THE QUEST: KANDONG TREE (Part 2)

THE TREE: locally named, Kandong tree with a scientific name, Trema Orientalis (Linn). The official Philippine name: Anabiong (Tagalog, Visayas)

Other Names: Anadong,(Pangasinan); agandung (Cagayan); Anardung (Mt. Province); Arandon (Abra); Anarong (Zambales); Maladurong, Hinlalaong ( Pampanga).

Other common names:

Charcoal tree, Gunpowder tree (English); Randangong (Malaysia); Peach Cedar, Poison Peach, Wooly Cedar (Australia)

Description: Anabiong is a small tree with a spreading crown reaching heights of 18 m and diameter of 60 cm. Branches have a monopodial growth habit. Leaves are alternate in  two ranks, ovate to lanceolate, 6 to 15 cm long, 2 to 7 cm wide, acuminate, usually pubescent and rough, and finely toothed. The leaves are unequal sided, have three main veins extending from a slightly notched base and are thin. The upper surface is dull, rough, and light green with sunken veins. The lower surface is pale, slightly hairy, with prominent light yellow veins. The petiola is grooved above and 6 to 10 cm long. Flower clusters are short cymes in leaf axils, 1 to 2 cm long and 1 to 2 cm braid. The many flowers are nearly stalkless, 3 mm wide and light green. The purple or black fruits are round, 3 to 5 mm in diameter, and juicy with a stone 1.5 mm long inside. The bark is light gray brown, smooth, finely fissured and thin. The inner bark is pink, soft, fibrous and bitter tasting.

Ecology: Anabiong is a pioneer species of newly cleared lands, eroded soil, and volcanic ash. It is common in secondary forests.

Soil: The tree grows in poor soils and barren environments.

Temperature: It is a tropical and subtropical species.

Altitude. Anabiong is found growing to 2000 m in the Himalayas. It is above 1000 m in the Philippines.

Rainfall: Anabiong prefers a humid, moist climate with high rainfall but it is found in areas having a 6 month dry season.

Competitive ability: Anabiong is a fast growing, pioneer species which can outgrow other species in recently cleared areas. It dominates abandoned kaingins in some parts of the Philippines.

Limitations: Anabiong trees serve as reservoirs for population of defoliating insects pests and thus may put at risk nearby plants of economic value. The tree grows rapidly but is short lived.

Uses and Yields: Suitable for reforestation programs in denuded and disturbed areas, it is also planted for shade in coffee, cacao, and other plantation crops.

Mainstream and branches: Due to its fast growth, coppicing ability and availability, it is widely used as fuel wood though light. Specific gravity is 0.28 to 0.40 and the calorific value is 4500 kcal/kg. On good sites in the Philippines, Anabiong has yielded from 28 to 40 m3/ha/yr with a 6-year rotation.

Leaves: The leaves may serve as a substitute source of fodder, forage, or browse. The Institute of Animal Science at Los Banos reports 18% crude protein in dried leaf meal of anabiong.

Fruits: The small sweet fruits are edible.

Others: The bark is a source of tannin. Rope made from the bark is weak but when wet its resistance is doubled. Tensile strength of dry rope is 134 kilos/cm2.

Seed Collection and Storage: Anabiong is reported to flower from January to April. Lopez (1953) reports flowering from June through July with fruit maturing in September.

Establishment: Anabiong regenerates easily from seed if kept moist or stump cuttings may be used. Heating the seeds in water at 38 degrees C to 58 degrees C fro 5 to 10 minutes encourages even germination and improves germination percentage (Lopez (1953). Maceration and washing the fruits to remove the seeds may improve germination also.

Care and Harvest: The tree coppices vigorously but mortality of new shoots may be high. Causes if sprout mortality are not well understood.

Pests and Disease: The tree harbors defoliating insects but these seem to serve as natural pruning agents. They generally do not kill the tree.

Assumptions of the Study

The researchers took into considerations of the following:

1.    The available sample of Kandong tree leaves and trunk were taken and identified by local-residents guide of Solsona, Ilocos Norte in good faith.

2.    The data gathered are true reflections of views of the respondents where interviews were conducted.

Methodology

This portion of the study provided a discussion of the research design, instrument used, and data gathering technique used.

Research Design. The researchers used historical method and the sociological type of research survey as mentioned by Aquino (1996), which states, “Sociological type includes a study of all human group relationships. The institutions of society are investigated (observed) with the purpose of furnishing recommendations for their improvement”.

Data Gathering Technique and Instrument Used. To enrich the study conducted, unscheduled interviews were also conducted to some local-respondents of Solsona, Ilocos Norte and some residents of Candon City. Digital camera was used to take photo shots of the tree. Sample of leaves and trunk were also taken for proper positive identification by authorities of the DENR, Ilocos Norte.

       (To be continued)