Plantation Species: Teak
Plantation teak is a tropical hardwood tree from the genus Tectona, endemic to Southeast Asia. The primary distinction between conventional teak and plantation teak is that the latter is exclusively planted for the purpose of forestry management, for either commercial or ecological purposes. Although the genus Tectona is native to the tropical regions of Southeast Asia, primarily Myanmar, Bangladesh and Thailand, the cultivation of plantation teak is economically viable in other tropical regions such as Central America.
Plantation Teak as a Renewable Resource
Given the proper conditions, teak can be grown without artificial fertilisers or irrigation; this is thought to give plantation teak the look and durability of old-growth teak from Southeast Asia. Plantation teak is considered a renewable resource as it is harvested and managed to produce a sustainable supply. Plantation timber also offers the benefit of reduced shipping costs and emissions. Since teak can be grown throughout the world's dry-tropical zones, plantations offer a geographically closer source of teak. The Forest Stewardship Council has granted certification to a number of sustainable teak plantations.
Plantation Teak versus Old Growth Forests
There exists a common myth that plantation teak exhibits lower densities than timber grown in old-growth forests. However a study from the United States Department of Agriculture found no significant relationship between the growth rate of plantation teak and its density.