Terminalia catappa (Bislama Name – Natapoa), or tropical almond, has been identified as an excellent agroforestry tree species for Vanuatu and similar areas of the humid tropics and subtropics. Natapoa has been identified by the Vanuatu Department of Forests (DoF) as a priority plantation and reforestation species. Natapoa produces edible nuts, medicines and timber. Whilst the timber from mature trees is highly regarded in Vanuatu, there is currently very little information in the scientific literature on the growth potential, silvicultural management or on basic wood properties from plantation grown trees.
This species has much to offer growers of agroforestry systems, and is widely accepted across the Pacific as a tree that warrants further development; however, the extent to which the plantation grown wood can be considered a high value hardwood remains largely unknown. The objective of this small research activity was to assess growth and wood quality from three stands of planted Terminalia catappa (Natapoa) in Vanuatu. The data collected on growth and wood properties was used to develop information for landowners interested in planting high value timber trees. The data will also be used to write scientific conference presentations and papers.