You are on page 1of 22

Forestry Department

Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations

Forest Plantations Working Papers

MELINA (Gmelina arborea) IN CENTRAL AMERICA


Based on the work in 1998 of M.M. Alfaro R.V. De Camino Consultants

Edited by M. Varmola

May 2002

Forest Resources Development Service Forest Resources Division Forestry Department

Working Paper FP/20 FAO, Rome (Italy)

ii Acknowledgements This working paper was carried out under the UK/FAO Trust Fund Project Timber Production from Hardwood Plantations in the Tropics and Sub-tropics (GCP/INT/628/UK). The project was funded by the Department for International Development (DFID) of the United Kingdom. Information gained from the various case studies and technical studies has been extensively used. Data from the review of hardwood plantation areas was, for example, used in FAOs Global Fibre Supply Model (FAO 1998), the Asia-Pacific Forestry Sector Study (FAO 1998), State of the Worlds Forests (SOFO) 1997 (FAO 1997), 1999 (FAO 1999), and 2001 (FAO 2001), as well as in a number of other papers and studies. The UK/FAO project, further, formed the basis for a review of recent developments in hardwood plantations in the tropics, one of the studies on trends in plantations for the Global Forest Resources Assessment 2000 (FAO 2001).

Disclaimer The Forest Plantations Working Papers report on issues and activities in forest plantations. These working papers do not reflect any official position of FAO. Please refer to the FAO website (http://www.fao.org/forestry) for official information. The purpose of these papers is to provide information on on-going activities and programmes, and to stimulate discussion. Comments and feedback are welcome. For further information please contact: Mr. Jim Carle, Senior Forestry Officer (Plantations and Protection) Forest Resources Development Service Forest Resources Division Forestry Department FAO Viale delle Terme di Caracalla I-00100 Rome (Italy) e-mail: Jim.Carle@fao.org For quotation: FAO (2002). Melina (Gmelina arborea) in Central America by M.M. Alfaro and R.V. De Camino. Forest Plantations Working Paper 20. Forest Resources Development Service, Forest Resources Division. FAO, Rome (unpublished).

iii ABSTRACT This report is an output of the project Hardwood Plantations in the Tropics and Subtropics (GCP/INT/628/UK), funded by the United Kingdom and executed by FAO. The overall aim of this project was to contribute to regional and global planning of timber (specifically hardwood timber) supplies in the medium-term. This study covered the case study of melina hardwood plantations in Central America. In Central America there are a total of 225,000 ha of forestry plantations of which 52,000 ha (23%) have been planted with melina. Up until 1997, Costa Rica had a total of 49,300 ha planted with melina. This represented 94% of the total area that has been reforested with the species in Central America and 22% of the total reforested area in the region. Melina has been used in reforestation projects since 1979, however, it was not until 1986 that the species began to be used in large scale projects. 70% of the area established with melina has been planted by national tree growers using State incentives. The remaining 30% of the area corresponds to projects established by tree growers or companies that use their own capital. Within this category, the most important project is the Ston Forestal Company which has established approximately 14,000 ha to 1998. The species grows in the tropical life zones where the average annual precipitation is between 1,000 and 3,000 mm, from sea level to 500 m of elevation and with average temperatures between 24 and 35 C. In Costa Rica it has been observed growing well up to 600 m above sea level with average annual precipitation of up to 2,500 mm and 2 - 4 dry months per year. Two or three intermediate thinnings and three prunings are recommended. The mean annual increment in total volume has been estimated between 7 and 30 m3/ha/year at 12 years of age for the lowest and highest site indexes, respectively. The experience generated in Costa Rica with the species show that higher volume increments can be achieved like 30 and 50 m3/ha/year in southern Costa Rica in plantations established with genetically improved seed with the appropriate fertilization and weed control programs. The profitability of a melina plantation (internal return rate) has been calculated to be between 12% and 18% depending on the quality of the site and the price of the wood. Melina wood in Central America was earlier not been thought to be able to compete with native forest species. However, the increase in forest use restrictions has reduced the availability of native forest raw materials and has produced the need for seeking alternative wood sources. All the experience generated in Costa Rica predicts that this species, along with teak, will have the most potential for expansion of planted areas. It is estimated that in 2020, the country could have 100,000 hectares planted with melina, double what it has now. In addition, if more area is planted with the species, by the year 2010 the market could have up to 1.5 million m3 of roundwood annually, both for national consumption as well as for use in crafting furniture and high quality items for export.

iv CONTENTS

1 2 3

Melina plantations in Central America Technical information Financial information 3.1 Wood prices 3.2 Profitability 3.3 Commercialization of melina wood Potential for melina plantation expansion

1 2 7 8 8 9 10 11

References Appendix. Costs of establishing and managing one hectare of melina with an initial density of 1,111 trees per hectare. Costa Rica, 1998

13

ACRONYMS CAI CCF IRR MAI SI Current Annual Increment The Costa Rican Forestry Council Internal Rate of Return Mean Annual Increment Site Index

