Teak (Tectona grandis), sometimes called Indian Oak, is found in Southern India, Pegu, Java, Siam, and Burmah.

The lightest, cleanest, and most flexible comes from Moulmein; the heaviest and strongest from Johore; and the most handsomely figured variety from the Vindhyan forests. The Malabar teak forests are nearly exhausted. The timber from these forests is darker and stronger than that from Moulmein, but very full of shakes.

Appearance

The wood has a fine straight grain. It somewhat resembles English oak in appearance, but has no visible medullary rays. The annual rings are very narrow and regular.

The colour varies from brownish yellow to dark brown. The texture is very uniform, though porous.

Characteristics

The timber is stronger and stiffer than English oak, light, and easily worked, but splinters very readily, so that it must be worked with. care. It contains a resinous aromatic oil, which makes it very durable, and enables it to resist the white ant and worms. It does not corrode, but rather preserves iron fastenings.

1 Hurst.

2 Laslett.

There are seldom shakes on the surface, but it is subject to heartshake, and is often worm-eaten.

The resinous oil which exists in the pores often oozes into and congeals in the shakes, and will then destroy the edge of any tool used in working the timber.

This oil is a preservative against rust, and teak is therefore used for backing armour plates and other iron structures.

The oil is sometimes extracted while the tree is growing by "girdling;" that is, cutting away a ring of bark and sapwood. This practice makes the timber brittle and inelastic, and reduces its durability.1

Uses

This timber is used extensively for shipbuilding, for armour-plated forts, and would be fit for many purposes for which oak is used in ordinary buildings, but that it is too expensive.

Market forms. - Teak is sorted in the markets according to size, not quality. The logs are from 23 to 40 feet long, and their width on the larger sides varies according to the class, as follows : - 1

Class A. 15 inches and upwards.

B. 12 and under 15 inches.

C. Under 12 inches.

D. Are damaged logs.