Shading Your Way with Calophyllum inophyllum
The coastal portions of the villages such as Khlong Son, Khlong Phrao Bay, Salak Khok and Salak Phet are regarded beach forest where Calophyllum inophyllum tree is among the green plants in sight. Aside from the shade or shelter usage, it is found to be excellent in soil protection against degradation or erosion.
The Calophyllum inophyllum is categorized as a medium tree species that grows up to 25 to 35 meters in height. It has a twisted or leaning bole which usually measured up to 150 centimeters in diameter without buttresses. The outer smooth bark is often seen with yellowish or ochre tint and diamond fissures which become confluent with age while its inner bark is described as thick, soft, fibrous, laminated and turned dark brown due to exposure. The crown of this tree species is conical to narrowly hemispherical. The leaves are elliptical, thick, smooth, polished, ovate or oblong which measures between 5.5 cm-23 cm long. The flowers are usually bisexual but sometimes function unisexual with sweet scent. They are pollinated normally by insects particularly by bees. Its fruits are spherical to ovoid drupe measuring 25-50 millimeters long in grayish-green color with a compact thin smooth outer layer skin. Fruiting occurs throughout the year in varying periods. Regeneration in the natural course usually occurs near the mother tree and found to take longer time when the seed it not yet fully ripe. However, when seed is sown right after ripening, the tree can be grown from seed without much difficulty.
As a littoral tree of the tropics, Calophyllum inophyllum occurs above the high-tide mark along sea coasts of northern Australia, southern India and Southeast Asia. It grows commonly on sandy beaches as in the case of Koh Chang but sightings of this species along inland sandy soils of the protected rainforests are observed. It thrives on soil which is generally dry at the surface near the point where brackish waters are produced as river and sea meet for the tree demands light temperature.