1 1 MELINA PLANTATIONS IN CENTRAL AMERICA

In Central America there are a total of 225,000 ha of forestry plantations (De Camino et al. 1998) of which 52,000 ha (23%) have been planted with melina (Gmelina arborea). The species has been planted with commercial purposes in both Costa Rica and Guatemala. The Madelea Project has promoted the planting of the species in Panama, Nicaragua, El Salvador and Honduras, but this has been for primarily demonstrative purposes and to produce logs and firewood for local consumption. No important area reforested with melina is reported in these countries. Up until 1997, Costa Rica had a total of 49,300 ha planted with melina. This represents 94% of the total area that has been reforested with the species in Central America and 22% of the total reforested area in the region. Melina has been used in reforestation projects since 1979, however, it was not until 1986 that the species began to be used in large scale projects. From 1986 on, the area planted with the species increased reaching its maximum in 1993 with 9,500 ha. During 1994 - 1997 the area being planted with the species decreased appreciably due to prevalent uncertainty about the availability of financial support for reforestation projects through the National Forest Plantation Incentive Program. The first melina plantation in Costa Rica was established in 1966 in Manila de Siquirres (in the Atlantic Zone). The plantation area was 2,000 ha and the seed used was brought in from 20 different sites where the tree grew naturally, principally in Asia. Dr. Daniel Ludwig, who was also developing the Jari Forestry Project in Brazil (Zeaser 1998) introduced the species. Some 70% of the area established with melina has been planted by national tree growers using State incentives. The size of these projects varies from 1 ha to 6,500 ha. The remaining 30% of the area corresponds to projects established by tree growers or companies that use their own capital. Within this category, the most important project is the Ston Forestal Company which has established approximately 14,000 ha to 1998. This company planted melina to produce wood chips, to be exported to the United States and used as pulp for paper making; and sawn wood, to be sold to the German company Faber Castell, beginning operations in southern Costa Rica in August 1998. The species has adapted rapidly, with excellent long-term growth results throughout the country. Currently many plantations are located in the northern zone as well as in the Atlantic, southern and dry Pacific zones.

Table 1. Area (ha) planted with melina (Gmelina arborea) in Costa Rica from1979-1997. June, 1998
Year 1979 1980 1981 1982 1983 1984 1985 1986 1987 1988 1989 1990 * 1991 * 1992 * 1993 * 1994 ** 1995 ** 1996 ** 1997 ** Total Area Reforested with melina (ha) 8.8 37.1 15.6 45.1 188.8 208.2 160.4 561.3 1 120.8 1 540.4 1 752.1 5 692.0 7 724.0 7 433.5 9 478.5 4 476.4 3 208.4 3 236.4 2 387.2 49 274.9

Sources: DGF 1994; * DECAFOR 1994; ** SINAC 1998.

In Guatemala, the most important plantation belongs to the Simpson company which established its plantations with the goal of producing wood chips for making pulp. The total area in this country planted with this species is 3,100 ha. Nevertheless, the company is analyzing the possibility of changing its objectives and producing logs for sawn wood. These plantations were established at the beginning of the 1990s (INAB 1998). 2 TECHNICAL INFORMATION

Melina is a species with broad natural distribution in southeast Asia, and grows form sea level to 1,000 m above sea level. It has been introduced in tropical countries and has been very successful under a wide range of climatic conditions. In Latin America, the species has been planted mainly in Costa Rica, Brazil, Venezuela and Guatemala. The species grows in the following life zones: Very Humid Tropical Forest, Humid Tropical Forest, and Dry Tropical Forest in sites where the

3 average annual precipitation is between 1,000 and 3,000 mm, from sea level to 500 m of elevation and with average temperatures between 24 and 35 C (Murillo and Valerio 1991). In Costa Rica it has been observed growing well up to 600 m above sea level with average annual precipitation of up to 2,500 mm and 2 - 4 dry months per year.

A SUCCESSFUL CASE OF MELINA-BASED INDUSTRIAL DEVELOPMENT Maderas Cultivadas de Costa Rica S.A. (Cultivated Woods of Costa Rica S.A.) pioneered the establishment of melina plantations in northern Costa Rica. Its first plantations were established in August 1986 using Costa Rican State forest incentives offered for the activity. The company currently has 6,550 ha of plantations (12.2% of the area planted in Costa Rica). In addition, it has established a sawmill to process the raw material. The company has been a beneficiary of the Costa Rican Reforestation Incentive Program since 1979. The company began harvesting in 1992. The product of the first thinning was used to make pallets and focused on supplying the pallets needed by the fruit industry (mainly banana) in the country's northern and Atlantic zones. Currently the wood from the final cut is processed in the company's sawmill and sold for furniture-making and construction purposes. The company has installed a drying oven that provides dry boars for the national market as well as for exportation. More and more, the Costa Rican wood market is beginning to accept melina for construction (framework) purposes and for furniture-crafting. This company sells sawn, dry wood to furniture factories, as is the case of Muebles de Coronado, at 3 approximately US$200/m (Leon 1998). The company is identifying new international markets and has during 1998 exported samples of "green" sawn wood to the Japanese company, SHOUEI 3 LTD. Wood prices in these first efforts were US$225/m of boards (CCF 1998a).

