Teak Forests of Tenasserim
Extracts from Dr. H. Falconer’s report
MATERIAL - TEAK-WOOD
Q. 1. For how many years have you had means of observation on and experience in the use ofthe Teak of Moulmein, for the construction of ships?
Mr. Bremner - I have had an experience of nine years, eight years at Calcutta as builder and superintendent with the late Mr. James Kyd and the Calcutta Docking Assoc. and one year as Superintendent for the H.C. over three packets, one bark and a steamer of 769 tons.
Mr Wales - My experience in the forests commenced in 1832, shortly after which I commenced building, but on a small scale, employing myself more than a forester and timber merchant.
Capt. Warwick - Eleven years.
Q. 2. What are the qualities, good and bad, which you have found it to possess for such purposes?
Mr Bremner and Capt. Warwick - Its qualities I consider inferior to none, with exception of some Java Teak I had to convert in 1832. It is valuable for its lightness; its freedom from the attack of the white ants; the small quantity of Pyroligneous acid it contains, and consequent fitness for iron fastenings; its length and size, its flexibility and toughness; and above all it’s great durability; - qualities constituting it an invaluable timber for ship-building.
Mr Wales - Its good qualities are its durability and buoyancy, withstanding better than any other wood the effects of a tropical climate. When green, it is open to the attacks of both land-slug and marine worm; but not so in its seasoned state.
Q. 3. What are its qualities compared with those of the Teak wood of Malabar?
Mr Bremner - I have not had so much experience in the Teak of Malabar, but from what I do know of it, I have no hesitation in saying that the Moulmein Teak is in every respect equal, in some, superior to it. Its flexibility is greater as 900 is to 850, its specific gravity less as 43 to 45, it is more kindly to work, and it is freer from knots and rind galls than Malabar Teak.
Mr Wales - The Malabar Teak is of greater specific gravity and darker colour, resembling the wood of the lower grounds in these Provinces. In durability I consider them equal.
Capt. Warwick - I supplied to the Commissary of Ordnance at Madras, specimens of Moulmein Teak for trial comparatively with that of Malabar.
Q. 4. State the result of any actual trial of its strength and other qualities to which it has been subjected?
Mr Bremner - Submits a table entitled “Report of Experiments on the Strength of 10 specimens of
Teak-Wood received from Moulmein, 12th December 1839.
Q. 5. State what means of observation on its durability have been afforded you by ships of itsconstruction coming under your inspection or observation for repair?
Mr Bremner - It has not been so long in use as to afford much opportunity for examining its durability; but for these nine years that I have been in the habit of repairing ships of its construction, none have exhibited signs of decay.
Mr Wales - I have known of no Moulmein built ship coming for repair from defect of material.
Capt. Warwick - I mention the following fact in proof of its great durability. The trunk of a large tree was found by me in the forest, it having been blown down. Its roots and branches had decayed away so as not to leave remaining a vestige of them. The ground whence it had fallen had returned to its level; about 6 inches of each end of the trunk which was decayed was cut off, and the remnant found as sound as any wood in the forest. This tree must have fallen at a time when only the Teak is blown down, viz. during the S.W. monsoon, when the rains have moistened the earth at the roots, and the branches are heavy with the large leaf, its sap must therefore have been up, and I consider it to have been lain at least 40 years.
Q. 6. Have you always found a ready supply of it for the construction of ships you have had to build?
Mr Bremner - In my experience, the supply of timber keeps pace with the demand. I have known no difficulty in procuring it. Having forests of my own and a stock on hand, I have never wanted supplies for the few ships I have build, even when loading.
Mr Wales - Ships at once for exportation, detention occurring only when a particular size, for a particular market, has been demanded.
Capt. Warwick – Always, - having extensive forests of my own at work.
Mr Sutherland - Since the establishment at Natmoo has been in the hands of Messrs. Cockerell & Co. there has been at all times an immense supply of timber, over and above that required for construction, or demanded for exportation. To exhibit the size and quantity, which could be supplied from hence – in February last, 700 tons of Teak, in squared logs of from 1½ to 3 tons weight each, were sent to England for the Government.
