Saturday, June 13, 2009



To clear the old rubber stand from the land for replanting with oil palm


To fell the old stand by chain-saw rather than to uproot by buldozer. Uprooting should only considered under special circumtances.


The contract for felling, clearing and burning is normally given to a reliable experience contractor. The old stand is either fell by chainsaw or uprooted by buldozer fitted with a front-mounted tree dozer. Burning is carried out 8 to 10 weeks after felling.

In areas close to a big town, a brick kiln, a charcoal kiln or where there is a ready demand for rubber wood, it is possible to carry out felling, clearing and burning at no cost or even at a profit to the estate.

Under such a circumstances, the contractor is allowed to take away the rubber timber. Any rubber timber, whici is not taken away, is burned.

Depending upon the demand for rubber wood, on top of free felling, clearing and burning, the contractor has even paid up to RM5,000/ha. to the estate.


A. Contract

When an area is due for replanting, a suitable felling contractor should be engaged as early as possible.

In drawing up agreement, the following clauses should also be included:-

1. details of felling, clearing and burning procedure.
2. commencement and completion dates.
3. agreed rate for felling, clearing and burning.
4. agreed rate (if any) for rubber wood.
5. compensation to the state for any damages.
6. compliance with the Workmen's Compensation Enactment and the Employeee's
Social and Secutiry Act,1969 against injuries and accidents.
7. penalties.

B. Felling

Two common methods of clearing are:-
1. Felling and stacking by chain-saw.
2. uprooting and stacking by bulldozer.

Since there is little root disease risk for oil palm from rubber stumps if the trees are throughly poisoned well in advance of felling, it is preferable to adopt the method of felling and stacking by chain-saw. The trees should be felled as close to the ground as possible.

The disadvantage of uprooting by bulldozer are:-
1. high cost
2. soil erosion on hilly terrain.
3. soil compaction.
4. damage to existing drains.

Labour/machinery requirements for both methods of clearing are estimated as follows:-

a. Chain-saw method
  1. If the rubber timber is to be sold, felling and cutting will require about 13 chain-saw operators per hectare and stacking/burning about 15 man-days per hectare.
  2. If the rubber timber is not to be sold, felling will require about 1.25 chain-saw operator per hectare and burning (including stacking and reburning) about 37 mandays per hectare.
b. Uprooting method by bulldozer
  1. a D6 bulldozer will be able to uproot about 2 ha. per day.
  2. a D6 bulldozer will be able to stack 4 ha per daya
  3. a D6 bulldozer and 4 workers will be able to burn about 3 ha. per day.
Under this method of clearing, it will be very difficult to burn the uprooted stumps if the timber has been sold.

C. Burning

Burning of the felled trees is recommended. The advantages of burning are:-

  1. easy supervision and maintenance due to better access.
  2. cheaper cost of upkeep.
  3. easier establishment of legume cover crops.
  4. easier lallang control.
  5. lesser rat manace.
The advantages of no burning are mainly prevention of soil erosion and subsequent maintenance of soil fertility. However from practical point of view, the advantages of burning far outweigh the advantangs of leaving the felled trees unburned.

Burning is carried out 8 to 10 weeks after felling. A clean fire belt is essential when a boundary is adjacent to an area already under cultivation before burning is carried out. The district office, fire brigade and private properties adjacent to the area to be burned should be notified.

D. Sale Of Rubber Wood

If there is already demand and if the return from sales is attractive, arrangements should be made to sell the rubber wood. Any timber or branches, which are not taken away, should be stacked and burned.

However apart from the attractive return, there is no other advantage from selling the rubber wood.

The disadvantages of selling the rubber wood are:-

  1. Soil compaction
  2. damage to roads
  3. on hilly terrain, soil erosion occurs along lorry tracts.
  4. felling work usually slows down when the demand for rubber wood is poor.
5. Time Of Felling

A usual programme will be to fell n Dicember/February, burn in Feb/mac well in advance of wet season and leave plenty of times for lining, platforing, holing, sowing legume cover crops, etc. before planting in July/Oct (according to local planting season). However, felling will have to commence earlier if terracing is intended or if replanting covers a large acreage.

6. Poisoning

A sodium arsenate is not available now in the market, 2,4 5T is used for poisoning. 2,4 5T is diluted with 19 parts of diesoline and painted/or sparayed on to the basal 0.4 meter (15 inches) of trunk. 5 liters of the diluted solution will treat about 27 moderately grown trees. No removal of bark is required. It is much better to pre-poison the trees 2 to 3 months before felling to prevent the stump left in the ground, following chain-saw felling, from shooting, to hasten the decay of the stumps and to reduce the development of root disease and the serious potential hazard from rhinoceros beetle.
The cut surface of the stumps should be preferably be treated with creosote to prevent invasion by spores of the root disease fungi. Treatment with creosote should follow the felling operation as closely as possible.

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