Acacia mangium

N. B. Clark n.clark at
Wed Feb 21 16:42:05 EST 1996

In article <4gdd7u$1mc at>, lewtheprof at aol.comä says...
> does anyone know anything specific or a reference to this species or hyb.
>I find seed for sale but almost no specific info.

About acacias
There are about 1100 species of the genus Acacia world-wide, of which 850 
occur in Australia and neighbouring PNG and Indonesia. The remainder are 
endemic largely to Africa and tropical America (Boland et al. 1984). A 
critical feature of the genus is the ability to survive and grow rapidly in a 
wide range of environments with low soil nutrients, in part because of an 
ability to fix atmospheric nitrogen through symbiotic associations with 
Rhizobium bacteria or with mycorrhizal fungi (Gunn and Midgley 1991). 

The genus has adapted to a wide range of environments, including arid, saline, 
alkaline and waterlogged soils (Turnbull et al. 1986). Considerable 
intraspecific variation has been found in salt and waterlogging tolerance, 
which may allow selection of provenances to suit individual environments 
(Marcar et al. 1991).

Acacias have been planted in many countries around the world. In China the 
total area of acacia plantations is estimated at 60000 ha. In addition, 
roadside plantings extend for 3000 km. Main species are A. mearnsii, A. 
dealbata, A. mangium, A. auriculiformis, A. crassicarpa and A. holosericea 
(Wang and Fang 1991).

In Indonesia, at the end of 1990, about 38000 ha of A. mangium had been 
planted in Sumatra, approximately 25000 ha being established since 1988. About 
10000 ha have been planted in other areas of Indonesia, mainly Kalimantan 
(Werren 1991).  

A. mangium has also been extensively planted in Malaysia, where it is used in 
the Sabah Forest Industries pulp and paper mill at Sipitang (Clark et al. 

A. mearnsii may be the most widely planted acacia. It is grown for tannin for 
leather and waterproof adhesives, fuelwood, charcoal, activated carbon, light 
building material, mine timber, fencing posts, parquet flooring, hardboard and 
chipboard (Searle 1991). These plantations are now also viewed as a valuable 
pulpwood resource. 

Plantation-grown A. mearnsii is currently being used commercially in South 
Africa as a component of a wood furnish for kraft and soda-AQ pulp production, 
and A. mearnsii woodchips are exported from that country to Japan for use in 
the manufacture of kraft pulps (Logan 1987). Nicholson (1991) found that the 
pulping properties of these export woodchips were superior to those of 
Eucalyptus grandis from the same country.

At the Riocell mill in Brazil, A. mearnsii from plantations grown for tannin 
is co-pulped with eucalypts on a regular basis (Lundgren 1991).

In Australia, A. dealbata (from native forest) is recognized as a very good 
quality pulpwood by one paper company (Batchelor et al. 1970) and when 
available, is used as a minor species in the wood intake to a soda-AQ pulping 
plant (Logan 1987).  

In tropical climates, acacias have compelling advantages for pulpwood 
plantations. In heavily populated countries, most fertile areas are needed for 
agriculture and low fertility regions are often the only areas available for 
forestry. Acacias are often the best alternative for utilizing or reclaiming 
these areas. At least two tropical acacias, A. mangium and A. auriculiformis, 
grow very quickly and give excellent pulpwood. These acacias feature high pulp 
yield, good black liquor properties, are easily bleached, and have papermaking 
properties suitable for the manufacture of fine papers. Tests carried out at 
this Division have confirmed the pulpwood quality of these acacias and have 
identified the related species, A. aulacocarpa, as another acacia with good 
prospects for pulpwood plantations in the tropics.  

Even in temperate regions where eucalypts can be successfully grown for pulp, 
there may be a place for acacia plantations in certain circumstances:

• Where survival and growth rates of eucalypts are not as good as those of 
acacias on the available site. e.g. low nutrient soils.

• Where acacia plantations can be used for other purposes as well as for 
pulpwood. e.g. tannin production for tanning and adhesives.

• Where soil improvement through the growing of nitrogen fixing plants is 

• Where the final paper product requires high opacity. e.g. fine papers. 

Boland, D.J., Brooker, M.I.H., Chippendale, G.M., Hall, N., Hyland, B.P.M., 
Johnston, R.D., Kleinig, D.A. and Turner, J.D. 1984. Forest trees of 
Australia. Nelson/CSIRO. 

Clark, N.B., Balodis, V., Fang, G. and Wang J. 1991. Pulping properties of 
tropical acacias. In: Turnbull, J.W., ed., Advances in tropical acacia 
research. ACIAR, 138-144.

Gunn, B.V. and Midgley, S.J. 1991. Genetic resources and tree improvement. 
Exploring and accessing the genetic resources of four selected tropical 
acacias. In: Turnbull, J.W., ed., Advances in tropical acacia research. ACIAR, 

Logan, A.F. 1987. Australian acacias for pulpwood. In: Turnbull, J.W., ed., 
Australian acacias in developing countries. ACIAR, 89-94.

Lundgren, S. 1991. A modern fibre line for fully bleached chemical pulp based 
on wood raw materials from tropical regions. Paper presented at the Tropical 
Pulp Conference, Jakarta.

Marcar, N.E., Ganesan, S.K. and Field, J. 1991. Genetic variation for salt and 
waterlogging tolerance of Acacia auriculiformis. In: Turnbull, J.W., ed., 
Advances in tropical acacia research. ACIAR, 82-86.

Nicholson, C.R.L. 1991. The pulping and mechanical properties of black wattle 
(Acacia mearnsii) timber. Annual Research Report - Institute for Commercial 
Forestry Research, Pietermaritzburg, South Africa.

Searle, S. The rise and demise of the black wattle bark industry in Australia. 
CSIRO Division of Forestry, Technical Paper no. 1.

Turnbull, J.W., Martensz, P.N. and Hall, N. 1986. Notes on lesser-known 
Australian trees and shrubs with potential for fuelwood and agroforestry. In: 
Turnbull, J.W. ed., Multipurpose Australian trees and shrubs. ACIAR Monograph 
No. 1, 108-111.

Wang, H. and Fang, Y. 1991. The history of acacia introductions to China. In: 
Turnbull, J.W., ed., Advances in tropical acacia research. ACIAR, 64-66.

Werren, M. Plantation development of Acacia mangium in Sumatra. In: Turnbull, 
J.W., ed., Advances in tropical acacia research. ACIAR, 107-109.

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