For good development the species requires deep, well-drained soils, with a lime to lime-clay texture and flat to hilly topography. Some strong limiting factors to its development are wind, clay, flooded or compact soils, and weed competition. The species has had great success in some Central American countries. Preliminary yield tables have been made on melina by Hughell (1991). These are applicable to the Central American region (Table 2). Site Index (SI) of 28 represents a high productivity site, while SI of 21 is moderately productive and SI of 14 illustrates low productivity. These tables present a management model for the production of wood that will primarily be destined for the lumber industry. There are other management alternatives in Costa Rica for plantations whose objective is to produce wood chips for pulp and paper. Information on these models is not available but it is

4 known that they work on a rotation of 6 years and produce total volumes of approximately 240 m3/ha. The initial plantation spacing is 3m x 3m (1,111 trees/ha) in the case of lumber production and it is for this reason that the yield tables show the plantation evolution starting at this density. Lower densities are not used since the species branches out at low heights and the thick branches it produces affect tree formation. Pruning is one of the main silvicultural activities applied in the management of this species. The experiences generated in Costa Rica suggest that three prunings in a 12 year cycle are recommendable. The first cutting of branches should be made when the plantation trees reach an average height of 5 meters, to 50% of the trees' height. The second should be made when the average tree height reaches 10 meters, cutting back the branches to 50% of the trees' height and the last pruning should be made when the trees reach a height of 16 meters and then they should be pruned to a height of 10 meters. Carrillo (1997) estimated that a pruning program that guarantees 10 meters of knot-free wood, would represent approximately 80% of the commercial volume extracted from the plantation without knots. Hughell (1991) recommends a thinning program for the species, applicable according to the Site Index (SI). For SI of 28, 3 thinnings are recommended. The first thinning should be made at age 4, the second at age 8 and a third thinning at age 12. In those areas with SI of 21 or 14 only 2 thinnings are proposed at 6 and 10 years in the first and at 8 and 12 years in the second, respectively. Nevertheless this thinning schedule depends on the rotation age of the species. According to experiences generated in Costa Rica, the age of the final cut for melina plantations oscillates between 10 and 14 years depending on the site conditions. Currently the 12 year rotation is used more to do species production projections. The Mean Annual Increment (MAI) in total volume that appear in the Table 2 and 3 oscillate between 6.6 and 30 m3/ha/year at 12 years of age for the lowest and highest site indexes, respectively. The average site index 21 shows an MAI in volume of 17.7 m3/ha/year. Nevertheless, experience generated in Costa Rica with the species show that higher volume increments can be achieved. Zeaser (1998) reported an MAI in total volume between 30 and 50 m3/ha/year in southern Costa Rica with plantations established with genetically improved seed with the appropriate fertilization and weed control programs. Vallejos (1996) established a yield and production classification system for melina (Table 3). The study included plantations from 1 to 15-years old. With this information it was possible to estimate that at 12 years of age sites with an average productivity will have diameters (dbh) oscillating between 34.9 and 43.2 cm and total volumes between 184 and 294 m3/ha.

Table 2. Preliminary yield table for Gmelina arborea management in Central America for site indexes 28, 21 and 14m with planting densities of 1,111 trees/ha
Remnant Trees MAI (m3/ha/ year) Vol 3 (m /ha) Vol. Acum. 3 (m /ha) D (cm) Vol 3 (m /ha) N (N/ha) G 2 (m /ha) D (cm) G 2 (m /ha) Trees Extracted

N (N/ha)

H (m)

CAI (m /ha/ year)

440 150 100 5,5 26,6 45,6 5,9 22,4 43,9

989 549 549 399 399 299 299 9,5 16,5 49,1

7,9 14,7 19,3 22,4 24,4 25,7 26,4

11,0 19,4 23,7 29,9 31,6 36,8 39,9

9,5 16,2 24,1 28,0 31,3 31,8 32,0

28,9 72,8 154,5 177,0 239,3 221,5 258,1

28,9 121,9 203,6 270,0 332,3 360,0 396,7

14,4 30,5 33,9 33,7 33,2 30,0 28,3

14,4 46,5 40,9 33,2 31,2 13,9 18,3

380 200 6,4 20,1

7,3

15,7

38,0 39,6

989 989 609 609 409 409 409

5,9 11,0 14,5 16,8 18,3 19,2 19,8

8,3 13,6 18,9 21,0 25,3 25,9 29,5

5,3 14,4 17,1 21,2 20,5 21,5 24,6

12,9 58,6 76,6 120,7 109,6 135,4 157,8

12,9 58,6 114,6 158,8 187,3 213,0 235,4

6,4 14,6 19,1 19,8 18,7 17,7 16,8

6,4 22,8 28,0 22,1 14,2 12,9 11,2

350 200
G V. Acum MAI CAI

4,1 3,3

12,2 14,4

17,1 15,3

Age (years) SI=28 2 4 6 8 10 12 14 SI=21 2 4 6 8 10 12 14 SI=14 2 4 6 8 10 12 14 5,5 9,1 11,8 14,9 15,8 18,4 18,5 2,4 6,4 10,9 11,2 12,5 11,7 11,7 4,1 18,8 40,0 40,7 55,0 46,7 54,4 4,1 18,8 40,0 57,8 72,1 79,1 86,8

