Teak Wood Tree or Sagwan or Sagaun tree is a high-quality hardwood timber mostly grown in large parts of India, especially central India. Known for its high timber quality, teak is the most sought after hardwood in India for making various wood-based products.
For long durability and strength, teak is the first choice of most customers when they go for purchasing furniture or using wood in building their house interiors, cabinet, doors, windows, etc.
Due to immense popularity and requirement in the market, teak has become a commercial plant and its cultivation and promotion are being encouraged by the government. Full-grown teak can be sold at a very good price.
Thus if someone owns a piece of land large enough to accommodate more than 50 teak trees then one must definitely go for its plantation. The only impediment to its commercial use is the time taken for a teak tree to mature.
An overview of Commercial Aspects of Teak Wood Tree:
Right from the start, a teak plant is first grown as a sapling in a nursery for few months and once it reaches a height of 2-5 feet, the sapling is planted at the destined location for its further growth.
Teak tree is planted as a sapling, is watered, nurtured, and protected from pests for the initial few years until it grows as long as 3-7 meters. At a later stage, there is no need for further care as the tree becomes strong enough to take care of itself.
From a commercial aspect, the process of teak tree plantation starts right after it is planted on a piece of land, nurtured, protected, and maintained. As years pass by, the teak tree starts to attain heights and girth. There are three stages in which the teak tree is cut.
The first is after 7-8 years when it has grown to a decent height of 10-12 meters. Woods extracted from the tree are used for poles used for various purposes.
The second stage is after 10-14 years where the tree attains a significant height. Mostly used for poles and similar usage. During these two stages, the teak tree is still immature and the wood quality is significantly poor and it is still not viable for the best purposes.
The last stage is when the tree grows to a height of 20-35 meters and an average stem girth of 30-40 inches. It takes generally 18-26 years for the tree to fully grow. This is when the tree is viable for cutting and can be used for premium purposes.
Financial Aspects of Teak Tree Plantation:
Almost in most cases, teak tree plantation is done for commercial purposes to make money. Most of these trees are numbered during plantation when planted by the government authorities.
When grown privately, these plantations are taken care of by the cultivator. A fully grown teak is an expensive entity and therefore extra care is taken to ensure that nobody cuts it.
Teak has various species and each species has its own quality and price depending on its durability and where it is used. The three stages at which the tree is cut also matters in determining the cost.
In an acre of land, close to 1500-2000 teak saplings can be planted where each sapling will be covering 2 sq. meters of land. Such space is given as the tree grows into a thick stem and space is necessary to accommodate the branches of the tree.
A 7-8 year old teak when the cut is sold at a price close to 7-15 thousand while a 10-12-year-old tree is sold at 15-20 thousand rupees. A full-grown teak tree is sold at a price of 35-75000 rupees depending on the quality of the wood and the type.
Thus an acre of land with 1500-2000 trees can give you great returns after 8 years. After each cutting phase, a new sapling can be planted thus ensuring that after a particular time period one gets regular returns.
Thus, the width of the teak stem, height of the stem, the color of the wood, its strength, durability, quality and species determines the price at which it will be sold. The teak quality should also not get damaged by rot through pests, insects, and fungus. Therefore, excessive watering should be avoided especially in the moist and rainy season.
People involved in the teak tree businesses make lakhs to crores of money by selling trees every year. Some excellent quality teak fetches up to 1.5 lakh rupees as well. Teak tree commercial business has a long term earning capacity with very little financial investment but a lot of time investment.
Legal Formalities involved in Teak Wood Tree Business:
Most states do have a simple procedure for cutting the teak tree. Some require prior approval while for others there is sanction necessary from the divisional forest officer or tehsildar. In most cases, you need to give reasons for cutting down trees, give details of the number of trees you have and how many you want to cut and lastly the number of trees that you will plant.
You need to appraise the authorities dealing with forest matters 15 days prior to felling of the tree. You will require permission if your location is in the forest zone declared by the government of respective states. It is a bit hard to cut trees in forest zones and urban areas.
Regarding your business, unless you are managing a permanent business that regularly deals with selling of trees on a commercial level, you don’t necessarily need any kind of registration. Since a teak tree takes years to grow and be fell, it is obvious to understand that you cannot have zero business activity as a registered business for 8-10 years.
You can be part of groups, take support and guidance from government authorities or unions dealing specifically with teak wood. Though it doesn’t require mandatory registration and it is up to you.
Important Information regarding Teak Tree Plantation and Cultivation:
Some of the important aspects and information regarding teak plantation and cultivation are needed to be mentioned to make your understanding a bit more clear.
Basic requirements for Plantation:
Since the teak tree grows in major parts of India from Central India to Southern India as well as North-Eastern India, there is no specific requirement required. If one talks about an ideal climate or weather then an average temperature of 25-43 degrees Celsius would suffice.
An average rainfall that most of India receive would be more than enough. Since these trees grow very huge and take a long duration, there is not much rainfall that is required. Though moist and humid areas are preferable.
In the initial years when teak is a young plant, care is required in the form of weekly watering, avoiding scorch sunlight, weeding out weeds, enriching the soil with manure, and avoiding damage from insects and animals eating leaves.
Teak doesn’t grow well in cold temperatures. This means that places that have an average temperature of 25-42 degrees Celsius in a year are suitable for teak plantations. Places that remain mostly cool throughout the year do not favor teak growth.
Climate does impact the growth and quality of the timber. The color of the wood and its strength gets affected by the climate. Maximum care should be taken in the initial year when the teak is still a plant. Humid and moist places are preferable that receive 800-3500mm of rainfall annually.
There is a mortality rate of close to 20% which means that out of 100 plantations, 20 plants die within a few months or sometimes after a year. Some of them can be infected by pests and insects or their leaves are damaged by herbivores animals like cows, deer, monkeys, etc.
Thus, wherever you plant the tree, ensure that it is protected from such elements in the initial few years. Plants are protected using metal guards that not only allow sunlight and rainfall but also protect from damages from strong winds, animals and other such entities.
If you own a farm then a tall fence will also work. Many plants are protected using wooden, metal, or brick-based guards.
Plantation methods, Favorable situations, Preservation and Growth:
The farm field needs to be cleared thoroughly through plowing and removing unwanted elements like weeds, bushes, small stones, stumps, and straws. Air should propagate through the soil for better germination.
Water the soil well and add the needed manure, mostly cow dung treated plant wastes. Burnt stumps and straws generate ashes that can be used to sprinkle on the leaves and stem of the young plant. This gives protection from insects and pests.
Create a space of 2*2 meters for each plantation as a mature tree will occupy space as its widening stem, flourishing roots, and spreading branches require space. A sapling when planted is mostly a feet or two tall with an inch or two thick.
After the sapling is planted, Protection from scorching sunlight, strong wind, insects and animals. Pruning after 2-3 years of unneeded and damaged branches and leaves can be done.
As the plant finishes 2-4 years, it doesn’t require much care and it can grow on its own. The weak and thin stem can be a matter of concern, especially in windy weather. Thus you can use a thick wooden pole or some kind of support to ensure that the stem doesn’t break or the tree doesn’t get uprooted.
A teak tree looks majestic and magnificent on the farm. Before you cut one of them, do ensure that you plant at least two more. Teak has been a common part of our lives through wooden articles and furniture. It looks magnificent both in the backyard as well inside your home.