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Narra Tree: All You Need to Know

The Narra tree is a majestic hardwood that has been revered for centuries, not only for its beauty but also for its remarkable characteristics. With its rich golden color and intricate grain patterns, it’s no wonder that Narra is one of the most sought-after woods in the world. However, this precious resource is becoming increasingly scarce due to over-harvesting and deforestation. In this blog post, we will explore the unique features of the narra tree and why it commands such high prices in the market. We’ll also examine sustainable agriculture practices around narra trees and how farmers can benefit from planting them on their land. So come along as we delve into the fascinating world of Narra!

Narra Tree Description and Characteristics

Narra, also known as Pterocarpus indicus, is a large tree that can grow up to 40 meters in height and 2 meters in diameter. Its bark is rough and scaly, greyish-brown. Its leaves are bright green and oval-shaped, measuring around 10 centimeters long.

One of the most remarkable features of the narra tree is its wood. It has a distinct golden-yellow hue that deepens with age and exposure to light. The grain patterns on narra wood are intricate and unique, making it highly prized by furniture makers and artisans for its beauty.

narra-tree
Narra tree

Aside from its aesthetic appeal, narra wood is incredibly strong and durable. It is resistant to decay, termites, fungi, fire, and water damage, making it ideal for construction or any heavy-duty applications.

Furthermore, research has shown that extracts from Narra bark have medicinal properties, including antioxidant activity, which, if used properly, can improve human health.

The versatility of this hardwood means that it’s commonly used in various industries such as furniture, flooring production, musical instrument manufacturing, and shipbuilding.

Overall, Narra trees exhibit characteristics that make them valuable not just because they’re beautiful but because their strength, durability, and medicinal benefits portray why people value them so much.

Why Narra is So Expensive

One main reason Narra is so expensive is its slow growth rate. It takes decades for narra trees to mature, making it a rare commodity that drives up its cost. The demand for high-quality narra wood in the market adds to this rarity.

Another contributing factor to Narra’s exorbitant pricing is its difficulty in harvesting and rarity. Harvesting Narra requires skilled laborers using specialized tools, as its intricate root system makes it hard to extract it from the ground without causing damage.

Environmental regulations around sustainable agriculture limit how much Narra can be harvested at once and when it can be done—increasing production costs and contributing further towards the price tag of finished products made from this timber.

Many factors contribute to Narra’s high price tag, which includes scarcity due to slow growth rates, skillful labor requirements during harvests, and additional production costs driven by sustainable agricultural practices required under the law.

Uses of Narra Lumber

Narra lumber is a highly valued and sought-after wood due to its exceptional durability, beautiful appearance, and resistance to decay. Its unique characteristics make it ideal for various applications in furniture making, boat building, interior finishing, construction work, and decorative purposes.

One of the most popular uses of Narra lumber is for high-end furniture production. The wood’s rich reddish-brown color with golden undertones gives an elegant look that adds warmth and beauty to any interior design. Narra can also be used alongside materials such as steel or glass to create stunning contemporary designs.

Another use of Nara lumber is in home interiors, such as flooring or paneling, where it provides a rich, luxurious feel. Due to its strength and resilience against water damage, Nara makes excellent decking material both indoors and outdoors.

The strength of narra wood also makes it perfect for heavy-duty construction projects like bridges or beams requiring load-bearing capabilities without compromising aesthetics. It has been used extensively in historical structures all over Asia because of its long-lasting durability even after centuries.

In addition to these practical uses, Narra Lumber can be fashioned into sculptures or carved objects due to its ability to hold detail well, creating intricate pieces with great depth.

There are numerous ways that narra lumber can be put into use, from functional constructions such as houses or boats through fine woodworking processes, including carving statuary items while still maintaining sustainability practices through proper forestry management techniques, ensuring generations benefit from this incredible resource.

Status of Narra in the Philippines

Narra is considered the National Tree of the Philippines and has been a significant part of the country’s culture and economy for centuries. However, due to illegal logging activities and deforestation, narra trees have become endangered in recent years.

In 2016, the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) included Narra in the list of threatened Philippine plants. The government has implemented laws to protect this species from overexploitation. Cutting down Narra trees without permission from authorities is now prohibited.

Despite conservation efforts, incidents of illegal logging persist. Sometimes, people even resort to using fake permits or bribing local officials just to get their hands on Narra logs.

narra-flower
Narra’s flowers provide large amounts of honey and pollen for honeybees

The decreasing number of mature narra trees poses a significant threat to its existence and to industries that rely on it, such as furniture-making and construction. This highlights the importance of sustainable agriculture practices as well as strict law enforcement measures in protecting our natural resources.

While steps have been taken to protect Narra trees in the Philippines through legislation and conservation programs, much work remains. We must all do our part to safeguard these precious resources for future generations.

Is Planting Narra Trees Profitable?

Planting Narra is a long-term investment that can be profitable if done correctly. One of the main reasons it is profitable to plant Narra trees is their high value in the market. Its wood is highly sought after for furniture and construction, making it one of the most expensive hardwoods in Southeast Asia.

However, planting Narra trees requires patience as they take 10-15 years to mature before being harvested. It’s important to note that proper care and maintenance are essential during this period to ensure healthy growth and development.

Another factor to consider when determining profitability is the cost of planting and maintaining these trees. The initial investment may be significant, but minimal expenses are needed, aside from regular pruning or trimming once established.

