Friday, February 19, 2010

Eucalyptus Deglupta Boat Building Material in Manokwari of Papua

When I was walking with Russian tourists (Mikhail, Inga and Dima) inside the tropical rainforest of the Table Mountain of Manokwari Papua, we saw a tree whose bark was similar to army uniform. Its extraordinary colored bark will always attract the attention of anybody who passes by the tree. At that time I only knew that its name was eucalyptus. One moneth later, after reading an article in the worldagroforestrycentre.org, I just knew that it name is eucaplytus deglupta and its wood can be used for boat building. In the Molucan islands the most common wood that is used by boat builders is gofasa or gupasa wood (vitex cofassus). This wood is used for hull skin and hull frames in small passenger and fishing boats. The gufasa wood is more resistant to marine borers compared to eucalyptus. So, eucaplytus may be more suitable for boat interior or furniture. In West Papua the indigenous people are not aware that eucalyptus has high economic values.
The Dutch introduced the plantation of eucalyptus seedlings in the Table Mountain of Manokwari in 1950s. Mature eucalyptus trees absorb a lot of water during dry season.  That's why this kind of tree species is more suitable to be grown along a big river or swampy land.
I have not known the motivation of the Dutch government for planting the eucalyptus in the Table Mountain. Perhaps they want to get their seeds for opening large eucalyptus deglupta's plantation in commercial scale for pulp and paper industry in Papua at that time. Now, the tree is an interesting tourist attraction for foreign travelers who visit the Table Mountain of Manokwari Papua. by Charles Roring