989 989 989 639 639 439 439

3,9 7,3 9,7 11,2 12,2 12,8 13,2

2,1 4,7 6,7 7,2 7,2 6,6 6,2


= Basal area in m2/ha = Accumulated Volume accumulated (remnant trees + extracted trees = Mean Annual Volume Increment = Current Annual Increment

2,1 7,3 10,6 8,9 7,2 3,5 3,9

Vol = Volume in m3/ha without bark up to 10cm N = Number of trees per hectare H = Total average height in m D = Diameter to 1,3 m in cm Source: Hughell (1991).

STON FORESTALS GENETIC IMPROVEMENT PROGRAM Gmelina arborea that includes studies on site classifications, plant nutrition, weed control, intensive silvicultural management (pruning and thinning) and the Genetic Improvement Program. The objective of the latter is to improve melina for paper pulp production. One of the company's main results has been the identification of the species limiting edaphic parameters such as high aluminum content in the soil. On the other hand, nursery production has become specialized and is now done on a large scale. In 1989 the company began selecting 6-years or older Plus trees from the Costa Rican melina population based on 3,000 ha located in the country's northern and dry Pacific regions. In 1992 the company had 3,400 selected clones located in a 15 ha farm and that same year they began with progeny tests. In 1993 seed production with some degree of improvement was started in the Farm Seed Orchard. In 1994 the Farm Seed Orchard produced 3,000 kilos of seed and established the first 200 ha of plantations to use this seed. The result was a volume increment 22% greater than that obtained using seed from a Seed Stand established in the country's dry Pacific. In 1995 melina from Thailand, Burma, India and a plantation in Brazil were introduced with the objective of broadening the company's genetic collection. The idea was to improve production and tree form. Since 1995 the company has used only seed from the Farm Seed Orchard to establish new plantations. The annual plantation area is 1,000 ha and the level of improvement has increased as now there is more information available on the best sites for developing the species as well as on intensive silvicultural management technology. The investment necessary for the genetic improvement program is approximately US$100,000 annually and it is estimated that around US$1.2 - US$1.5 million has already been invested. According to CAMCORE reports the seed produced by the company showed the best growth results in melina proveniences trials both within Costa Rica as well as in Colombia, Venezuela and Indonesia (CAMCORE 1996). These used three test seed samples from Thailand (coming from Kanchanaburi, Chantaburi and Nakonratchasima) and one test seed sample taken from the Ston Forestal company plantations in Costa Rica. The results were: At one year of age, all the proveniences growing in Costa Rica showed height increments between 50 and 60% higher. The Costa Rican provenience showed 2 - 6% greater height increments in Colombia, Venezuela and Thailand. The height increment of the 1-year-old Costa Rican provenience was 10.8 meters in Ston Forestal plantations in Costa Rica, noticeably higher than the growth of any other provenience inside or outside Costa Rica. Source: Zeaser (1998)

7 Comparing the information from Vallejos (1996) and Hughell (1991) yield tables it is evident that the yields obtained in Costa Rican melina plantations are superior to all others reported in Central America. Table 3. Production and yield classification for Gmelina arborea in Costa Rica
Range Excellent High Medium Low Marginal
Source: Vallejos (1996).

MAI dbh (cm/year) > 4.63 3.61 - 4.62 2.91 - 3.60 1.91 - 2.90 < 1.90

MAI height (m/year) > 3.91 3.21 - 3.90 2.33 - 3.20 1.23 - 2.32 < 1.22

MAI Basal Area 2 (m /ha/year) > 4.64 3.40 - 4.63 2.21 - 3.39 1.54 - 2.20 < 1.53

MAI Volume 3 (m /ha/year) > 37.78 24.50 - 37.77 15.34 - 24.49 6.79 - 15.33 < 6.78

In Costa Rica there has been significant progress made in the identification of the factors which limit species development. Vazques and Ugalde (1995) studied 28 sites located in Costa Rica's north Pacific and found that: Wind affects negatively species growth. The species grows better on flat terrain, at the foot of hills where water and nutrients are more readily available. Proper site preparation before planting is important to melinas success. Ten-year-old plantations that show dominant heights greater than 26.7 m reflect high productivity sites and those that have dominant heights lower than 19.7 represent low productivity sites. Vallejos (1996) recommended planting melina in sites protected from wind with slopes of less than 20% and soil calcium contents superior to 18cmol(+)/L. Ston Forestal is producing improved melina seed which is certified by the National Seed Office of Costa Rica. The seed is sold on a national and international level. 3 FINANCIAL INFORMATION

Information on costs, yields and profitability presented here refer to Costa Rica, since it is the only country in the region that has data and statistics for melina. The costs of one full production cycle in Costa Rica are estimated at US$1,287/ha. Table 4 presents annual cost information, and Appendix shows detailed cost information indicating the specific activities carried out each year. These figures do not include the land price, which oscillates between US$1,000 and US$1,500 per hectare.

