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Yakal Tree: All You Need to Know

Have you ever heard of the Yakal tree? This magnificent hardwood species is a true gem of the Philippine forests and has been highly valued for centuries due to its exceptional strength, durability, and beautiful coloring. Yakal wood is so valuable that it can fetch incredibly high prices on the market. But what makes this tree so unique? And how can we ensure its conservation in the face of deforestation and habitat loss? Join us as we explore Yakal Tree’s unique characteristics to its various uses in this informative blog post!

Yakal Tree Description and Characteristics

Yakal Tree, also known as Shorea astylosa, is a large hardwood species that can grow up to 60 meters tall in the wild. It belongs to the Dipterocarpaceae family and is native to Southeast Asia, particularly in the Philippines.

One of the most striking features of Yakal wood is its beautiful reddish-brown coloration with fine grains and natural luster. Its texture ranges from medium to coarse, and due to its high resin content, it has an oily feel when touched.

yakal-tree
Yakal trees

The tree’s leaves are evergreen and can grow up to 25 centimeters long and eight centimeters wide. Meanwhile, its flowers come in clusters with five petals that bloom between March and April.

Regarding ecological significance, Yakal Trees play a crucial role in maintaining forest ecosystems by providing shade for understory plants, habitats for wildlife such as birds and insects, soil stabilization through their extensive root systems, and water retention through their transpiration process, among others.

Yakal Trees are remarkable species that deserve our utmost respect and protection for future generations’ enjoyment.

Why Yakal Wood is So Expensive

Yakal wood is considered one of the most expensive types of wood in the Philippines. There are several reasons for this high price.

Firstly, yakal trees are slow-growing and take many years to mature. This means that there is a limited supply of yakal wood available at any given time. As with anything scarce, its demand increases, driving up its price.

Furthermore, Yakal trees grow only in specific areas where favorable conditions exist, such as Mindanao Island. Transportation costs from these remote areas can significantly increase the overall cost of obtaining and transporting Yakal Wood.

Another factor contributing to its high price is its durability and strength, which make it an excellent choice for outdoor furniture or construction purposes—thus increasing its market value.

Because Yakal provides superior quality compared to other types of hardwoods like Mahogany or Narra, it has become highly sought after by buyers who would pay premium prices just to acquire it, making it even more expensive.

Uses of Yakal Wood

Yakal wood is highly valued for its durability and strength, making it a popular choice for various construction projects. Its resistance to decay, moisture, and insects makes it ideal for outdoor use, such as in decking, bridges, and boat building. The timber has a beautiful reddish-brown hue that darkens with age.

Aside from being used in large-scale construction projects, yakal wood is also commonly used to craft high-quality furniture such as tables, chairs, cabinets, or shelves. Its hardness and fine texture make it easy to carve intricate designs into the surface of the wood while maintaining its structural integrity.

In addition to these applications, yakal wood offers excellent acoustic properties when used in musical instruments such as guitars or violins. The dense nature of the material produces exceptional resonance, which results in richer sound quality.

Yakal Wood’s versatility enables it to be used across various industries, from architecture to music, creating long-lasting professional-grade products that stand out above other materials on offer.

Conservation Status of Yakal Tree in the Philippines

Due to its commercial value and slow growth rate, the Yakal Tree has been subjected to overharvesting and deforestation. As a result, it has been listed as “Endangered” on the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List.

In 2017, the Philippine government passed an executive order declaring 100 tree species, including Yakal, critically endangered. The order prohibits cutting down or exploiting these tree species without proper permits from concerned government agencies.

Despite this effort to conserve the Yakal Tree population in the country, illegal logging activities persist in many areas. In addition, there are no strict regulations on planting new trees, which makes it difficult for conservation efforts to succeed.

Conservationists have called for stricter laws and better enforcement measures to protect the Yakal Trees and other threatened tree species in the country’s forests. Reforestation programs that prioritize indigenous forest trees, such as Yakal, should be promoted and supported by local communities and national authorities.

Is Planting Yakal Trees Profitable?

Planting Yakal trees can be a profitable venture if done sustainably. One of the main reasons for its high demand and the expensive price is that it takes about 80 to 100 years for a Yakal tree to mature fully. Thus, planting more Yakal trees is crucial in securing the supply and stabilizing the market.

Moreover, planting Yakal trees can contribute to environmental conservation efforts since they help combat deforestation and soil erosion caused by illegal logging. It also helps reduce carbon emissions as matured forests absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.

Aside from these benefits, various government programs support reforestation initiatives by providing financial assistance, seedlings, and technical assistance, among other things. These programs aim to encourage individuals or groups to engage in sustainable forestry practices, such as reforestation.

However, before deciding to plant Yakal trees solely for profit purposes, one should consider factors such as land acquisition costs (if not owned), maintenance expenses throughout the growth period, and other risks associated with natural disasters or pest infestations that could potentially affect yield and profits.

Planting Yakal trees may entail some upfront costs and long-term waiting periods for returns. Still, when done correctly with sustainability measures in mind, it could lead to financial and environmental profitability.

Yakal Alternatives

While Yakal wood is widely known for its strength, durability, and beauty, it’s not the only available option. Some alternatives to Yakal include Teakwood, Mahogany, Ipil-Ipil Wood, and Narra Wood.

Teakwood is a popular alternative because it is highly resistant to rotting and termite infestation. It’s also easy to work with using hand tools or machinery. However, due to its limited supply, Teakwood can be quite expensive.

Mahogany is another popular choice among furniture makers because of its beautiful grain patterns and reddish-brown color. It’s also reasonably priced compared to other hardwoods like Teak.

Although Ipil-Ipil wood may not be as durable as Yakal or Teak, it’s an excellent alternative for interior applications such as paneling or flooring. Its light yellow color gives it a unique look that adds character to any space.

Narra wood is one of the most popular woods used in the Philippines because of its availability and affordability. While it may not be as strong as Yakal, it still offers good hardness and stability, making it an excellent choice for furniture-making projects.

While Yakal wood remains a top choice for many craftsmen due to its exceptional qualities, several viable alternatives on the market offer similar benefits at varying price points depending on your needs and budget constraints.

Final Thoughts

The Yakal tree is a valuable timber species and an important natural resource in the Philippines. Its unique characteristics and durability make it popular for furniture-making, construction, and other commercial applications. As we have discussed earlier, planting Yakal trees as a business venture has both advantages and disadvantages. However, one thing is certain: if we do not take action to conserve this precious species, it may soon become endangered or even extinct.

Therefore, we all must work together to protect our forests and ensure their sustainable management for future generations. Whether you are involved in forestry or love nature, you can start by learning more about the Yakal tree and its role in our ecosystem. By doing so, we can help preserve this valuable resource while assisting local communities to thrive economically.

So, let us take pride in our rich biodiversity and continue to explore innovative ways to balance conservation with development. Let us remember that each of us has a responsibility towards Mother Nature – let’s fulfill it with dedication!

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