Q. 7. What time has elapsed between the demand and supply of the largest quantities (stating them)you have required, and have such supplies been of sound and well seasoned wood?
Mr Bremner - I have not been in the habit of purchasing or ordering timber to time; but what has been brought has usually been good and well seasoned wood, a matter easily detected, as it then floats one-third out of water; unseasoned it will not float at all.
Mr Wales - Assuming the trees to be already killed and notice given in October (end of the monsoon), by the following October a very large supply could without fail be procured, crooks and planks, for large ships, sided and sawed in the forest.
Capt. Warwick - Supplies of large round timber are made yearly. Of plank and thick stuff, in four months after order issued.
Mr Sutherland – Supplies to this establishment (Natmoo) are continually arriving throughout the season. 400 trees have just been received and notice has reached me that two rafts, one of 360 trees and one of 1,200 crooks are now on their way down.
Q. 8. Is the supply of crooks equal to and of equal quality with that of straight timber?
Mr Bremner - The supply of crooks is not so plentiful as that of straight timber but they may be had in sufficient quantities if proper measurers be adopted. Their quality is superior, being harder, tougher and closer in grain than the straight timber.
Mr Wales - The supply of crooks I believe to be equal to that of straight timber but it might be increased. In qualities I consider them equal, durability being if anything in favour of the crook.
Capt. Warwick - The quantity of crooks preponderates. In quality, those of the northern forests, on the Gyne and formed of the trunks of trees, are superior to those of the Attaran formed from large branches, which are more brittle.
Q. 9. Will you state the average size of the timber you have been supplied with and also the size andlength of the largest you have known?
Mr Bremner - The largest mast-pieces run as long as 85 feet, and 8 and 9 feet in girth; keel pieces, from 38 to 50 feet long, squaring from 15 to 24 inches, logs for sawing from 26 to 30 feet long and from 5 to 7 feet in girth and loozars from 16 to 18 feet long and from 15 to 18 feet in girth. These latter are trunks of immense trees cut into lengths (generally four) by natives who possess not the means of transporting them whole. This timber is much valued as it does not split in sawing nor cast in working.
Mr Wales - No tree under 18 inches in diameter may be cut from this they range to 8 and even 9 feet in diameter, through such trees are rarely sound. From one such, however, which I once converted in the forest, I procured 13 pairs of bend plank, 30 by 12 + 6. I have brought down pieces of 72 feet long, squaring 26 inches and have know some of 85 feet in length shipped from hence. Average short wood 16 to 18 feet long, 2 to 3-6 feet in diameter. Average long wood 30 upwards, 18 to 24 inches square. (Mast and keel pieces not included).
Capt. Warwick - Average size from 30 to 50 feet long, mast pieces, from 60 to 75 feet long and from 5 to 9 in girth. I have seen many in the forests measuring 6 feet in diameter.
Mr Sutherland - The largest I have ever known was a piece shipped from this yard in 1833, measuring 103 feet in length and squaring 26 inches at its small end.
Q. 10. Of what size have been the largest ships you have constructed or known to be constructed of it?
Mr Bremner - I have constructed of it and superintended the construction of ships from 160 to 770 tons, of 5,000 tons in all and have known of 1,400 tons built of it.
Mr Wales - I have built myself nothing larger than 140 tons. The “Northumberland” of 800 tons, is the largest built here.
Capt. Warwick - 700 tons is the largest I have built at Natmoo.
Q. 11. Are you of opinion, founded on knowledge and experience, that a ready supply of timber fit in everyrespect for the construction of the largest ships of war could be procured on demand at Moulmein?
Mr Bremner - I have no doubt but that if proper time is allowed and despatch used, timber might be collected here in quantity and quality adapted for the construction of the largest men of war.