8 Table 4. Annual costs (US$) for one hectare of melina. Costa Rica, 1998.
Year 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 TOTAL
Source: Appendix

Investment (colons/ha) 446 200 131 160 34 34 53 34 34 53 34 74 1,287

3.1

Wood prices

Stumpage prices earned varies from US$13.5/m3 in the first commercial thinning (at year 6) to US$24.6/m3 for final cut (year 12) (CCF 1998c). There is a price scale that can be applied according to log diameter (Table 5). Sawn wood in the local market is sold for approximately US$160/m3 (CCF 1998b). There are reports of sawn, kiln dried melina being sold for US$225/m3 (Leon 1998). Table 5. Standing price (US$/m3) of Gmelina arborea according to log diameter.
Range (cm) 15.0 20 20.1 25 25.1 30 Greater than 30
Source: CCF 1998b

Price (US$/m ) 13.5 17.2 19.7 24.6

3.2

Profitability

The profitability of a melina plantation has been calculated with The Internal Return Rate IRR to be between 12% and 18% depending on the quality of the site and the price of the wood. Table 6 illustrates a financial analysis done in Costa Rica for a plantation located on an average productivity site (16.2 m3/ha/year of commercial volume taken from logs with diameters of 10 cm at their narrow ends). IRR is 16.9% and the Net Present Value (12%) is US$353/ha (Alfaro and Villamizar 1998). The analysis does not consider the financial income provided by the reforestation incentives. If this amount is included the IRR would be much higher.

9 Table 6. Financial analysis for one hectare of melina (Gmelina arborea) with an initial density of 1,111 trees. Costa Rica, 1998
Costs (Colones/ha) Year 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 Total 111,635 49,948 32,871 39,926 8,495 8,495 13,155 8,495 8,495 13,151 8,495 18,495 321,656 Income (Colones/ha) 0 0 0 0 0 100,035 0 0 131,976 0 0 822,525 1054,536 Net Income (Colones/ha) -111,635 -49,948 -32,871 -39,926 -8,495 91,540 -13,155 -8,495 123,481 -13,151 -8,495 804,031 732,881

Source: Alfaro and Villamizar (1998) with information from JUNAFORCA (1997) and Davies (1997) 3 3 Commercial production: Thinning 1: Non-commercial, Thinning 2: 28.5 m /ha, Thinning 3: 37.6 m /ha and 3 3 Final Cut: 128.6 m /ha. Total Volume: 194.7 m /ha

3.3

Commercialization of melina wood

The commercialization of melina began in Costa Rica in 1992. The first product made from the species was pallets. Wood from the first commercial thinning was used to accomplish this. In 1990, the Ministry of the Economy, Industry and Commerce (MEIC 1990) evaluated the quality of the melina pallets. The results were very positive, and the wood was classified as strong and flexible. The first pallets were constructed with wood obtained from the thinning of 4 to 5-year-old trees. In 1997 the Commercialization Unit of the Costa Rican Forestry Council (CCF) began promoting the use of wood from forest plantations to make furniture and high price items for the export market. One of the woods that showed the most potential in this commercialization program was melina. The marketing of the species took various forms: participation in international forest product fairs (High Point, North Carolina, USA); contact with North American Companies like Domus and Fine Art Lamps; and participation in regional fairs like the one held in September, 1998 in Panama. Muebles Coronado (Coronado Furniture) was one of the companies that was making melina tables for export to the United States' market. This company was founded in 1977 with the objective of making high quality furniture. Up until the beginning of 1997, they worked only with

10 wood from natural forests like caobilla (Carapa guianensis), cedro (Cedrela mexicana), "cocobolo" (Dalbergia retusa) and others. In January of 1997, the company's General Manager received information about possible restrictions on the use of natural forest species and realized what a big risk this meant for the investors. His fear was compounded by the fact that they had just taken out a large loan from the national banking system to buy machinery. He contacted the CCF and they began to do their first tests with melina, teak (Tectona grandis) and laurel (Cordia alliodora). The company now makes three types of tables in melina wood that they sell to Fine Art Lamps, headquartered in Miami, at prices that oscillate between US$220 and US$315. On average, each table contains 0.2 m2 of wood from 6 to 8-year-old plantations. This wood is purchased on the national wood market for US$245 per cubic meter of oven dried boards. The General Manager states very clearly, "light wood does not mean low quality wood. A high quality product can be produced using the right machinery." Framewood for construction and mouldings are also currently being made from melina. The species has two important advantages: it is easy to work with and it readily accepts stains and lacquers. Another example of the potential of the wood is given by the Faber Castell company which began operations in August, 1998 making pencils from melina wood that they buy from Ston Forestal. Faber Castell buys logs from 20 to 30 cm in diameter. All the waste wood from their production process is converted into chip and sold back to Ston Forestal. This permits optimal use of the raw materials (Zeaser 1998). 4 POTENTIAL FOR MELINA PLANTATION EXPANSION

