Teak wood is considered one of the most valuable tree groups in Vietnam. It is commonly used for crafting fine arts and high-end furniture, favored by many people. This article introduces some reasons why teak wood is known as the most precious “sun wood”.
What is teak wood, which group does it belong to, and how is it classified?
Teak wood belongs to Group 2, its English name is Afzelia xylocarpa, a legume tree used for wood extraction. They usually inhabit hot and humid climatic regions, where the land is flat or slightly sloping and higher than the sea level.
This is a slow-growing type of tree, preferring brightness. It sheds leaves in winter and blooms in spring. It is distributed in many countries worldwide and is cultivated extensively in Southeast Asian countries. In Vietnam, teak trees are grown in almost all provinces and cities from North to South, especially in Gia Lai, Kon Tum, Khanh Hoa provinces, etc., providing an average wood yield per year.
Currently, the quantity of teak wood in Vietnam is not abundant. Although it can be easily propagated by seeds, it takes 50-60 years for the trees to mature. If you want high-quality and beautifully colored wood, it requires good care and 100 years of growth. There are three main types of teak wood known in our country, such as:
Natural old forests in Laos are always the place where the rarest and most valuable wood species in the world are produced. Teak wood here is also highly regarded for its quality and color.
Laos teak has a deep red color and beautiful wood grain. The harvested teak trees have large sizes and diameters. Most imported teak wood from Laos has a long lifespan, making it highly valuable and desired by many people.
South African Teak
South African teak has a lightweight, wood color that is not as bright and eye-catching as Laos teak due to its shorter lifespan. It doesn’t grow in natural forests like in Laos.
Although it is not as valuable as Laos teak, imported teak wood from South Africa is still highly regarded. It is widely used in crafting fine arts and high-end furniture.
Vietnamese Teak Wood
Vietnamese teak wood grows under favorable soil conditions, so it is highly valued for its quality. However, due to excessive exploitation, the teak wood production has decreased to an alarming level.
Currently, Vietnamese teak wood has been listed in the Vietnam Red Book, indicating a high risk of extinction. Even young teak trees that have not yet matured are being cut down for illegal trading. Therefore, the government of Vietnam also restricts teak wood business in the market and focuses on restoring the gene pool.
Ways to differentiate between real and fake teak wood
Teak wood is a rare and expensive type of wood, so it is often counterfeited for profit. Be a smart buyer by mastering the following inspection techniques:
Method 1: Based on wood grain
Teak wood has a beautiful and unique grain that cannot be mistaken for other types of wood. Real teak wood has a deep red color, large wood grains, and a yellowish or alternating black pattern, resembling tiger skin. Use a flashlight to carefully examine the wood surface, and if you observe these characteristics, it is genuine teak wood.
Method 2: Weight and wood quality
Teak wood has a high density, it is very hard and heavy compared to other woods such as teak, oak, and rosewood. You can weigh the wood, and if it has a substantial weight, it can be determined as high-quality wood. It is recommended to combine this with a thorough examination of the wood grain for higher accuracy.
The value of teak wood – the most precious wood of the sun
The current price of teak wood is about 50-70 million Vietnamese dong per cubic meter. There is no need to discuss the rarity of this wood anymore. Let’s focus on its outstanding characteristics below.
Color: Teak wood has a gradually transitioning color from yellowish-red to dark red. The core of the wood has a shiny red color, which is very beautiful. When using teak wood for crafting products, a layer of PU coating is applied only to enhance its shine. No dyes are used to preserve the natural color of this wood.
The distinctive color of teak has become the hallmark and value of this wood. Moreover, teak wood does not fade over time. The color of teak wood becomes even and shiny as it ages, making it very beautiful.
Wood grain: The wood grain has a unique pattern with a mix of red, white, and black, forming diverse and beautiful structures. Especially, the swirling patterns on the trunk have bold and delicate veins, exhibiting high aesthetic appeal.
High durability: Teak wood is hard, strong, and very heavy, with few flaws. The wood has a straight and round trunk, capable of withstanding impacts, pressure, and compression. Products made from teak wood, such as tables, chairs, and feng shui items, have a long lifespan. On average, they can last from 20 years to several hundred years under good preservation conditions. Teak wood is resistant to termite infestation, warping, cracking, and scratches.
Precious and rare burl wood
Burl wood is a deformity of the tree, formed during the healing process of wounds caused by lightning strikes, chopping, etc. The formation of burl wood is very low, about 1%. It only occurs in precious trees with a lifespan of several hundred years, and teak wood is one of them.
When a teak tree is injured, it accumulates a large amount of nutrients to heal the wound. Over time, the injured part of the trunk will bulge and form burl wood.
These burl wood formations have large sizes due to the absorption of excess nutrients. They exhibit beautiful floral patterns, interwoven to create eye-catching structures. This is a long process and only occurs in precious woods such as teak, rosewood, and ironwood. It takes hundreds of injured trees to obtain a single piece of burl wood.