Mr Wales - Certainly not on demand. At least twelve months must elapse, great care and attention be used in the collection and advances made.
Capt. Warwick - Certainly; the only difficulty being that of providing timber for the floors and second futtocks. It would be necessary to send into the forests expressly for this timber, at a distance of about 60 miles from Moulmein and care would have to be used in the cutting of it, as from the slovenly way in which the Burmese cut crooks, not ten would be found serviceable out of every hundred.
Mr Sutherland - From 15,000 to 16,000 tons of timber of all sizes are now lying in the creeks and on the premises at Natmoo, a great deal of which is in every respect adapted for such a purpose.
Capt. Halsted - My own observation on the spot fully confirms this last statement.
Q. 12. Within what time does your experience lead you to believe that a supply of 3,000 tons of suchtimber could be procured at Moulmein?
Mr Bremner - If advances were made and liberal contracts entered into, I have no hesitation in saying that if 6 month’s notice were given, before the setting in of the rains, that 3,000 tons of such timber would arrive in 18 months or two seasons.
Mr Wales - A demand and ready advance would materially increase the supply. In 1838 myself and a person connected with me exported an amount considerably larger than that specified.
Capt. Warwick - Should it be desired to procure it from the forests and independent of the supply in Moulmein (depending on the number of ships constructing there at the time) I should say one year.
Q. 13. What is the present price per ton in Moulmein of the best converted and unconverted timber?
Mr Bremner - The present price in Moulmein of picked converted timber is from 28 to 33 rupees per ton.
Mr Wales - Short unconverted 16 rupees, long unconverted 25 rupees per ton; short converted 20 to 25 rupees, long converted 30 to 37 -8 per ton. (Scantling not less than 3 x 12)
Capt. Warwick - Bazaar timber, short and long, from 30 to 35 rupees per ton.
Q. 14. Do you apprehend that a demand such as that proposed in Q. 12 would raise–and if so, towhat probable amount – the price per ton in the Moulmein market?
Mr Bremner - A demand such as that alluded to would raise the price from 35 to 40 per cent.
Mr Wales - Let the advances of demand be made gradually and with circumspection and I should apprehend no great rise in price, but at any rate in no case exceeding the price it maintained from 1829 to 1834, viz. 50 rupees per ton.
Capt. Warwick - I apprehend it would, to 1 rupee per cubic foot. From my experience in working the establishment of Natmoo. I should say that timbers, plank etc., of the best quality for large ships, could not be supplied for less.
Q. 15. Has the quality of Moulmein timber in demand both for construction on the spot and forexportation increased of late years and if so, has it been attended with a rise in the price?
Mr Wales - I conceive the supply of late years to have been greater than the demand, the large exports of 1837-38 having overstocked the markets of Calcutta and Madras and caused the present low prices.
Capt. Warwick - It has increased to a great degree for construction and for such purpose is still increasing but not for exportation. There has been no rise of price but for very long and superior timber.
Q. 16. Can you state in tons or loads the quantity of timber consumed or exported from Moulmeinduring the last two years, 1838-1839?
Mr Blundell - Export from 1st May 1838 to 1st May 1839 = 5,895 tons
Note - There are now on the stocks about 2,500 tons and there have been constructed since 1830 about 50 vessels of from 30 to 800 tons, amounting in all to 15,000 tons.
Q. 17. What are the qualities, quantities of the Teak from the Shan country, compared with that ofthe Moulmein forests?
Mr Bremner - I have not paid attention to their relative properties, in my estimation the Teak of the Attaran is the best which reaches us.
Capt. Marshall - Compared with that of Moulmein, the Shan Teak is in quantity in the market less, in quality better, and in price higher, being generally sound, fine grained, straight timber.
Mr Wales - It is straight, clear and free and in quality on a par with our own best hill timber but on exposure under the process of conversion, I think it more apt to split, this may be from some fault in the killing of it.
Captain Warwick - In quantities it is very superior.
