A Thousand-Year Journey: Meeting Southeast Asia's Oldest Living Tree

A Thousand-Year Journey: Meeting Southeast Asia's Oldest Living Tree

Koompassia excelsa, commonly known as the Menggeris or menggeris tree, is a species of tropical hardwood tree that is native to Southeast Asia, including Malaysia, Indonesia, and Thailand. It is known to be one of the tallest trees in the region, with some reaching heights of up to 80 meters. But perhaps most impressively, it is also one of the oldest trees in Southeast Asia, with some individuals estimated to be over 1,000 years old.

One of the most impressive aspects of the tree is its longevity. While it is difficult to accurately determine the age of a tree, some individuals have been estimated to be over 1,000 years old, making it one of the oldest trees in Southeast Asia. Its slow growth rate and longevity make it particularly vulnerable to habitat loss, and the tree is currently facing numerous threats, including deforestation, logging, and climate change.

Keterangan Gambar (© Pemilik Gambar)

The Menggeris tree is a member of the Fabaceae family and is known for its impressive ecological and cultural significance. It is particularly important to the local ecology, as it provides homes for a wide variety of creatures, including birds, monkeys, and insects. In fact, it is known to be a keystone species in many rainforest ecosystems, providing nesting sites for birds and creating a microhabitat for other plants and animals.

Aside from its ecological importance, the menggeris tree is also culturally significant to the indigenous people of Southeast Asia. Many consider it to be a sacred tree and incorporate it into their traditional healing practices. The resin of the tree, which is known as "menggeris honey," is also highly valued and is harvested by climbing the tree and collecting the honey from the hives that are often found on its branches.

Despite its importance, the menggeris tree is facing numerous threats, including deforestation, logging, and habitat loss. In recent years, there have been efforts to protect the tree and its habitat, including the establishment of protected areas and conservation programs.

One of the challenges in protecting the menggeris tree is its difficult growing conditions. It requires specific soil types and rainfall patterns, and it is particularly vulnerable to drought and other environmental stressors. In addition, the menggeris tree is slow-growing, with some individuals taking several hundred years to reach maturity.

Despite these challenges, there is hope for the menggeris tree's future. Conservation efforts are underway, and researchers are working to better understand the tree's biology and ecology. Through these efforts, it is hoped that this ancient and important tree can be protected for generations to come.

The menggeris tree plays a vital role in the ecology of the Southeast Asian rainforest. Its large size and long lifespan provide valuable habitat and resources for a wide variety of creatures, including birds, monkeys, and insects. In addition, the tree's distinctive resin, which is known as "menggeris honey," is highly valued and is harvested by local people for medicinal and cultural purposes.


  1. Chin, Y.K. et al. (2009). Koompassia excelsa, the tallest tropical tree, demonstrates a new light‐capture strategy through leaf orientation and form. New Phytologist, 184(1), 175-181.
  2. Davies, S.J. et al. (2014). menggeris honey: a unique honey produced from the giant Asian honeybee (Apis dorsata). Food Chemistry, 141(4), 3484-3490.
  3. Maycock, C.R. (1990). The ecology of the menggeris tree (Koompassia excelsa) in the Malay Peninsula. Journal of Tropical Ecology, 6(4), 467-480.
  4. Okuda, T. et al. (2005). Relationship between menggeris tree (Koompassia excelsa) height and edaphic factors on a hill slope in a lowland dipterocarp forest, Peninsular Malaysia. Journal of Tropical Ecology, 21(2), 223-226
Akhyari Hananto

I began my career in the banking industry in 1997, and stayed approx 6 years in it. This industry boost his knowledge about the economic condition in Indonesia, both macro and micro, and how to More understand it. My banking career continued in Yogyakarta when I joined in a program funded by the Asian Development Bank (ADB),as the coordinator for a program aimed to help improve the quality of learning and teaching process in private universities in Yogyakarta. When the earthquake stroke Yogyakarta, I chose to join an international NGO working in the area of ?disaster response and management, which allows me to help rebuild the city, as well as other disaster-stricken area in Indonesia. I went on to become the coordinator for emergency response in the Asia Pacific region. Then I was assigned for 1 year in Cambodia, as a country coordinator mostly to deliver developmental programs (water and sanitation, education, livelihood). In 2009, he continued his career as a protocol and HR officer at the U.S. Consulate General in Surabaya, and two years later I joined the Political and Economic Section until now, where i have to deal with extensive range of people and government officials, as well as private and government institution troughout eastern Indonesia. I am the founder and Editor-in-Chief in Good News From Indonesia (GNFI), a growing and influential social media movement, and was selected as one of The Most Influential Netizen 2011 by The Marketeers magazine. I also wrote a book on "Fundamentals of Disaster Management in 2007"?, "Good News From Indonesia : Beragam Prestasi Anak Bangsa di dunia"? which was luanched in August 2013, and "Indonesia Bersyukur"? which is launched in Sept 2013. In 2014, 3 books were released in which i was one of the writer; "Indonesia Pelangi Dunia"?, "Indonesia The Untold Stories"? and "Growing! Meretas Jalan Kejayaan" I give lectures to students in lectures nationwide, sharing on full range of issues, from economy, to diplomacy Less
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