Native tree of the month (PART 1) KANINGAG (Cinnamomum cebuense Kost.)
() - September 12, 2011 - 12:00am

Physical Characteristics

A rare tree, the kaningag tree grows up to four meters tall. Its branchlets are smooth and terminal buds small. The leaves of the kaningag tree are leathery yet smooth — about 16 centimeters long and 11 centimeters wide— and tapering with a sharp tip. The panicles, about 17 centimeters long, are flowered and densely hairy. The fruit of the kaningag tree is still unknown.


Endemic in Cebu, the kaningag tree is found in low regenerating forests at 800-meter altitude. The kaningag tree is known to grow in the forest fragments of Cantipla and Tabunan. According to local residents, Cantipla has a greater population of kaningag trees than the Tabunan forest.

Traditional Use

The bark of the kaningag tree has medicinal properties. It is used by local residents as remedy for stomachaches whereby the bark is either chewed directly or boiled with a glass of water before intake. However, the prevalent practice of stripping its bark for medicinal use poses a threat to its survival, as this may lead to infection or death, especially if the kaningag tree is ring-barked.

The local residents have reported no other uses, although the leaves of the tree may be a potential source of spice as with other closely related species.

How to plant your kaningag seedling

Clear the area where you want to plant your seedling with unwanted weeds and debris. Make sure that a one-meter radius is kept free from other vegetation. Dig a plant hole with dimensions of at least 20 cm x 20 cm x 20 cm. Plant the seedling at proper depth. Root collar should be at level with or a little below the ground surface with the seedling oriented upward. Fill the hole with top or garden soil and press soil firmly around the base of the seedling. In plantation-making, seedlings should maintain a two-meter distance between seedlings if planted in a row of a three-meter distance from one strip to the next strip.

How to take care of your kaningag seedling

Remove grass and other unwanted vegetation and cultivate the soil around the base of the seedling (50 cm radius) once in every quarter for two to three years. Place mulch around the base of the seedling (maintaining the 50 cm radius and using cut grass, leaves and other suitable materials as mulch base). Prune the branches at most 50 percent of the crown depth, preferably during dry season, and ensure that when pruning, you do not injure the bark. Remove infected or infested vegetation nearby to stop plant diseases from spreading and contaminating your seedling. Monitor regularly the growth of the seedling for presence of pests and diseases.

Data about native tree species are featured by the Ramon Aboitiz Foundation Inc. For suggestions, email

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