Q. 18. Is the quantity of Teak from the Shan country increasing or otherwise in the Moulmein market?
Captain Marshall - It is now four years since the first Shan Teak was brought into the Moulmein market, its quantity has since increased yearly, through not much was brought down last year.
Mr Wales – Undoubtedly increasing and from report likely to do so to a still further amount.
Captain Warwick - Increasing to a great extent.
Q. 19. Do the obstructions on the Salween River seem to preclude an extensive supply of Teak fromthe Shan country.
Captain Marshall - The obstructions on the Salween are trifling; there are difficulties, however, in reaching the Salween by the smallest streams, except in the rains.
Mr Wales - By no means; the persons employed in conducting the timber over them are daily acquiring more knowledge, experience and confidence.
Capt. Warwick - Not in the least, it can be sent down over them at the lowest ebb of the river and as the water rises in the river at that place 70 feet in the rains, the rocks are then covered, and strong eddies alone are found at the falls.
Q. 20. On what terms are the British allowed to cut timber in the Shan country and are they soguaranteed as to justify dependence on the forests for a supply?
Capt. Marshall - Permission from the chief Shan of the district is first necessary, it is never refused on his receiving suitable presents. An import of 1¼ rupees is then imposed for each tree taken away, I hold a grant on these terms and consider it guaranteed to me.
Mr Wales - I am not aware of any guarantee beyond the good faith of vendor and purchaser, particularly the latter.
Capt. Warwick - At present on payment of 1¼ rupees for each tree cut. I hold the forest of Melongy on these terms but without any security and at the will of a despotic government.
Q. 21. What is the distance of the Moulmein forests from that place and what their extent?
Mr Wales - The nearest Teak districts commence two good spring-tides above Moulmein, thence a light, well-manned canoe may pull for 8 days through them without reaching their termination. Their real extent in fact, in the absence of any survey, is not known. My own impressions from experience are that more timber exists in the interior than has as yet been discovered on the river banks.
(Note - This refers to the Attaran alone.)
Capt. Warwick - The Attaran forests, from 30 to 100 miles, the Thoung-yeen from 130- 250 and between them the forests of the Gyne. I have travelled throughout the whole extent of country, as well as up and down the creeks and rivers of the province.
Dr. Helfer - The Teak forests of Tenasserim are limited to the province of Amherst, the tree not being found southward of 16° N., from that they extend to the northern frontier in 17° 40’ N., and shunning the immediate neighbourhood of the coast, average a breadth of from 40 to 50 miles. They may be divided into three several districts situated on the rivers Salween, Thoung-yeen and Attaran, the latter is the nearest to Moulmein but for that very reason it has been wrought for the longest period. The most convenient timber for transport cut and at present the Attaran forests in use, are nearly as distant from Moulmein as those of the Salween and Thoung-yeen, a journey by water of several days.
Q. 22. Are there localities in their neighbourhood of that soil and situation which would enable theirextent to be increased by planting and if so to what probable extent?
Dr. Helfer - Yes, doubtless many. A plain towards the northern boundary of the Provinces of great fertility covered with the finest forest trees, of a light sandy soil mixed with clay and everywhere intersected with rivulets, is admirably adapted for the planting and growth of Teak. It extends 80 miles to the S.E. and is from 3 to 8 miles in width. It would admit a plantation of many millions of trees.
Mr Wales - Yes, to the greatest extent imaginable, but the young plantations must be looked after, to prevent depredations of the wild elephant.
Capt. Warwick - There are, to a great extent, but the young plantations should be secured from the yearly fires, by cutting through them roads or openings. I have seen a young plantation of firs in a patch or island formed by the diverging and reuniting of two elephant roads, perfectly protected, while all around them was consumed.
Q. 23. Are you aware of the time required to being the Teak tree to maturity?
Mr Wales - I am not, but I know that its early growth is very rapid.
Captain Warwick - From my continued observation of Teak trees, I should say 70 years, many known to be upwards of 100 years old, reaching a height of 150 feet and a diameter of 5 or 6 feet are now standing, but they are over-grown and their timber brittle.
