Volume 22 No. 3 – Spanish cedar: the aromatic wood for cigar box lining and Champaca: source of essential oil for perfume
Spanish cedar (Cedrela odorata Linn.) sometimes called the West Indian cedar, is one of the early reforestation species introduced from Cuba in 1915, in the form of seed. It is a fast-growing species that has been successfully grown in Los Baños, Laguna; Minglanilla, Cebu; Iloilo; and Dumarao, Capiz.
Spanish cedar is a very important timber tree, producing a lightweight and aromatic wood, which is resistant to rotting, termites and other wood-boring insects. The aromatic wood is the traditional wood made for cigar humidor lining. It is also used for light construction work and household articles such as cabinets for clothing storage. This invasive species, however, is listed in the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species due to overexploitation.
Michelia champaca is an introduced species which has flowers that yield essential oil used for the perfumery industry. In western Java, the tree is planted to reforest badly eroded areas. The wood is a promising raw material for the production of veneer and plywood. It is also used as an ornamental.
We, therefore, encourage forest plantation managers and private individuals to plant these species. Their quality, durability, hardness and beauty of wood, fairly rapid height and diameter growth, and prolific seeding habit make these species worth planting.