Teak Farmer
- Growing Teak in Belize -
Great Idea with Great Potential

Drying Teak Seeds
Teak Seed Beds
Teak Seedlings at 5 Months
Teak Plant at 8 Months
Teak Tree at 12 Months

Introduction to Teak Production in Belize

Teak or Tectona grandis is a highly valued wood and the climatic conditions in Belize, where we have a 700 acre farm, are very favorable for the production of teak.  You may have thought about teak as a very slow growing tree that will take forever to produce marketable timber, but in reality teak grows  fast and can produce income after the first 5 to 7 years. 

There are 3 different weather patterns in Belize: dry in the North, hot and humid in the South and fairly temperate in the Center of the country where our farm is located.  The temperatures vary between 68F to 90F, depending on the time of the year. November, December and January are the cooler months with the lows down to 60F at night. The rainy season starts in June and can last through January with showers on and off but also weeks with no rain at all. The months of February through May are considered the drier months of the year with very little rainfall, which is quite suitable for teak production.

We started our farm in Belize about 5 years ago with the idea of growing citrus.  Our farm, FreshWater Creek Farms, Ltd. is located one mile west of the well-maintained Southern Highway which is five miles west of Hopkins, a small coastal fishing village. We are 15 minutes from the seashore town of Dangriga.  The farm has several year-round creeks which get fed by the rains from the lower mountain range.  These drain into Fresh Water creek, which touches the property on the north side.  We constructed our own road into the farm (now considered a governmental road), then cleared and planted about 200 acres with orange, grapefruit, lemon, lime and mango trees.  A caretaker's house and a large agricultural barn was added to facilitate production and supply.  By damming off one of the creeks a small lake was created which is supplying hydro electricity to the farm.  We have built specially designed greenhouses for the production of tomatoes, peppers and cucumbers for the local market.  These shade houses are also used for the propagation of palms, grasses and flowering ornamentals for local sales and export.  Recently we have imported a movable timber mill for the processing and production of lumber for our own use as well as for local market sales. 

However, the occurrence of the “greening disease” in the citrus industry has thrown a monkey wrench into the expansion of our citrus production.  About three years ago with the idea of more diversification we planted a couple of acres with teak trees.  Check out the attached pictures: after three years the trees are almost 29 feet tall!  As soon as the rainy season starts this fall, we will be planting the first one hundred acres with teak seedlings on previous logged areas which were originally planned for citrus production.  In the spring of 2010 we obtained 500 kilos of certified Tectona grandis (teak) seed from a well respected palm nursery in Costa Rica and we expect to produce over 200,000 seedlings this fall.  With fifty years of production experience in the horticultural field and having produced agricultural crops on three continents: North America, South America and Europe, we believe that producing teak in Belize, C.A. has great potential.  The climate in Belize is almost Mediterranean, not unlike Southern Florida.  The infrastructure on the farm is in place and we know what we are doing in regards to taking care of the crops.  After all we are the owners of Flower World, Inc. in Snohomish, Washington, a large retail and wholesale nursery.  Check us out at www.flowerworldusa.com


Logwood was one of the original tree crops harvested in this area along with mahogany.  In the late 1700's English pirates and loggers congregated in British Honduras (Belize) and realized that cutting the trees, floating them down the river and shipping them to Europe was a very profitable endeavor.  Several treaties between Spain and England tried to control the harvesting of mahogany.

We believe that growing a teak plantation, if done properly, is great for the environment.  With all the concerns for the environmental impact on National Forests, much of the tropical world has made it illegal to harvest from these areas.  This will make plantation grown teak the only other alternative.  By researching other teak plantations and teak production reports we have learned a great deal.  We encourage you to do the same.  Teak does not have to be harvested at a certain age beyond seven years of production.  Beginning in the eighth year harvesting can be started at any time when the world price is acceptable and profitable to the seller.  The price of teak does not fluctuate as much as the price of other commodities.   Remember that one cubic meter of lumber is equal to 424 board feet of lumber; that one hectare of production (10,000 square meters) is the equivalent of 2.47 acres.  For additional information from different sources, click on the 'Informative Links' page.