Embrace new species

A standing matured Ficus mucuso tree

A standing matured Ficus mucuso tree

Trees are one of the wonders of nature, no tree species is useless.

I needed to get good wood from the market to construct a reading table in my room. On getting to the market I couldn’t get my desired wood species, as it was not in stock, because of the high demand for it.

I asked is there no other substitute. The plank seller introduced me to another species “Ficus mucoso” but I was not willing to buy any other. I went back home dissatisfied. But some years after I decided to research on this species: Ficus mucuso.

Ficus mucuso is a large tree up to 36m height and 3.5m girth, buttressed, branching at about 15m. The tree can be found in many parts of Nigeria like Oyo State (Ibadan), Ogun State (Olokemeji Forest Reserve) and Edo State (Okomu Forest Reserve). It is normally in forest especially secondary forest.

Studies carried out on LUS in the market and their frequencies of utilization were Bombax buonopozense (16.2%), Blighia sapida (10.8%) and Ficus mucuso (7.6%). Ficus mucuso was the least utilized species despite its availability. Generally strength values obtained from studies were lower than those of economic tree species such as Milicia excelsa, Khaya species and Mansonia altissima, but compared well with Alstonia boonei, Antiaris toxicaria and Triplochiton scleroxylon.

Ficus mucuso ripsawed cleanly, crosscut easily and planed satisfactorily when compared with other economic tree species. It may however be utilized for items subjected to low-to-medium load applications such as light cabinet, chair frames, plywood, veneer and composite production.

The medicinal uses include insomnia, rheumatism, convulsion, malaria, hypertension, stroke, measles, pain and yellow fever. Embracing this new species would reduce pressure on the economic tree species and further enhance research on them.

Blogpost and picture submitted by Olajide Adejoba (Forestry Research Institute, Nigeria) – dejob_j(at)yahoo.com

The content, structure and grammar is at the discretion of the author only.

This post is published as entry #63 of our #Forests2015 blog competition. It is submitted in the “Open” category.

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