RT Cunningham


Narra, the National Tree of the Philippines

Narra tree It’s illegal to cut down Narra trees in the Philippines as part of any logging operation. It’s an endangered species – Pterocarpus indicus.

You can still buy furniture made with the wood from Narra trees, however, because they get knocked down during tropical storms and typhoons, but it’s hard to find.

That’s okay, though, because it looks kind of like mahogany or rosewood and almost any hardwood can be stained and varnished to look like Narra.

My Dining Room Table and Chairs Are Made of Narra Wood

My wife, Josie, bought the dinette set in late 2006, after our house was built. It’s a large table with six large chairs, made of nothing but Narra wood except for the screws and brackets that hold the pieces together.

I asked Josie how much it cost because I figured it would be expensive. She didn’t buy it from a regular furniture store, and she paid far less than it was worth. She didn’t remember how much it cost.

Our Old Bed Frame Was Made of Narra Wood

The first bed we had in our master bedroom had a Narra wood frame. The bed cost as much as the dinette set, perhaps more. The support pieces collapsed one day and the mattress was sitting on the floor for a few months before we replaced the bed. Our new bed didn’t have a frame at all.

The frame is being stored somewhere in our compound. That is, unless one of my brothers-in-law decided to use it for firewood (to cook with).

Cutting Down Trees Isn’t a Good Idea

Trees in the Philippines should only be cut down when necessary. Even then, new trees should be planted to replace them. Josie told me that was a law at one time. I don’t know about that, but it’s still a good idea.

Most of the landslides that have happened since I moved to the Philippines in 2006 could have been prevented if trees had been properly planted. It takes so little effort to do it – it rains all the time and the ground is fertile.

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By RT Cunningham
January 24, 2014

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