The timber of this species is durable and highly fragrant and is prized for high value furniture and craftwork as well as internal panelling in houses. In local villages it is often used for roof shingles. The demand for the timber is the principal driver behind illegal logging, especially in Việt Nam. Some attempts have been made to establish plantations as an alternative to exploiting natural forests but the slow growth rates make it unlikely that plantation timber will supplant wild sourced timber in the near future. Fokienia has recently been used for climatic studies on the past variability in the SE Asian monsoon and Niño events. Its great longevity (ca 1500 years at least) and sensitivity to moisture makes it an ideal candidate for such studies (Buckley et al., 2010; Sano, 2008).
References and further reading
- Buckley, B., K. Anchukaitas, D. Penny, R. Fletcher, E. Cook, M. Sano, Le Canh Nam, A. Wichiekeeof, Ton That Minh & Truong Mai Hong. (2010). Climate as a contributing factor in the demise of Angkor, Cambodia. PNAS: www.pnas.org/cgi/doi/10.1073/pnas.0910827107.
- Le Trong Trai & Mahood, S.P. (2008). The illegal wildlife and timber trade network around Chu Yang Sin National Park, Dak Lak Province, Vietnam. BirdLife International Vietnam Programme, Hanoi.
- Nguyen Phi Truyen & Osborn, T. (2006). Report on the trade and utilisation of Fokienia hodginsii in Lao Cai and Son La provinces, northern Vietnam. Fauna & Flora International – Vietnam Conservation Support Programme., Hanoi.
- Nguyen, T.H., Phan, K.L., Nguyen, D.T.L.,Thomas, P.I., Farjon, A., Averyanov, L. & Regalado Jr., J. (2004). Vietnam Conifers: Conservation Status Review 2004. Fauna & Flora International, Vietnam, Hanoi.
- Sano, M., B. Buckley & Sweda, T. (2008). Tree-ring based hydroclimate reconstruction over northern Vietnam from Fokienia hodginsii: eighteenth century mega-drought and tropical Pacific influence. Climate Dynamics: DOI 10.1007/s00382-008-0454-y.
- Thomas, P., Sengdala, K., Lamxay, V. & Khou, E. (2007). New records of Conifers in Cambodia and Laos. Edinburgh Journal of Botany 64(1): 37-44.
- Yamane, M. & Chanthirath, K. (2000). Lao Cypress Forests: Causes of Degradation and the Present State of Conservation in Lao P.D.R. International Review for Environmental Strategies 1(1): 119-133.