The Teak Harvest Continues

The owner of the land behind and around our neighborhood is having teak trees cut down for lumber. The workers have been very happy to talk with me and answer my questions. I learned that the trees are 35 years old, and they plan to cut 70 of them. That’s a lot of teak and according to my neighbor, muchisimas plata (a whole lot of money). She also thinks the teak is going to be exported to China.

The guys continue to be hard at work cutting the teak and hauling it away. Wednesday it was all going on at once. Guys were below cutting, the tractor was hauling up the trees,  guys were above cutting logs to size, and other guys were putting the pieces on the truck, driving off with it, and then returning with the empty truck to do it again. That’s a lot of activity in our usually quiet end of the street. They were even loading the truck after dark and in the pouring rain!

This is our street. I was standing more or less in front of our house which is on the right. The fence is in front of my across the street neighbor. The pine forest is behind and beyond her house. Straight ahead the road ends at the edge of a cliff. The teak trees are mostly down there next to the river.

This is our street. I was standing in front of our house which is on the right. The fence is in front of my across the street neighbor. The pine forest is behind and beyond her house. Straight ahead the road ends at the edge of a cliff. The teak trees are mostly down there next to the river. They have been bringing them up to this area. You can see some of them beyond my neighbors fence, and there are more in front of the workmen’s white truck.

To the right of the white truck in the photo above is a road. It hasn’t been used in many years and was completely overgrown. Joel and I went down there when we first moved here but it was hard going and involved a machete to cut our way though. But, the guys have cleared it now so they can use it to haul up trees. How nice for us! We have an excellent new route down to the river.

Today we decided to go exploring a bit.


I think it’s really beautiful in the woods and when they get finished with their work, I’m sure I’ll be taking more advantage of the cleared road. I am also interested to see that though they have cut a lot of trees, there are still a lot of smaller teak trees and a variety of other trees and plants. The area is changed but it doesn’t look naked or damaged. The woods are also thin because of the brush fires that burned through here three months ago. In some of the photos you can see the scorched and charred trucks of trees. What a comeback though, in a short time.

I would have had to climb through underbrush and over rocks to get to the river and I wasn’t in the mood or prepared. Next time though, I must get to the river. This is the part where the water rushes over the rocks and the sound can easily be heard from our house. If I can discover and clear a good access point, it will be a nice, nearby place to enjoy our beautiful river.

Yesterday was much quieter. Only the two guys in the white truck showed up, and I could hear their chain saws and trees crashing down below. It will be interesting to see what today brings. So far two pickup trucks have arrived with the guys who have the chain saws and drive the tractor, but it’s still early.

And, they tell me that after the teak, they will be harvesting the trees in the pine forest. it’s not going to look the same around here.

Ahh, and here comes the truck that hauls away the wood. It’s going to be a busy day in the neighborhood!

About Kris Cunningham

We live in David, Chiriqui Provence, Republic of Panama! This blog is about some of our experiences in our new country.
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6 Responses to The Teak Harvest Continues

  1. Robert & Helen. says:

    On your way to Boca Chica at the last end you will see a lot of those trees.I have visited the teak wooden palace of the father of the present king of Thailand. Beautiful and strong. We are moving into our new house at Jardines de Boquete in about 2 weeks. About 80 yards of the road were paved with rough stones. We live next to the mother of the mayor of Boquete. 2 days ago MOP paved at with asphalt. We are lucky too.


    • Yes, I remember all the teak down there. There is some south of David as well, but not nearly as much as on the way to Boca Chica. Good luck with the moving and the new house!


  2. Anonymous says:

    Thank you so much for your blog, Kris. I pictured myself going on this beautiful walk with you ~ felt just like I was there. Maybe someday I’ll meet you! Carey


  3. Mel Spera says:

    Kris – Thank you so much for writing this blog. I’m learning so much and in such a colorful and meaningful way. I’m hoping to be able to spend some time in the Boquete or Cerro Azul area next year before making the grand move. My dog Parker loved the photos of the “jungle” and can’t wait to go swimming in the river 😇. Keep at it, Lady, there are a lot of us who depend upon you. Maybe we should start a fan club????


    • Now I will definitely have to clear a good access point to the river so your dog can have a nice swim.
      Thanks so much, happy to hear you enjoy the blog 🙂 I already have a fan club of sorts in my followers. I never thought this blog would become such a thing, but we have met so many nice people on line and in person and I’m glad people find it helpful.


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