Forest trees are becoming endangered, too; here’s what our scientists are doing to help

LUCBAN, Quezon – To meet the high demand for quality planting materials of the wood-based industry, ensuring the supply of our forest tree resources is a must.

To achieve this, the Philippine Council for Agriculture, Aquatic, and Natural Resources Research and Development of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST-PCAARRD) funded a project in support of the National Greening Program.

Titled, “S&T Interventions on the Production of Quality Planting Materials of Two Important Forest Tree Species [Makaasim (Syzygium nitidum Benth) and Batikuling (Litsea leytensis Merr.)] Indigenous in Mt. Banahaw de Lucban,” the project aims to showcase a scientific way of producing high-quality planting stocks of indigenous trees for tree plantation. The Southern Luzon State University (SLSU), through Forester Kathreena Gutierrez, as project leader, implements the project.

“We chose Makaasim and Batikuling since these tree species are already considered endangered,” said Gutierrez.

“With SLSU’s existing clonal nursery, we would be able to assist LGUs (local government units), nursery managers, and tree farmers to produce any volume of cloned seedlings at any time of the year. By cloning, the spread of disease is prevented by producing disease-free and pest-resistant clones,” she added.

As the monitoring and funding agency, DOST-PCAARD will work with SLSU in evaluating project deliverables. The project is expected to develop rooting protocols for cloned Batikuling and Makaasim and to produce high-quality planting stocks of indigenous forest tree species in July 2019.

A detailed production cost for nursery production of planting stocks, and more data on root and shoot growth of target species are also expected by the end of the project (DOST-PCAARRD S&T Media Services).

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