Scientific name: Shorea materialis
Family name: Dipterocarpaceae
Balau Pasir trees in Taman Tugu
The Balau Pasir tree is an indigenous rainforest tree that are amongst the 4,100 trees added to the Taman Tugu site, selected in collaboration with Forest Research Institute of Malaysia (“FRIM”) and Malaysian Nature Society (“MNS”). This is one of the species being added which is considered as ‘Critically Endangered’ on the International Union for Conservation of Nature (“IUCN”) Red List of Threatened Species as this species is heavily logged for its timber.
The Balau Pasir tree is an emergent tree with a rather flat, diffuse crown of a few large branches. It can grow up to 40m tall. The straight, cylindrical bole can be up to 120cm in diameter with thin buttresses up to 150cm high. Its leaves are broadly ovate, falcate with a subequal base with 9-12 pairs of slender secondary veins prominent beneath. The flower petals are narrow. The fruit calyx lobes are unequal.
This wood is a source of the ‘Red Balau’ timber. The wood is very durable and is used for bridges, wharfs, beams and in applications where great strength is required.
These tropical trees are found in lowland areas in the moist tropics, where it is found at elevations up to 600. These trees are native to Malaysia and Indonesia.