Furthermore, sustainable agriculture practices should also be considered when planting Narra trees. Proper soil management, irrigation techniques, and pest control measures should all be implemented accordingly.

While planting Narra involves an initial investment with a long waiting period before harvest time, proper care and maintenance combined with a growing demand for quality hardwood products worldwide make this tree plantation very much worth considering as an on-farm investment today too!

Narra Challenges

Narra trees have faced various challenges over the years, affecting their growth and survival. One significant problem is illegal logging, which is rampant in many parts of the Philippines. This has led to a decline in Narra tree populations, making sustainable agriculture difficult.

Another challenge facing Narra trees is climate change. The changing weather patterns and extreme weather events have affected these trees’ growth cycle, leading to stunted growth or even death. Moreover, pests and diseases also threaten Narra trees as they weaken them, making them susceptible to other environmental stresses.

In addition, land conversion has led to the further destruction of natural habitats for Narra trees. Many forested areas where these species grow have been cleared for agricultural purposes or urbanization projects. This has resulted in limited spaces for planting new Narra seedlings and promoting sustainable agriculture practices.

Despite these challenges faced by Narra Trees’ sustainability efforts are being made through conservation programs such as reforestation initiatives aimed at increasing their population size while minimizing deforestation activities that negatively impact our ecosystem’s balance.

Narra Alternatives

Narra is a highly sought-after tree species due to its durability, strength, and attractiveness. However, due to overexploitation and unsustainable logging practices in the past decades, narra populations have significantly declined. This has resulted in exploring alternatives that can replace Narra lumber without compromising quality.

One alternative to Narra is acacia mangium which grows faster than Narra but has similar wood properties. Aside from this, it is also available at a lower cost compared to Narra, although it may not be as attractive for furniture-making purposes.

Another substitute for Narra is Gmelina arborea, known as the “gum-elemi” tree. It’s relatively fast-growing and produces timber with comparable properties to Narra but lighter weight.

Moving forward, other sustainable options, such as bamboo and rattan, can provide a renewable source of materials while promoting biodiversity conservation efforts in the country.

Exploring various alternatives should be encouraged instead of relying on one specific species like Narra alone. By using these substitutes together with sustainable forestry management practices, we could ensure ecological sustainability while still providing the construction industry with quality timbers or by-products that will benefit us all for generations to come.

Questions Related to Narra Tree

What is Narra tree in the Philippines?

Narra (Pterocarpus indicus) is a large deciduous reddish hardwood tree native to most Asian countries. Widely introduced due to its many uses, Governor-General Frank Murphy of the Insular Government of the Philippine Islands declared it the national tree of the Philippines in 1934.

What is Narra tree good for?

Aside from its lumber, different parts of the Narra tree have medicinal uses, such as the decoction of the bark, which is used for diarrhea. Its young leaves treat boils, skin ulcers, and prickly heat. A light infusion of the leaves is also used to control fever. Root extract is used on syphilitic sores.

What are the unique characteristics of the Narra tree?

Narra is a graceful tree with drooping branches that toss in the trade winds. Short-lived flowers usually appear in April or May, and for a day or two, the tree is a shimmering mass of fragrant yellow blooms, which then fall off nearly all at once. The curious winged fruit stays on the tree for months.

What does the Narra tree symbolize?

Sturdy and strong, Narra symbolizes the indomitable spirit and character of Filipinos. It became the national tree of the Philippines during Gov. Gen. Frank Murphy’s administration in 1934.

Is it illegal to cut Narra trees in the Philippines?

Section 18. Penal Provisions. Cutting, harvesting, gathering, transporting, and processing Narra without a permit is illegal, and any person or persons committing such acts or acts shall be punished under Section 68 of P.D.

What are the disadvantages of Narra wood?

The only downside to Narra is that it’s hard to find and very expensive. Teak wood can also be used for interiors, but it is also expensive and imported.

Is Narra prone to termites?

Narra has good weathering characteristics and is typically very durable in terms of decay resistance. It is generally resistant to termite and powder post-beetle attack, though ambrosia beetles can occasionally be present, especially in sapwood.

How strong is the Narra tree?

Janka’s hardness is 1200 pounds of force. Drying & shrinkage: Narra yellow is easy to season with little or no degradation, and movement in service is rated as small.

Why Narra is the national tree of the Philippines?

The Narra tree is the national tree of the Philippines because it is resilient and strong. It is meant to represent the cultural pride that every Filipino immigrant may carry with them.

Why is the Narra tree endangered?

Unfortunately, Narra’s high demand and expensive value made people resort to illegal logging and overexploitation. In the latest assessment of the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s Red List of Threatened Species last January 2018, Narra is already globally considered an “Endangered” species.

Conclusion

The Narra tree is a precious hardwood widely used for its aesthetic and functional properties. It has been a significant part of Philippine culture for centuries and continues to play an important role in the country’s economy today.

While planting Narra trees can be profitable, careful planning and management are required to ensure sustainable agriculture practices are followed. As with any crop or business venture, growing Narra presents challenges, such as pests, disease, and climate change impacts.

Despite these challenges and concerns over illegal logging activities affecting natural populations of this species within protected areas like forests, working towards sustainability by supporting legal sources through certification systems such as FSC can help ensure responsible forest management practices.

Alternative woods may be used for some applications but do not offer the same level of beauty or durability as narra wood, which is why it is so sought after by designers and builders alike.

We hope this article on narra characteristics provides you with valuable insights into why this tree is so special and deserves our attention when considering sustainable agriculture initiatives in the future.

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