Our needs for wood is never going away from the advent of technology. We need paper for offices, for home use, for publishing and printing, for education, for hygienic purposes, for art, for handicraft and a lot more. Paper came from wood pulp, and the need for wood does not end there. We need wood for furniture and as building material. Furniture are almost made of wood. Without wood, there will be plastic monoblocks and drawers. Wood is superior and sturdy material, and is always preferred material. Due to dwindling source of natural wood material – mainly due to lesser tree population and unsustainable use, we face the challenge in our country to look for a viable source of wood. Government also have regulatory measures in preventing illegal logging. In business side of tree plantation, the demand is high and hence Falcata Tree presents a good opportunity to produce good income from the selling of Falcata trees.
Falcata tree has the scientific name Paraserianthes falcataria (L.). Other names include Batay. Falcata is among the top tree species preferred for industrial forest plantations due to its very fast growth, the ability to grow on a variety of soils, and its favourable characteristics and acceptable quality of wood. The products are usually made into panel and plywood when sold at such industries.
Paraserianthes falcataria or Falcata is native to Indonesia. It is also endemic in Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands and Australia (Soerianegara and Lemmens 1993). Philippines, with its similar climate to the Malay and South East Asia makes the tree capable of growing fast on our tropical climate. Combined with the positive characteristics of the tree’s wood, the plantation owner will have a good earning for these trees that can be planted and harvested after 5 to 10 years.
A typical business plan for Falcata Tree Plantation includes:
- Investment on land. To be able to plant profitably, one must own a land enough to plant the seedlings. The land must also be ready for the the long commitment to grow the trees.
- Typical planting of the tree has a spacing of f 2×2 meter to 6×6 meter. Common practice is 3 x 3 meter spacing. Hence, for a hectare land, one can plant 1000 trees.
- At a cost of approximately Php 2,000 per tree, with a resulting 500 quality trees, we get Php 1,000,000.00 after 5 years.
Paraserianthes falcataria or Falcata can grow rapidly, specially the young stands. According to a study (Bhat et al. 1998), under favourable conditions, the Falcata trees can go up to a 7 meter height in 1 year, 16 meters after 3 years and 33 meters after 9 years. A study (Kurinobu et al. 2007) indicates that Falcata trees age between 3 to 5 years have a mean diameter of 11.3 to 18.7 cm with a mean height of 11.7–20.5 m. Maximum diameter reaches 25.8 cm while maximum height reaches 23.5 m.