Q. 24. On what terms are individuals allowed to cut timber in the forests and are those termsalterable or the permission resumable at will by the Government.
Moulmein Chronicle - Government give permission to cut on any hitherto un-granted spots which may be pointed out and will take their duty on what is brought down, but they do not give the spot and the permission is revocable.
Mr Blundell - The permission itself to cut timber, being revocable at will by the Government, the terms of such permission are alterable also. But the right has never yet been enforced.
Mr Wales - A duty of 15 per cent, in either cash or kind, at the option of the cutter is levied on the timber brought to Moulmein. I am not aware whether these terms are alterable or not, but any alteration (save a reduction of duty) or resumption, would involve, I should say, a breach of faith on the part of the Government and an injury to private interests.
Capt. Warwick - By paying 15 per cent on a nominal market rate, I should say – in the case of Burmese and others, who merely lay out the amount of 1,000 rupees yearly and do 10,000 rupees worth of harm, having no establishments erected for either conversion or ship-building – that it was. But where immense sums have been laid out in establishments for those purposes and whose value to their proprietors without the forests attached to them would be destroyed, I should say that Government in justice could not resume the right.
Q. 25. Are the rights of the Government sufficiently enforced in the forests to secure them in theirpresent valuable state, by preventing the deforesting of the land from wanton and improper cutting of the timber, or other cause? If not, state what evils you know exist in this particular, and any remedy you may have to suggest for them?
Dr. Helfer - The unrestrained liberty accorded to any individual to appropriate to himself any unoccupied forest, contributed without doubt in the first instance to the rapid prosperity of Moulmein. But it cannot be denied, that a continuation in the same system will lead, in a few years, to the extermination of all available Teak forests, deprive Moulmein of this valuable resource, and render Calcutta once more dependent on a foreign importation of Teak timber. It cannot be expected that individuals whose only care it is to render themselves independent in as short a time as possible, should care about the preservation of the forests, and experience has taught that by far more trees are destroyed than used.
A particular survey of the Teak forest, well-drawn lines of demarcations, an improved system of regulations, the appointment of a respectable European to enforce those regulations and new plantations laid out in all those places where Teak formerly grew and whence it is now extirpated, are means necessary to be introduced in order to ensure an uninterrupted supply of Teak timber for the future.
The system at present pursued, of granting tracts of forest land, on the simple tenure of working them, is perhaps open to fewer objections than most others, but without supervision it is open to abuse in more than one way, first by destroying young wood and again by trespassing beyond allotted lands, both leading to such evil results, that in the end our dock-yards will have to depend upon Rangoon for their supply of timber. The few Karens who inhabit the plains in the neighbourhood of the forests are engaged in husbandry; it therefore becomes necessary to transport workmen in canoes from Moulmein, the forests being accessible only by water. That these men commit great depredations there can be no doubt, not only in woods which their employers are privileged to work, by destroying half-grown trees, but also by entering and committing the same offence in the allotted lands of others.
This great evil demands restrictive measures of a severe nature imposed by Government in order to put an instant check on it and in regard to it, I am prompted to make the following suggestions as a remedy, - first, a person of enterprising habits should be employed in exploring and making a complete survey of the forests, his attention being directed to every part of the subject, - the probable age, size and situation of each forest, its quality of timber and nature of soil, with a view to classification: besides Teak, there are other trees perhaps equally valuable for their timber; their durability, strength and fitness for use, should be proved from experiment: - secondly, each grant-holder should be required to place two or more men under the orders of the Superintendent, (their names registered by the Police Magistrate) to give information respecting boundaries and to receive orders respecting the marking, felling and planting of timber. The grant-holders already hold their forests on too easy terms, yet they would doubtless not fail to oppose any improvement which should go to curtail their enormous profits. Many of them unfortunately possess neither skill, capital nor respectability; with slender means and imperfect notions of business, they are bent only on acquiring rapid fortunes and anything which interferes with that purpose is not likely to meet their approval.
