Teak tree is the most precious deciduous tree in India and as you traverse into Western Ghats, you come across these trees gloriously growing on the slopes of the hills.
Common names are Indian Oak, Tegada Mara in Kannada, Saigun in Hindi, Saka in Sanskrit, Sag in Marathi, Saguna in Bengali and Saga in Gujarati. Botanical name is Verbenaceae Tectona grandis and belongs to Lamiaceae family.
It is native of India, Burma, and Thailand and thrives in warm, moist tropical climate, and good soil. Teak tree grows to a height of 131 feet. The bark is thick ash colored or brownish-grey and scaly.
When cut the wood emits a scent. They are insect proof and hence are most sought after for use in building construction. Leaves are ovate, large and thick and are used as roofing material, as wraps to steam food, and as plates.
From June to September the tree blooms in pyramids, which are 10 to 16 inches tall and 12 inches wide. The white flowers are fragrant and are pollinated by bees, insects, and wind. Green fruits contain a nut within which seeds develop.
The tree takes at least sixty years to mature. The more mature a tree, the more expensive it becomes.
Most of the houses constructed during the early times have teak pillars supporting roofs lined with teak beams. As it is water resistance it is also used to build boats, furniture, flooring, and wood for the exterior.
Propagation of teak tree is from seeds and cuttings. A 1,500 year old teak tree in Thailand is the oldest and biggest teak tree in the world. It is 47 meters tall and the bark has a circumference of 10.23 meters.