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Official Journal of the Japan Wood Research Society

Assessment of the properties, utilization, and preservation of rubberwood (Hevea brasiliensis): a case study in Malaysia

Abstract

Rubber trees were introduced into the Malay Peninsula more than a century ago. The normal economical lifespan of a rubber tree is about 25 years, and, traditionally, rubberwood was used as firewood by the rural community. In recent decades, rubberwood has become an important timber for wood products, particularly in the furniture manufacturing sector, due to its attractive features, cream color, and good working properties. Sapstain, mold, and wooddecaying fungi are serious threats to rubberwood. Conventional chemical control has been a successful method of preventing staining fungal growth, but the effects of these chemicals are of concern because they create problems for the environment and public health. Thus, biological control has been recognized as an alternative approach to the problem. This article reviews the properties, potential utilization, and problems of protecting rubberwood against sapstain, mold, and wood-decaying fungi, and discusses the treatment methods available. Advances in biological control, particularly biofungicides, are emphasized as an alternative method for rubberwood treatment.

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Teoh, Y.P., Don, M.M. & Ujang, S. Assessment of the properties, utilization, and preservation of rubberwood (Hevea brasiliensis): a case study in Malaysia. J Wood Sci 57, 255–266 (2011). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10086-011-1173-2

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Key words

  • Rubberwood
  • Molds
  • Preservation