RT-Paulownia trees have market potential

Hamden speaking to reporters after attending the launch of TSG Green’s RT Paulownia Tissue Culture Laboratory here.

KUCHING: The Forest Department Sarawak (FDS) is looking for ways to encourage Licensed Planted Forest (LPF) holders to plant RT Paulownia trees in surplus lands.

Its director Datuk Hamden Mohammad said the state has allocated 2.1 million hectares for the planting of timber-type plants including RT Paulownia and only 540,000 hectares of the space has been utilised so far.

“This is a new species, so we will try to encourage LPF holders to allocate maybe about 10 percent of their land to plant RT-Paulownia,” he told reporters after attending the launch of TSG Green’s RT Paulownia Tissue Culture Laboratory here on Thursday (Nov 18).

Hamden said the RT Paulownia seed developed by TSG Green is one of the fastest growing timber trees in Sarawak at current times.

“Two or three years ago, I was a bit sceptical of RT-Paulownia trees to be planted in Sarawak because this plant is typically only planted in West Malaysia and may be incompatible with our soil in the state.

“However, we found that the tree and soil were compatible and was able to be planted in Sarawak and there is a lot of potential for this type of timber plant.

“When looking at past research, we can see that there is a lot of demand for RT-Paulownia timber from outside countries such as China and Japan for house building and musical instrument manufacturing,” he explained.

He said FDS would also probe into planting other types of renewable and fast-growing timber plants to be planted in the near future.

“We will also look further into the demands of various types of timber wood and with the potential of RT-Paulownia, the future is bright for Sarawak,” he added.