Agarwood Harvesters: Masters of the Forest in Pursuit of a Precious Resource

55-60 year old tree in remote district of Assam Border to Bhutan.


 In this article, we delve into the fascinating world of agarwood harvesters, individuals who navigate the depths of the forest to locate and extract a valuable resource known as agarwood. This resinous substance forms within infected Aquilaria trees and has been highly prized for centuries due to its aromatic properties and spiritual significance. It continues to be a key component in many traditional Asian perfumes and incense recipes.

The art of identifying and harvesting agarwood is a skill passed down through generations, as there is no scientific method to find infected trees. These harvesters, often called wild hunters or marginal traders, develop their instincts and expertise over time by learning from experienced mentors.

Agarwood harvesters carefully analyze various factors to identify infected trees, such as stunted crown development, swellings, bark cracks, and trunk depressions. The presence of dieback on the tree's top or outer branches or evidence of ant nests and worm boreholes can also indicate infection, prompting further assessment.


Hunter next to agarwood tree in Upper Assam.


Their craft might lack standardization, but these harvesters have nearly perfected their tree-selection methods, striving to protect healthy trees and maintain sustainable practices. Their dedication to preserving the environment and forging a harmonious relationship with the forest is a testament to their passion for nature and a deep understanding of the importance of balancing human activities with environmental conservation.

With the increasing demand for agarwood, it becomes crucial to support these skilled artisans and explore possibilities for scientific research to further refine this intuitive process. By combining the intuition of these harvesters with modern science in a sustainable manner, the art of agarwood harvesting can be preserved for future generations while protecting the forests that nurture these trees.

- Zak
Founder & Partner of Ahom World


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#عود #خشب_العود #دهن_العود #دبي

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