Cebu News

Tree of the Month (part 1) Tindalo - Afzelia rhomboidea

The Freeman

Physical Characteristics

Tindalo is a tree with an average height of 25 to 30 meters and a diameter of 60 to 80 meters.

Its trunk is straight, cylindrical, and has a regular bole ranging from 12 to 15 meters in length. The crown is typically spreading to a size one half of the total height of the tree and deciduous (sheds its leaves) during the dry season.

The bark is about 10 millimeters in thickness and creamy yellow in color. It has an uneven surface due to the saucer-like depression caused by continuous shedding of the outer layers.

Leaves are simple-pinnate, up to 85 centimeters long. Leaflets are usually five to eight centimeters long, opposite, oblong-ovate, and sometimes elliptic. Petioles or leafstalks are twisted. Inflorescence is in panicles, terminal and axillary, pubescent, with equal or shorter length than the leaves.

The fruit is short and wide, rhomboid, and has two to eight large seeds. The seeds are covered with a yellow, fleshy aril that is fairly compressed. Its shell is polished black and leathery.


Tindalo is found in primary forests at low and medium altitudes, usually scattered on dry, shallow or rocky soils at ridges and hills along the costs of Northern Luzon down to Palawan and Mindanao.


Contemporary Use

Tindalo is one of the finest Philippine woods used for cabinet making and all kinds of high-grade construction. The wood is also used as stair treads and hand rail due to its shiny color and hardness. It is likewise excellent for floors, doors, windows, window frames, joists, railings and railroad ties, musical instruments, tool handles, and raw frames.

It is suitable for veneer and plywood, disks large tables, unique tools and bedsteads, and other furniture.

Beautiful desks and large tables, which are highly priced, are made from this wood, along with very unique chairs and stools, railings and artistically turned bedsteads, and magnificent planks.

Tindalo is very durable when exposed to weather. For inside construction, it forms one of the most valuable jewels of the house, remaining permanently because it is impervious to decay.

Traditional use

Tree parts extracts treat dysentery and internal ulcers.


How to plant your tindalo 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, maintain a two-meter distance between seedlings if they are planted in a row of a three-meter distance from one strip to the next strip.


How to take care of your tindalo seedling

Remove grass and other unwanted vegetation and cultivate the soil around the base of the seedling (50-centimeter radius) once in every quarter for two to three years. Place mulch around the base of the seedling (maintaining the 50-centimeter 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 comments and suggestions, e-mail [email protected]. Learn about other native trees, visit www.rafi.org.ph/greenin-philippines.  (FREEMAN)









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