Fire is the single greatest risk to the Teak plantation, primarily during the first 2-3 years. After the fourth year of growth, the bark of the Teak tree becomes very resistant to fire. The leaves are large and rubbery and are highly resistant to fire. The biggest threat is in the first yearly dry season when dry grass of shrubs can ignite and kill the young Teak trees. Therefore, during the first two years, considerable funds will be spent keeping the grass and shrubs cut back.
Because of the unique characteristics of Teak, there are no known insects or no known insect infestations that have done any large scale damage to any mature Teak plantation in Panama. Young plants and nursery stock are subject to a root eating insect which must be treated with a special pesticide.
Teak is extremely resistant to plagues and diseases. The one area of concern is in the initial planting of the young nursery trees where the roots are susceptible to fungal attack. All new plants will be treated with a proven anti-fungal compound. Once the tap root has matured, fungal infection ceases to be a significant problem.
During the first four years of development, grazing animals such as cattle and horses can cause damage to the plantation.
In Panama there are no hurricanes. Local meteorologists affirm that Panama is not exempt from hurricanes, although they make it clear that they do not frequently head towards the country.
The land is one great, wild, untidy, luxuriant hothouse, made by Nature for herself…. How great would be the desire in every admirer of Nature to behold, if such were possible, the scenery of another planet!… Yet to every person … it may truly be said,… that the glories of another world are opened to him.
From The Voyage of the Beagle, when first he experienced the tropical rain forest a century and a half ago.