In this issue of RISE, we are featuring two indigenous forest tree species which are bountiful in relatively cooler parts of Laguna.
Bonliw (Polyscias florosa), is a relative of malapapaya (P. nodosa) and can be mistaken for the species. Technically, the species is rare because based on current observations, the species was observed to grow only in Barangay Cueva in Sta. Maria, Laguna and cannot be seen in areas where malapapaya is growing. Based on literature, it was seen growing in some parts of Bicol 30 years ago. Its wood is very much similar to malapapaya and can also be used in the manufacture of popsicle sticks, pallet, toothpick and in veneer making. However, fruit and leaf formation and seed structures are very much different from that of malapapaya.
Laneteng gubat (Kibatalia gitingensis) is a straight-boled tree which is being used in carving and in pallet making in Paete, Laguna. Seeds of the species are dispersed by wind and with the presence of favorable conditions, they germinate and regenerate easily.
Both trees have the potential as reforestation species in areas with environmental condition similar to the place where they are growing at present. Besides being resistant to pests and diseases, these species will surely outgrow exotic tree species which are commonly used in reforestation activities in the country today.