Would you believe that one narra tree struck by lightning could have yielded P100,000 worth of finished wood products in the early 1990s? Yes, at prices obtaining then. Here is the story.
Jimmy Araneta is a sugarcane and forest tree planter in Bago City in Negros Occidental. At the Agri-Kapihan Forum early in the 1990s, he related that a 25-year-old narra tree that he planted in the periphery of his sugarcane plantation was struck by lightning which nearly killed it.
The damage was such that portions of the trunk were already starting to decay. That was why he decided to cut it down. What he recovered was only half of what a normal tree of its size would have yielded.
He converted it into lumber suitable for making furniture or for construction. He determined the actual market price of the wood recovered and found that it was P30,000 at current prices then. If the tree were not damaged, he could have recovered P60,000 worth of lumber.
Jimmy also discovered something he did not previously realize. Even the small branches could be turned into cash. One friend had told him that the small branches could be processed into pieces that are suitable for making pet cages that are highly in demand in the United States.
The bigger branches that are about six to eight inches in diameter could also be fashioned into high-quality support for glass tables. And even the stump and roots could be dug up and made into unique furniture and handicraft items such as trinkets and ashtrays. All these could be exported.
Jimmy calculated how much would be the value of the finished products he could have derived if all the trunk, branches and roots of the damaged narra tree were sold. He revealed it could easily reach P100,000. That was a big amount in the early 1990s.