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   Gaharu Engkaras Planted Saplings - By J.T

Picture 1

A Gaharu Engkaras (Aquilaria malaccensis) sapling (Picture 1), which was planted on September 29, 2006 on a poor quality site. So what my co-workers and I have done for the “remedy”? Well, we dug some 1 ft. x 1 ft. 1 ft. planting pits – for Gaharu Engkaras and other tree species. The recommended planting distances are 5 m x 5 m.

We used modified soil (i.e. compost) as pit filler. Planting pits of that size are suitable for rootball growth, especially when doing planting on poor quality site(s). It’s a common knowledge for every planter that they shouldn’t plant their “double digits price” plants in “a digit price” planting pits, as such effort could jeopardize their so-called “long term” investment! Compost is suitable as “cushion” for the tree rootballs and also to enable tree roots to “conquer” the “soft” soil volume within a short time. For agriculture enthusiast(s), compost or so-called “top soil” can be obtained – freely – by digging a shallow, “trench-like” around your planted, clustered banana plants!

How to determine whether it is a “top soil” or not? Well, the dug soil is black-brownish in color (due to decayed organic matter – composed of decayed banana leaves and trunks, including weeds) and contained lots of earthworms. Yup, don’t forget to put some N-P-K fertilizer (Chap Jambatan is hereby recommended!) in the dug “trench-like” around the banana clustered plant(s) and cover it with the new, pruned banana leaves and trunks (if any), including unwanted weeds.

Picture 2

Another 2-year old Gaharu Engkaras sapling (Picture 2). The long boots were placed near the tree trunk to indicate the “available” scale in order to determine the tree height. The boot length is about 1 ft. (± 30 cm), so hopefully you’ll do the calculation lah! The attached labels on the ground indicate the locations for types of slow-release N-P-K fertilizer used in the previous experiments.

For details on Gaharu Engkaras and its products, visit

Close-up view (see Photo 3)of shiny Gaharu Engkaras young leaves – three weeks after the application of slow-release N-P-K fertilizer. The pests and diseases that could damage Gaharu Engkaras saplings are unknown. However, aphids (Empangau) are the only known pest that caused damage to nearby, planted Geronggang (Cratoxylum arborescens) and Kelampayan (Neolamarckia cadamba)* saplings – by drilling and sucking the sap at the terminal section of the plants! Anyway, those aphids (and its caterpillars) are beautiful creatures and I really enjoy watching them…

Picture 3

* For those who are living within Kuching vicinity, you can see planted Kelampayan saplings in front of Sarawak Tree Seed Bank at Semenggok, KM 20, Jalan Penrissen (planted at the right-of-way) – opposite Jalan Kampong Jawa (see Google Map below - Picture 4).

Picture 4