The opportunity to expand the forestry plantation areas in Central America depends on all the countries of the region having political and economic conditions that facilitate investment in the sector. In the first place, the political environment is relevant, given that investing in forest plantations is long term and that social and political stability lend confidence to investments of this kind. The existence of National Incentive Programs and Credit Programs appropriate to the activity are the economic instruments that contribute to the development of forestry projects in the region. To date, melina wood in Central America has not been thought to be able to compete with native forest species. However, the increase in forest use restrictions has reduced the availability of native forest raw materials and has produced the need for seeking alternative wood sources. This situation is encountered in all countries except Costa Rica. There is clear preference for using melina in reforestation projects in Costa Rica for one simple reason: a short rotation (10 - 12 years) which translates into a shorter period of time to recover the initial investment.

11 Experience gained in 1997 - 1998 from melina furniture and construction framewood manufacturing has helped identify great strengths in the species: it is easy to work with; it readily accepts stains; and it does not split or warp if dried properly (Leon 1998). During the Third National Forestry Conference in Costa Rica in 1997 consensus was reached on the goal of establishing 500,000 ha of commercial forest plantations (10% of the country). Currently only 30% of this goal has been met. The 350,000 remaining hectares should be planted at an annual rate of 15,000 to 20,000 ha. All the experience generated in Costa Rica predicts that this species, along with teak, will have the most potential for expansion of planted areas. It is estimated that in 2020, the country could have 100,000 hectares planted with melina, double what it has now. The plantations established in Costa Rica from 1979 to 1985 (664 ha) reached their rotation age between 1991 and 1997. Some of them have been harvested but others are still standing. Nevertheless, these represent a small percentage of the area planted in the country (1.4 %). The plantations established since 1986 began to reach their rotation age in 1998. Orderly production planning helps estimate that if by 1998, there have been a total of 49,000 ha planted with melina and distributed throughout a 12 year cycle, the wood market could have 4,000 ha of melina available annually, which is the equivalent of approximately 778,000 m3 in unfinished logs which translates into 311,200 m3 of sawn wood when considering the 40% industrial yield rate. In addition, if more area is planted with the species starting in 1999, by the year 2010 the market could have up to 1.5 million m3 of roundwood annually, both for national consumption as well as for use in crafting furniture and high quality items for export. REFERENCES Alfaro, M. and Villamizar, M. 1998. Anlisis de la oferta actual y la demanda potencial de semilla mejorada de melina y teca en Costa Rica y Centroamrica. En: Seminario Aumento de la Rentabilidad de las plantaciones forestales: Un reto ligado al uso de semilla de alta calidad. San Jos, Costa Rica. 36 pp. CAMCORE. 1996. CAMCORE (Central America & Mexico Coniferous Resources Cooperative) Annual Report 1996. Departament of Forestry, North Caroline State University, Raleigh, North Caroline, USA. Carrillo, O. 1997. La calidad de la madera de teca (Tectona grandis) en Costa Rica. En: Seminario sobre Teca: Mitos y Realidades. RNT S.A., San Jos, Costa Rica. pp. 41-48. CCF. 1998a. Informes de la Unidad de Comercializacin de Productos Forestales. Cmara Costarricense Forestal (CCF), San Jos, Costa Rica. CCF. 1998b. Lista de precios de madera en pie, en patio de industria y aserrada de las especies ms comercializadas en las distintas zonas de Costa Rica. Precios a mayo de 1998. Revista Desde El Bosque, Ao 1, Nmero 4. Cmara Costarricense Forestal (CCF), San Jos, Costa Rica. COSTA RICA. 1997. Tercer Congreso Forestal Nacional. Perfil Estratgico de Desarrollo del Sector Forestal Costarricense hacia el 2020. Memorias. San Jos, Costa Rica.

