Products: About Teak

Trade or Common Name: Teak.
Local Name: Teca.
Botanical Name: Tectona grandis.
Family: Verbenaceae.

The Tree: Teak is very fast growing, and on favorable sites may reach 130 to 150 feet in height with straight and clear boles of 80 to 90 feet. The trunks are cylindrical to fluted and may reach 3 to 5 feet in diameter. Status: Teak has been heavily exploited in tropical rain forests for more than a century and old growth teak from tropical rain forests is now impossible to obtain legally on the world market. Only in Myanmar (formerly Burma) where a military junta has seized the reins of government, can old growth tropical teak be purchased through the black market. The United Nations has sanctioned Myanmar for this and other environmentally insensitive practices. Indigenous Teak is currently listed as endangered.

The Wood: Teak is a beautiful golden to dark brown, sometimes reddish brown, with a straight (sometimes wavy) grain, Teak is rich in natural oils, is easily worked, and dresses to a very smooth finish. Because of its natural oils, teak is very durable and resistant to moisture and the drying effects of exposure to weather. Teak is unique in that it does not cause rust or corrosion when in contact with metal, and is particularly useful in marine applications because of its durability and natural resistance to harsh ocean conditions.

Uses: Teak is a very valuable wood and is prized throughout the world. It is sought for the decks, trim and detail work in expensive boats, and fine furniture, flooring, carving, joinery, cabinetwork, paneling, turnery and veneer.

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