New Zealand Journal of Forestry (1983) 28(3): 432–435
©New Zealand Institute of Forestry
Developments in coconut utilisation.
A. J. McQuire and R. M. Madrazo
Coconut stem utilisation is recognised as a necessary adjunct to the replacement of over-mature plantations for both economic and phytosanitary reasons. Research into methods of utilising the stem has been carried out since 1975 in several countries but the greatest effort has been at the project supported by the Philippine Coconut Authority, the Food and Agriculture Organization, and the New Zealand Government, at Zamboanga, Southern Philippines.
This research centre is equipped with four circular sawmills (of varying sizes), a drying kiln, a preservation plant, a fully equipped sawdoctor shop and machine shop, a truss-making factory, and a charcoal kiln.
Coconut wood has been used in houses built at the centre, for virtually all building components, including foundations, framing, flooring, wall panels, exterior sheathing, joinery and roofing. The houses serve as performance tests for these commodities and there are supplementary exposure tests for various preservative systems and surface coatings.
Currently, the best uses for coconut wood were seen as decorative panels, flooring, roof shingles and furniture of the highest grades, general building, particularly low-cost housing, for intermediate grades, and energy for lowest grades.