12 Davies, J. 1997. El sector forestal en la Zona Norte de Costa Rica: La Rentabilidad de sistemas de Produccin Forestal. Coleccin Tcnica de Manejo de bosque natural No. 6. Proyecto de Manejo Integrado del Bosque Natural (DFID-CODEFORSA-MINAE-ITCR). Ciudad Quesada, Costa Rica. 74 pp. DECAFOR. 1994. Estadsticas del Sector Forestal. Departamento de Desarrollo Campesino (DECAFOR), Direccin General Forestal (DGF), Ministerio de Recursos Naturales, Energa y Minas (MIRENEM). San Jos, Costa Rica. DGF. 1994. Estadsticas del Sector Forestal. Departamento de Reforestacin, Direccin General Forestal (DGF), Ministerio de Recursos Naturales, Energa y Minas (MIRENEM). San Jos, Costa Rica. De Camino, R., Alfaro, M. and Sage, L.F. 1998. La teca en Centroamrica. Documento sin publicar. JUNAFORCA. (1997). Costos de plantaciones forestales. Junta Nacional Forestal Campesina (JUNAFORCA). San Jos, Costa Rica. Hughell, D. 1991. Modelo preliminar para la prediccin del rendimiento de Gmelina arborea Roxb. en Amrica Central. Silvoenerga (C.R.) no. 44: 1-4. INAB. 1998. Estadsticas sobre Reforestacin en Guatemala durante el perodo 1990-1995. Instituto Nacional de Bosques (INAB). 2 pg. Leon, J. 1998. Experiencias de la empresa Muebles de Coronado en la elaboracin y exportacin de muebles de melina. Gerente General de Muebles de Coronado. Comunicacin Personal. San Jos, Costa Rica. Junio, 1998. MEIC. 1990. Evaluacin de las condiciones de calidad, precio y abastecimiento de la produccin nacional de tarimas de madera para transporte de banano. Informe DCE 1420/90. Ministerio de Economa, Industria y Comercio (MEIC). San Jos, Costa Rica. Murillo, O. and Valerio, J. 1991. Gmelina arborea Roxb., especie de rbol de uso mltiple en Amrica Central. Informe Tcnico No. 181. CATIE, Turrialba, Costa Rica. 69 pp. SINAC. 1998. Estadsticas sobre el Sector Forestal. Sistema Nacional de Areas de Conservacin (SINAC), Ministerio de Ambiente y Energa (MINAE). San Jos, Costa Rica. Vallejos, O. 1996. Productividad y relaciones del ndice de sitio con variables fisiogrficas, edficas y foliares para Tectona grandis L.F., Bombacopsis quinatum (Jacq) Dugand y Gmelina arborea Roxb. en Costa Rica. CATIE, Tesis M.Sc. 147 pp. Vazques, W. and Ugalde, L. 1995. Rendimiento y calidad de sitio para Gmelina arborea, Tectona grandis, Bombacopsis quinatum y Pinus caribaea en Guanacaste, Costa Rica. Serie Tcnica N. 256. CATIE, Turrialba, Costa Rica. 40 pp. Zeaser, D. 1998. El Programa de Mejoramiento de Ston Forestal. En: Seminario Aumento de la Rentabilidad de las plantaciones forestales: Un reto ligado al uso de semilla de alta calidad. San Jos, Costa Rica.

13 Appendix. Costs of establishing and managing one hectare of melina with an initial density of 1,111 trees per hectare. Costa Rica, 1998 Costs Year 1
Item Quantity Amount (colons)

Labor
Total weeding Marking Hoeing Planting Cleaning around Fertilization Furrows Weeding Firebreaks Insecticide application Removal of suckers Expenses and Services Trees Fertilizers (QL) Pesticides (PTE) Transport (Average) Admin. And Tech. Assistance Total year 1 1 111 1 1 20 1 38 885 3 800 700 5 000 5 000 111 635 10 2 8 2 6 1 6 10 3 1 1 11 650 2 330 9 320 2 330 6 990 1 165 6 990 11 650 3 495 1 165 1 165

Cost Year 2
Labor 2 Furrows with cleaning around Trimming? Firebreak cleaning Fertilizer application Pesticide application Pruning 14 10 3 1 1 2 16 310 11 650 3 495 1 165 1 165 2 913

Expenses and Services


Fertilizers (QL) Pesticides (PTE) Pruning Equipment and Expenses Admin. And Technical Assist. Total year 2 1 1 1 3 800 700 3 750 5 000 49 948

14
....Continued

Cost Year 3
Item Quantity Amount (colons)

Labor
Fertilization Furrows Weeding Firebreaks Marking, cutting and application (non commercial thinning) Expenses and Services Fertilizers Admin. and Technical Assist. Total Year 3 2 7 10 3 10 2 796 8 155 5 825 3 495 0

2 1

7 600 5 000 32 871

Cost Year 4 Labor


Pruning Firebreaks Thinning marking 5 3 10 7 281 3 495 11 650

Expenses and Services


Pruning equipment and expen. Admin. and Technical Assist. Total Year 4 Cost Year 5 1 12 500 5 000 39 926

Labor
Firebreaks 3 3 495

Expenses and Services


Admin. and Technical Assist. Total Year 5 1 5 000 8 495

15
....Continued

Cost Year 6 Item Labor


Firebreaks Thinning Marking 3 10 3 495 0

Quantity

Amount (colons)

