slowly, with a high risk of checking and distortion; once dry it is poorly stable to moderately stable in service. Silica content is variable, generally less than 0.5%. The wood generally saws and machines well, particularly when green; blunting of cutters can be moderate to severe due to silica content, stellite-tipped and tungsten carbide tools are recommended; it is sometimes difficult to glue; resin adhering to machinery and tools may be troublesome and can also interfere with finishes; nailing and screwing are good, but require pre-boring; gluing is correct, but care is required because of the resin. The wood is used for general construction work, carpentry, panelling, joinery, framework for boats, flooring, pallets, chemical processing equipment, veneer and plywood, suggested for railroad crossties if treated[
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