Forestry being a biological product has strict growing conditions, as such Asia Plantation Capital Group Expert Selection Committee carefully identifies suitable land each year for planting, based on soil and climatic conditions, water availability and exposure to risks.
A small piece of a plant, which can be anything from a piece of stem, root, leaf or bud, to a single cell, is placed in a test tube. The cells, tissues and organs of a plant are separated, then cultivated in the test tubes with a nutrient media under controlled environmental conditions. The cultured plant lives off a source of energy of sugar, salts and vitamins. From these cultured parts, an embryo or explant develops, which then grows into a whole new plant or tree.
It was the French botanist George Morel who first discovered the technique in 1965 while he was attempting to obtain a virus-free orchid plant. Tissue culture has been around commercially since the 1970's in advanced countries, and is now widely used in the developing world.
Tissue culture is really the mass cloning of elite tree species, which has been shown to have better and more predictable results than for open-pollenated seedlings from the same trees.
The concept has great relevance for countries like Sri Lanka where agriculture is still the predominant activity and requires new technology to increase production. As a leading forestry provider, APC uses tissue culture for the development not only of teak but also agarwood.
Custom-built nurseries for seedling development ensure that only the strongest saplings are planted on the plantations, thereby ensuring a high survival rate.
Seedling development is achieved through controlled pollination using the healthiest tree, which goes on to improve the available gene pool for new plantings each year. Current plantations are derived from seeds originally sourced from Vietnam, Thailand and Malaysia, ensuring indigenous suitability.
Aquilaria tree growth and agarwood production is both an art and a skilled science which require specialised processes such as inoculation to stimulate the resinous heartwood, and complex end-processing to extract the highly valuable agarwood chips and oud oil.
Professional craftsmanship is required to be able to optimise the return on each tree. An understanding of these final and critical stages of inoculation and extraction is key to being able to maximise the overall effect.
Key considerations are:-
- When to inoculate
- How much inoculation to use per tree
- When to administer inoculation boosters
- Optimal harvest times
- The ability to be able to extract maximum value of the end product
- Intellectual property
The invention provides a method of producing agarwood by forming an artificial wound into the xylem of an Aquilaria tree and providing a means for aerating the wound. The wound may be formed by cutting, drilling, or chopping or by inserting a nail. A resin-inducing agent is applied to the cells surrounding the wound. This resin-inducing agent stimulates resin production in the tree.
Optimal growth requires careful and phased interplanting to maintain biodiversity and natural forest environment.