Expenses and Services


Admin. and Technical Assist. Total Year 6 1 5 000 8 495

Cost Year 7 Labor


Firebreaks Thinning marking 3 4 3 495 4 660

Expenses and Services


Admin. and Technical Assist. Total Year 7 1 5 000 13 155

Cost Year 8 Labor


Firebreaks 3 3 495

Expenses and Services


Admin. and Technical Assist. Total Year 8 1 5 000 8 495

Cost Year 9 Labor


Firebreaks Thinning Marking 3 4 3 495 0

Expenses and Services


Admin. And Technical Assist. Total Year 9 1 5 000 8 495

16
....Continued

Cost Year 10
Item

Quantity
Firebreaks Final cut control 3

Amount (colons)

Labor
3 495 10 000

Expenses and Services


Admin. And Technical Assist. Total Year 10 1 5 000 18 495

Cost Year 11
Labor Firebreaks 3 0

Expenses and Services


Admin. And Technical Assist. Total Year 11 1 0 0

Cost Year 12 Labor


Firebreaks Final cut control 3 0 0

Expenses and Services


Admin. Technical Assist. 1 0 Total Year 12 0 General Total 300 010 Source: Marielos Alfaro and Mario Villamizar, consultants for RNT S.A. with information from JUNAFORCA (1997), COSEFORMA (1997) and AGUADEFOR (1998). Daily salary US$4,66/8 hours. 1US$= 250 colons.

17 FAO - Forestry Department List of Working Papers on Forest Plantation Working Paper FP/1 Working Paper FP/2 Working Paper FP/3 Working Paper FP/4 Working Paper FP/5 Working Paper FP/6 Working Paper FP/7 Mean Annual Volume Increment of Selected Industrial Species. Ugalde L. and Perez O. April 2001. Biological Sustainability of Productivity in Successive Rotations. Evans J. March 2001. Plantation Productivity. Libby W.J. March 2001. Promotion of Valuable Hardwood Plantations in the Tropics. A Global Overview. Odoom F.K. March 2001. Plantations and Wood Energy. Mead D.J. March 2001. Non-Forest Tree Plantations. Killmann W. March 2001. Role of Plantations as Substitutes for Natural Forests in Wood Supply Lessons learned from the Asia-Pacific Region. Waggener T. March 2001. Financial and Other Incentives for Plantation Establishment. Williams J. March 2001. The Impact of Forest Policies and Legislation on Forest Plantations. Perley C.J.K. March 2001. Protecting Plantations from Pests and Diseases. Ciesla W.M. March 2001. Forestry Out-Grower Schemes: A Global View. Race D. and Desmond H. March 2001. Plantations and Greenhouse Gas Mitigation: A Short Review. Moura-Costa P. and Aukland L. March 2001. Future Production from Forest Plantations. Brown C. March 2001. Forest Plantation Resources, FAO Data Sets 1980, 1990, 1995 and 2000. Del Lungo, A. December 2001. Global Forest Plantation Development: Review for FRA 2000. Vuorinen A.P. and Carle, J.B. April 2002.

Working Paper FP/8 Working Paper FP/9 Working Paper FP/10 Working Paper FP/11 Working Paper FP/12 Working Paper FP/13 Working Paper FP/14 Working Paper FP/15

18 Working Paper FP/16S Bibliografa Anotada Sobre los Efectos Ambientales, Sociales y Econmicos de los Eucaliptos. Compilacin de documentos elaborados en ingls, francs y espaol entre 1985 y 1994. Marzo de 2002. Annotated Bibliography on Environmental, Social and Economic Impacts of Eucalyptus. Compilation from English, French and Spanish Literature, 1985 to 1994. Revised (Combined) Edition, March 2002. Bibliografa Anotada Sobre los Efectos Ambientales, Sociales y Econmicos de los Eucaliptos. Compilacin de documentos elaborados en ingls, francs y espaol entre 1995 y 1999. Palmberg C., Marzo de 2002. Annotated Bibliography on Environmental, Social and Economic Impacts of Eucalyptus. Compilation from English, French and Spanish Literature, 1995 to 1999. Palmberg C., March 2002. Tropical forest plantation areas 1995 data set. Pandey D. May 2002. Teak (Tectona grandis) in Central America. De Camino, R.V., Alfaro, M.M. and Sage, L.F.M. May 2002. Melina (Gmelina arborea) in Central America. Alfaro, M.M. and De Camino, R.V. May 2002. Case study of hardwood programmes in Fiji, Solomon Islands and Papua New Guinea. Hammond, D. May 2002. Case study of long rotation eucalypt plantations in New South Wales. Heathcote, R. June 2002. Case study of the tropical forest plantations of Malaysia. Krishnapillay, D.B. June 2002. Hardwood plantations in Ghana. Odoom, F. June 2002.

Working Paper FP/16E

Working Paper FP/17S

Working Paper FP/17E

Working Paper FP/18 Working Paper FP/19 Working Paper FP/20 Working Paper FP/21 Working Paper FP/22 Working Paper FP/23 Working Paper FP/24