The panorama on the sunrise side: an awesome view of Malarayat

The quiet panorama on the sunrise side of the farm: an awesome view of Mount Malaráyat and the river below the gap.

16 December 2012

Philippine Tree of the Month: Baguilumbang

When I set out to plant a pair of shade trees for our parking area, I went to great lengths choosing a pair of native trees whose names are heard of but people have hardly seen. I eventually narrowed down my choices to Lumbang (Aleurites moluccana), and went on looking for seedlings. Throughout that time, I got acquainted with a foundation whose advocacy is to promote planting native trees.

The day came I was to pick up my Lumbang seedlings and soon after, we planted it. Some months passed and this foundation invited me to contribute anecdotes to a book they will publish about Philippine Trees. I wrote about Lipa, my city's namesake, and Lumbang whose story I mentioned above.

When the book came out and I brought it to the farm, the Lumbang photos (not from my tree) did not look like what we have at all! The leaves are different and the tree's shapes do not look alike. On the same book, I found out that I planted instead a pair of Baguilumbang trees! Now I have not heard of Baguilumbang (Reutalis trisperma), but I learned from the book that this is an endemic tree unlike the Lumbang which occurs in many countries in Asia (which explains why it has an English name, the Candlenut Tree).

I have grown to like the Baguilumbangs: apart from it being such fast-growers, they are actually an endangered species, making it an even more important tree to propagate. More people are even made aware now of a relatively unknown native tree simply by planting them!

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