TAIPING: Hundreds of shady jati trees planted under a programme to green the environment about three years ago will be felled to make way for a road-widening exercise at Jalan Kuala Kangsar-Butterworth here.
While replanting the trees, known scientifically as Tectona grandis, would be an ideal option, the cost of such an exercise is commercially prohibitive.
District forestry officer Amir Idris, who confirmed the “fate” of the trees, said the contractor engaged for the road-widening project had applied for a permit to remove the trees.
“We did ponder about salvaging the trees but it was ruled out due to the high cost of excavating the trees and wrapping up their roots, the procedure involved in an instant replanting exercise,” he said.
Amir said jati trees were ideally harvested after 15 years.
“However, the trees affected by the road-widening project are only about three years old and the size is small, holding no significant commercial value,” he said.
He said in order to command a good price, the trees must have growth rings, which the young jati trees affected by the project, did not have.
Amir said dozens of durian trees would also be felled under the project but their owners had been given cash compensation by the contractor who planned to sell them off as logs.
“The contractor has also applied for a permit for the purpose and he will be required to pay royalty for that,” he said.
Abdul Rahman Abdul Zainal, 38, a contractor in Parit Mentri, hoped the trees could be replanted along the widened stretch of road.
“Other than being nice to look at, they also provide shade to pedestrians and cyclists,” he said.
He said timber sourced from mature jati trees was in demand among furniture makers due to its durability.
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