Assessing the Utilization of Falcata
[Falcataria moluccana (Miq.) Barneby
& J. W. Grimes] for Lumber Production

Marina A. Alipon, Pablito L. Alcachupas, Elvina O. Bondad,
and Emelyne C. Cortiguerra

Researchers, Department of Science and Technology (DOST), College, Laguna/
Forest Products Research and Development Institute (FPRDI), College, Laguna, 4031

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Lumber recovery and grades, mechanical properties (static bending, hardness, toughness, shear, compression parallel and perpendicular-to-grain), and cost-benefit in utilizing falcata [Falcataria moluccana (Miq.) Barneby & J. W. Grimes] at different ages from different sites were determined and evaluated. The aim is to study the feasibility of harvesting falcata at a younger age (4 to 8 years old) instead of the current cutting age of 8 to 12 years old, and help widen the raw material base of the local wood-based industries. The materials were collected from three sites in Caraga region: Prosperidad, Agusan del Sur (Site 1), Nong-nong, Butuan City (Site 2) and Las Nieves, Agusan del Norte (Site 3). Standard procedures in sampling and properties testing were followed. Lumber quality or grade yield per log per species was evaluated based on the National Hardwood Lumber Association (NHLA) Standards. Lumber recovery and grades improved from 4 to 8 years old, significantly highest in Site 1. The highest grade recovered was No.1Common (No.1C) mostly from the 8 and 6-year-old trees. Log samples in the younger age class and with small diameter (4-year-old trees) yielded mostly No.3Common (No.3C) boards. The mechanical properties classification of the species was the same regardless of age, sites as well as diameter across ages (Class V - Low Strength). The wood can be used for purposes where strength is not a critical requirement. Instead of waiting until they are 8 years old, falcata trees may be cut at 4 to 6 years old as far as mechanical properties are concerned. Cost analysis showed it is not viable to harvest falcata trees with diameter of 16 cm and below.  It may be profitable to harvest falcata logs with 16 cm and above diameter (attained even by 4-year-old trees from Site 1) if selling price is Php 2,000/m3.

Executive Order (EO) 23, Series of 2011 imposes a moratorium on the cutting and harvesting of timber in the natural and residual forest. However, Industrial Tree Plantation Species (ITPS) are exempted from the EO.
Among ITPS, falcata is the most widely planted in the Caraga region (PCAARRD 2004, Dela Cruz 2011).   From the total log production of 1,102,365 m3 from local plantations, 743,687 m3 were from falcata of which 649,590 m3 or 87.35% came from Caraga region (FMB-DENR 2014).  ITPS will continue to contribute substantially to the country’s industrial timber requirements of 3 million m3 annually (PWPA 2012). . . . . read more

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