Botanical Name

Tectona Grandis

Other Common Names

Burmese Teak, Kyun, Teck, Teca


Native to India, Burma, Thailand, Indochina, including Indonesia, particularly Java. Extensively cultivated in plantations within its natural range as well as in tropical areas of Africa and Latin America.

The Tree

On favorable sites, may reach 130 to 150 ft in height with clear boles to 80 to 90 ft; trunk diameters usually 3 to 5 ft; older trees fluted and buttressed.


Heartwood dark golden yellow, turning a dark brown with exposure, often very variable in color when freshly machined showing blotches and streaks of various shades; sapwood pale yellowish, sharply demarcated.


Grain straight, sometimes wavy; texture coarse, uneven (ring porous); dull with an oily feel; scented when freshly cut. Dust may cause skin irritations. Silica content variable, up to 1.4% is reported.

Working Properties

Easy to work in nearly all regards, with the only caveat being that Teak contains a high level of silica (up to 1.4%) which has a pronounced blunting effect on cutting edges. Despite its natural oils, Teak usually glues and finishes well, though in some instances it may be necessary to wipe the surface of the wood with a solvent prior to gluing/finishing to reduce the natural oils on the surface of the wood.


Shipbuilding, joinery, furniture, flooring, carving, cabinetwork, paneling, turnery.


Despite its widespread cultivation on plantations worldwide, Teak is very expensive. It is perhaps one of the most expensive lumbers on the market, at least for large-sized, non-figured wood.