Gelam

INTRODUCTION

The common Malaysian name for the timber of Melaleuca cajuputi (Myrtaceae). No other vernacular names are recorded and only one species is recorded in this country. The sapwood is light pink-brown and is not sharply differentiated from the heartwood, which is almost similar in colour to the sapwood but of a slightly darker shade.

Also known as Broadleaved tea-tree, Brown tea-tree and Paper-bark (Australia); Smach chanlus (Cambodia); Gelam and Kayu puteh (Indonesia); and Tea-tree (Papua New Guinea).


DENSITY

The timber is moderately hard to hard and moderately heavy to heavy with a density of 720-820 kg/m3 with an average density of 755 kg/m3 air dry.


NATURAL DURABILITY

The timber is reported to be durable in contact with wet ground and sea water.


TEXTURE

Texture is rather fine and even with straight or only shallowly interlocked grain.


USES

The timber is a useful source of firewood, poles and fishing stakes. The papery bark is used for caulking boats.


REFERENCE

  1. Wong, T. M. 1982. A Dictionary of Malaysian Timbers. Revised by Lim, S. C. & Chung, R. C. K. Malayan Forest Record No. 30. Forest Research Institute Malaysia Kuala Lumpur. 201 pp.