Scientific name: Dipterocarpus gracilis
Family name: Dipterocarpaceae
Keruing Kesat trees in Taman Tugu
The Keruing Kesat tree is an indigenous rainforest tree 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 due to deforestation.
The Keruing Kesat tree is a medium-sized to fairly large-sized tree that is up to 50m tall and 1m in diameter. The bark is pale grey to mid-grey brown. The bark is smooth with lenticels when young and becomes rough and scaly as it matures. The leaves are elliptic to oblong shaped with a shortly acuminate leaf tip and obtuse leaf base. The flower is cream in colour with pink stripe(s) at the center of each petal. The fruit has a smooth globose nut with 2 large winged-like calyx lobes and 3 shorter wings.
The tree is harvested from the wild as a source of wood and resin. The wood is used for general construction timber, it is used in carpentry, paneling, joinery, floors and timber frame houses. The balsam resin obtained from the trunk is used for waterproofing, varnish and ingredient in paint.
These trees grow on well drained flat, moist soil or fertile loamy soils. The Keruing Kesat trees are native to Malaysia, Thailand, Philippines, Bangladesh, and Myanmar.