Plantation Management

Teak plantation management regimes vary between and within countries, mainly according to site-specific conditions and prevailing markets. Typically, however, it is recommended that initial stocking rates be in the range of 1,200 to 1,600 stems per hectare to allow for early mortality rates and to provide an opportunity for selecting the better individuals during thinning operations. Partially depending on the intensity of planting, an initial thinning should be considered as soon as the branches start to make contact with those of surrounding trees; this may occur when the plantation is around four to five years old and the intensity of removals may be as high as 50 percent of the initial stocking. A production thinning may follow at about age ten to 15, and a final production thinning at around 15 to 20 years. Again depending on market requirements and other factors, an ideal final stocking is likely to be around 200 to 300 stems per hectare, or approximately some 300 m3 of wood. Management practices may vary significantly, however, depending on whether teak is grown on short or long rotations.

One of teak's major advantages over other tropical hardwood timber species is the amount of technical information on production and management that is available for the species, as it has been researched and grown across a wide variety of locations and sites.

Two major issues that affect the performance and management of teak plantations are the growth rates achieved and the desirability of maximizing the length of the clear bole so as to maximize the value of the log for high-quality end uses.