KUALA KANGSAR: The first rubber tree planted in Malaysia, estimated to be over 140 years old, is now said to be worth almost RM200,000.
Kuala Kangsar Municipal Council (MPKK) secretary Saiful Azli Mohamed Nor said the rubber tree, or its scientific name Hevea brasiliensis, requires maximum care with maintenance and treatment costs of between RM3,000 and RM5,000 a year.
"The current value of this rubber tree is RM194,183. This rubber tree is included in the list of heritage trees of MPKK.
"It’s turning 146 years old, so this tree does not have enough energy reserves to repair its own structure if any damage occurs," he told Bernama recently.
According to Saiful Azli, tree pruning is done once a year at a cost of RM1,000 to RM3,000 depending on the difficulty of the work while fungicide and fertiliser would cost between RM500 and RM1,000.
"Health evaluation and advanced assessment are done every two years with an estimated cost of between RM500 and RM2,000 depending on the current condition of the tree," he said.
In 1877, a total of 22 rubber seedlings were brought into the country from Kew Gardens, England. Of the 22 seedlings, nine were sown in Kuala Kangsar.
Asked on its life span, Saiful Azli said it cannot be estimated.
"However, we are trying to maintain the life of this rubber tree by giving proper treatment and care," he added. - Bernama