Timber trees: lesser-known timbers.
Specific information on lesser-known timbers, including palms, is provided. These species form a valuable component of the dwindling timber resources of South-East Asia. The 1550 timber species included are those which are little known or known only locally and are either not marketed or marketed only on a small scale. The 309 genera included are those of which wood is reportedly used to some extent, and those of which at least 1 species is used primarily for timber. The most important families in number of genera treated are Annonaceae (12), Euphorbiaceae (22), Lauraceae (10), Leguminosae (23), Meliaceae (10), Palmae (11), Rubiaceae (21), Rutaceae (10) and Sapindaceae (11). Origin, distribution, uses, production, trade, properties, botany, ecology, silviculture, genetic resources and breeding are described. A table of generic descriptions of microscopic wood anatomical characteristics in a coded form is included, to aid wood identification. This table may form the basis for the development of a computerized identification tool for South-East Asian timbers. The vast number of lesser-known timbers presented are an indication of the ample scope for their increased utilization. Promoting the exploitation of these species without jeopardizing the forest ecosystem remains a challenge to foresters. KEYWORDS: TROPAG | timber trees | plant resources | botany | wood anatomy | technical properties | silviculture.