Fast growing trees to transform timber industry

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KUCHING: The emphasis on planting fast growing trees will be a boon to the state’s timber industry.

Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Abang Johari Tun Openg said this would also ensure sustainability of the raw materials.

“This ensures sustainability for the industry in the long run as within a few years’ time, the trees can be harvested.

“The raw materials will be sustainable in terms of availability. For furniture, sustainability also depends on design.

“Maybe (in the future) we have creative students who can create better designed timber-based products,” he said.

The chief minister spoke when officiating at the launch of TSG Green’s RT Paulownia Tissue Culture Laboratory here on Thursday (Nov 18).

Earlier on, he participated in a RT Paulownia tree planting event at TSG Green’s Research and Development (R&D) plot in Samarahan, accompanied by the company’s founder and group chief executive officer, Datuk Chris Chung.

“If the price is reasonable, we can incorporate the use of the timber in our projects to build affordable houses,” said Abang Johari.

Known as the aluminium of timber, the Paulownia family of trees has been sought after around the globe due to its fast-growing properties and capability of producing desirable wood qualities.

The wood has the best strength to weight ratio, making it durable for industries such as construction, building materials, musical instruments and furniture.

Other countries such as Germany capitalise on the biomass of the Paulownia tree for other industries such as biofuels.

While the tree itself is not native to Malaysia, a suitable variant of the Paulownia tree which thrives in the local tropical climate is key to harnessing its potential.

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