Moulmein Chronicle - The Teak forests are the property of the Government, but it has thrown them all open without reserve, both to Natives and Europeans, being satisfied with only the paltry consideration of a small duty on the timber when brought down the river and arrived at this place. Hitherto the Government has maintained a native superintendent, with peons, writers etc., etc. to see that the regulations are faithfully observed. We do not mean to imply that this establishment is inadequate, or that the conditions of the licences are unfulfilled. But when we consider the importance of preserving timber of a certain growth and of planting others where the ground has been made vacant by the cutting of mature wood, we cannot but think that the question of improvement in the control which the Government exercises over the forests is one which might well be entertained. What may be the demand for Teak timber when it becomes generally known among commercial men throughout India, that good Teak wood ships can be built at Moulmein at about one-half or two-thirds the cost at which they can be built at any other port in India, it is impossible to conjecture. It would be quite contrary to the natural course of mankind, in their commercial pursuits, were they not to turn their attention to the dock-yards at Moulmein as the most advantageous place for building ships and there is nothing in fact that we are able to discover to prevent Moulmein from surpassing any other place in India for building ships. In this point of view, the Teak forests, though extensive, are not invulnerable and in this point of view also, the importance of keeping up the growth of timber becomes a subject of too great importance to be longer disregarded. At the present it is well known that the large profits arising from the cutting and selling the timber of the Teak forests are confined to the purses of a few enterprising and industrious individuals. We of course do not object to this. If the Government thrown away a jewel, those who pick it up may well be congratulated on their good fortune.
Mr Wales - A good survey accompanied by the labours of scientific gentlemen in other branches is a great desideratum and would no doubt amply repay its expenses not only as regards Teak but other timber and natural resources.
Capt. Warwick - They are not sufficiently enforces in my opinion. The Burmese who undertake the cutting of timber on their own account, not having sufficient capital to employ elephants enough for porting, are in the habit of felling small trees not arrived at full growth. For the same reason they are accustomed to cut up into pieces (generally four) the largest trees of 70 feet and upwards in length; the pieces are called loozars and fetch in the market at Moulmein about 8 rupees each. The whole piece would have been worth 100 rupees at the very lowest market price. The Government is by this means very much curtailed of its duty, as you will perceive thus; -
The most valuable timber for masts etc. is rendered totally unfit for any ship building purpose; the forests are cut to disadvantage and the mischief is irremediable. I should venture to suggest that some proper person be appointed as Purveyor in order to point out and mark for killing and felling all trees of full growth of good age in the allotted lands of individuals to whom permission has been granted to cut timber.
Q. 26. Is there any, and if so, what extent of forest for the timber of which water conveyance isavailable, but which has been as yet un-granted?
Mr Blundell - There is no known part of the forests answering to this description, to which permission to cut has not been extended. But the forest lands have never yet been surveyed.
Capt. Warwick – Yes, the forests above Kyoon-Kyoung on the Attaran, the forests above Marrawaddie, in fact throughout the whole of the Thoung-yeen river, where the Burmese have just commenced spoiling, by killing timber not arrived at its full growth.
Q. 27. Have you any personal interest in any of the Moulmein Teak forests?
Mr Wales - I have had since the year 1832.
Capt. Warwick - I have in the forests of Pando, Limbro and Cazine, on the Gyne River, where the principal crooked timber of the Province is found.
Mr Sutherland - Messrs. Cockerell & Co. possess twelve forests principally on the Attaran attached to their establishment at Natmoo, eight of which are at present at work.
Q. 28. Have you any and what personal acquaintance with, and experience in the present mode ofworking the forests?
Mr Wales - Since the year 1832 I have yearly spent many months in the forests superintending their working myself.
Capt. Warwick - I have been constantly in the forests for these last eleven years.
Q. 29. State the method at present in practice of killing, felling, seasoning and conveying the timberwith any evils it entails?
