Scientific name: Neobalanocarpus heimii
Family name: Dipterocarpaceae
Chengal trees in Taman Tugu
The Chengal 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”).
The Chengal tree is a medium-sized tree which can grow up to 18m tall. Its alternate, stalked leaves have leathery leaf blades that are oblong-lance-shaped, and brown or yellowish brown below and brown or greenish above when dry. Each flowering shoot bears up to 7 yellow flowers. Its wingless fruits are dark yellow in colour.
The wood of the Chengal tree is a source for good quality timber. The wood is the preferred choice of wood for boatbuilding, railway sleepers, and in house/building construction. Due to the value of the timber and the vulnerability of the tree, the Malaysian Forestry Department has set a minimum and maximum cutting limit for the Chengal tree.
These trees grow in forests on well-drained soil up to 1,000m altitude. These trees are native to Peninsular Malaysia, Singapore, and Thailand.