Azadirachta excelsa, known as Sentang by a native, a fast-growing and light-hardwood tree, was one of the selected species included in forest plantation projects in the mid-1990s by the Malaysian government to supply timber demands for local and international markets. Ambiguity has been pointed out about the species potential due to understudied and limited data available regarding the properties of the tree. This paper investigates the physical properties of 26 years old Sentang tree planted at Jeli, Kelantan, Malaysia. This paper focuses on the effects of radial growth rates on moisture content, density, and shrinkage from the pith to the bark at the bottom, DBH, middle, and top of the trees. Three trees were categorized into slow, average, and fast growth rates were selected and harvested for this purpose. Overall, the results were as follows. The green MC of all the categorized trees tends to decrease from the pith to the bark. However, the same tendency was not observed in the density. As predicted, the shrinkage in the tangential direction is higher than in the radial and longitudinal directions. In addition, the shrinkage in the tangential direction of the fast-growth rate tree has the highest compared to the other categorized trees.
Keywords: [Azadirachta excelsa, density, moisture content, shrinkage, tree growth rates]