100 million tree-planting campaign: know the trees, areas before planting - FRIM

KUALA LUMPUR (Bernama): The public has been advised to identify the types of trees and location suitability to ensure that the trees can grow well and have a longer life span, thus, ensuring the success of the 100 Million Tree-Planting Campaign 2021-2025.

Head of Floral Biodiversity Programme, Forest Biodiversity Division of the Forest Research Institute Malaysia (FRIM) Dr Richard Chung (pic) said the choice of tree species should be suitable for the planting area, benefit the ecological environment and help in the conservation efforts.

For large areas, the planting of just one or two species of trees should be avoided. Instead, a mixture of a variety of tree species would help create a more stable environment.

"The choice of species must meet the purpose of planting and land suitability, including prioritising local tree species, fast-growing trees which require minimum care, deep roots, suitable soil conditions, less leaf, branch or fruit fall and no poisonous fruits.

"Many are interested in planting forest tree species in their garden without realising that these trees will cause maintenance problems like uncontrolled growth or trees that can damage public amenities,” he said in a statement.

The 100 Million Tree-Planting Campaign 2021-2025 was launched in January and was part of the Greening Malaysia programme.

It was an effort to conserve the country’s biodiversity while improving the quality of the natural environment and rivers.

According to Chung, tree species could be identified through natural habitat or using field and herbarium features.

He said that among the natural habitats found in the country included hill dipterocarp forest, upper hill dipterocarp forest, mountain oak forest, mountain ericaceous forest, marine swamp forest, peat swamp forest, freshwater swamp forest, riparian edge forest, coastal forest, swamp forest and limestone forest.

"The field characteristic used to identify the trees are the shape and colour of the tree canopy, the nature and colour of the tree trunk, the surface and colour of the tree bark, colour, rubber, arrangement and smell of the tree bark.

"The herbarium features used to identify tree species are through the characteristics and types of leaves, flowers and fruits that need to be evaluated to accurately identify the species of the tree," he said.

In Malaysia, there are about 15,000 species of vascular plants, with 5,000 of them being trees, while the Kepong Herbarium, which has been recognised as the National Herbarium, now has more than 400,000 plant specimens from within and outside the country. - Bernama

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