|Altingia excelsa is an evergreen, monoecious, large, and lofty tree, 40-60 m high, with straight bole and branching at 20-35 m above the ground. Young trees are very elegant with a dense pyramidal (later becoming more rounded) crown. The bark light grey, smooth with narrow, longitudinal fissures and irregularly flakes|
A. excelsa occurs naturally mainly in humid mixed hill and montane forests. It is often a gregarious species, often associated with species of oaks, Podocarpus, Quercus, and Castanopsis.
|Food: The young reddish-brown tips of the branches or leaves are eaten raw or cooked as a vegetable or mixed in a salad. The sweetly scented seeds are food for monkeys and birds|
Timber: The wood is red, very durable, and can be used in direct contact with the soil. Because of its long, branchless bole, it is favoured for frames of bridges, columns, and beams for construction, power, and telephone transmission poles, and railway sleepers. The timber is used in heavy construction, vehicle bodies, ship and boat building, heavy flooring, rafters, veneer, plywood, and pulp.