Mr Wales - The method of working the forests at present are purely native and is in my opinion both injudicious and involving considerable waste, with a deterioration of the quality of the timber. The tree is girdled through the sap, about three feet above the ground, just before the rains, when the sap is low and allowed to stand in that state for 2 or three years. It is then felled and from its dry state, out of perhaps 5 or 6 limbs which had been reckoned on for crooks the whole of them will perhaps be found shivered and the trunk itself shaken from end to end internally and only visible under the process of conversion. Were the system in practice in Europe introduced, I hesitate not to say that the forest would produce double the quantitythe large annual fires, sometimes the result of accident, more frequently of design, in order to cover some breach of contract – the felling and conveying of timber being always done by contract. of timber they now do. The most material objection to such an alternation is the greater liability of the timber when down, to destruction by the large annual fires, sometimes the result of accident, more frequently of design, in order to cover some breach of contract – the felling and conveying of timber being always done by contract.
Capt. Warwick - The timber is killed and seasoned by cutting through the sap all round the tree and allowing it to stand for 2 years. The bark of the Attaran, but not of the northern timber, then falls off. The tree is cut down and will float; if of large size and the property of Burmese, it will generally be cut into pieces as described in answer 25. But where an establishment of elephants is kept, these animals are employed in drawing the timber to the water on the large carriages used during the dry season for that purposes and capable of conveying a tree of 5 or 6 tons measurement weight over the wet ground during the S.W. monsoon; it is dragged by from 4 to 6 elephants. Where large timber is so situated as to make it very difficult to drag, sawyers are generally employed for its conversion on the spot.
The terms of contract with these people generally run to the purport that the converted timber shall be 30 feet in length, when the custom is (from want of possessing sufficient means to raise the piece whole for cutting) to cut off and convert the 30 feet, the remaining part being rendered worthless and left in the woods. The manner of felling on the Attaran is also peculiar. A stage 6 feet or more high is raised and the trees cut from thence at a height of 8 or 10 feet from the ground. The excuse always assigned for this practice is, that the trees are always more or less hollow near the ground –an excuse admissible only as regards very old and over-grown trees, which should have been cut 40 years since and no justification for a practice, most wasteful, as regards the sound tree equally subjected to it. This is always a contract job and the fact is, that the Teak being a tree which spreads very much towards its roots, the smaller part of the tree is selected for cutting. To the northward, the tree is always cut close down.
Q. 30. State any suggestions you may have to make for the remedy of these evils, specifying anywhich actual experiment may have proved to be effectual?
Mr Wales - I know of no tree so easily seasoned from a green state as the Teak and I would act with it on this principle – “Fell your timber and the quicker you can season it, the more of its natural qualities it will retain.” I much doubt if any difference of quality could be shown to exist between timber seasoned in the log and that seasoned after conversion, I strongly advocate the latter method where practicable. Fell a green Teak tree and convert it at once into plank, beam, etc. immerse it in water for 6 or 7 days, haul it up on the dry sand-banks abounding on the river and in 6 or 7 days more your timber will float, without having lost a particle of its good qualities.
The water will displace the sap, and in it turn will be dried off by solar evaporation. I do not say that timber so treated would become thus thoroughly seasoned, but it may be conveyed away in this state and piled in a place of safety for such purpose as is customary in England. I have known timber converted green and so treated, to float as soon as that converted from the seasoned log; but it has occurred but rarely and then accidentally, timber so converted being sizable by Government.
Capt. Warwick - I would venture to suggest than an immediate stop be put to cutting up of mast-pieces into loozars; to the felling of young trees not of proper age; and to the wandering manner the Burmese at present have of proceeding to all parts of the Thoung-yeen forests, cutting all the trees which one or two elephants can pull and cutting into pieces all the said elephants cannot. And if it be intended to perpetuate the forests by planting, roads must be cut and kept clear through all the young plantations, to check the spread of the large annual fires.
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