The establishment of the Segamat research station was realized on 29 October 2002 when FRIM’s (Forest Research Institute Malaysia) application to acquire an area measuring 500 acres in Segamat was approved by the Johor State Government. The research station is located in the Sungai Segamat district surrounded by Perhilitan on the north-eastern boundary, PTD 5636 on the western boundary and Maniigrowth Plantation on the south-eastern boundary.

Subsequent to the granting of the land in June 2003, FRIM appointed a certified land surveyor to measure the actual area of land. The results showed that the actual area was 722 acres, which was more than the acreage of the land formerly awarded.

FRIM Segamat research station is situated on undulating lowlands, on dry and swampy area, with a soil type of sandy yellow clay. Although the entire land (phases 1, 2, and 3) measuring up to 300 acres were cleared, not all can be utilized for tree-planting. An estimated area of 35 acres of land comprised valleys and swamps were discovered as not feasible for tree-planting. For these lands, FRIM decided upon an agroforestry project, in order to maximize the usage of land.

The overall land development was planned in stages and progressed yearly. The plantation was managed intensively using the latest technology supported by applications of the more recent research findings.

To date, 300 acres of land had been cleared, developed and planted with various local and exotic species of trees. Up to April 2007, species such as jelutong, sentang, Khaya ivorensis, Khaya senegalensis, merawan siput jantan, meranti temak nipis, karas dan meranti temak have been established. Because it was situated beside Perhilitan, there was always a possibility of wildlife encroaching and damaging the newly planted trees. As such, elephant trenches measuring 8’ x 10’ x 4’ and 216 feet long were dug along the boundaries adjacent to Perhilitan, to prevent the entry of wildlife.

Dam

Three dams were built to function as water reservoirs, supplying water to the research station. Besides serving as a water catchment area, the surrounding vicinity of the dams was beautified by planting trees of various forest species. Landscaping works were carried out to give a face-lift to the area while complementing it to the natural scenery. The area will serve as an ideal recreation site for visitors to savour the forest panorama. It will further strengthen the station as a destination for ecotourism.

Gazebo

There are three gazebos built within the station grounds. Gazebo 1 is situated at the main entrance (Jelutong), while Gazebo 2 in the Sentang plot and Gazebo 3 beside the access road to Maniigrowth Plantation (Khaya ivorensis). At the moment, only Gazebo 3 is equipped with toilet facilities. The gazebos function as meeting or discussion areas besides providing shelter and resting place for visitors. Gazebo 3 for instance, is equipped with white boards and tables to facilitate briefing sessions for visitors.

The vision

Segamat research station is to establish itself as a centre of reference for research on multiple species of forest plantation.

The objectives

  • To be a pilot plantation and an example of forest plantation integrating multiple species.
  • To be a centre of reference for management of forest plantation and agroforestry.
  • To be a research and education centre.
  • To be a centre of ecotourism.

Output and Impacts Expected from the Project

  • The establishment of a pilot plantation as an example and reference for the management of forest plantation.
  • The establishment of a pilot plantation which will be managed using the latest knowledge and technology from R&D.
  • The establishment of an agro forestry system that maximizes land usage and increases initial cash flow for the industry
  • The establishment of an ecotourism centre based on forestry.

Personnel The Segamat Research Station has a staffing of 5 staffs headed by a Manager.

Eleven species of trees were established in their respective sites in the Segamat Research Station during the year 2004 and 2005.
No Speceis Date planted Age * Planting blocks No of trees Area (acre)**
1 Merawan siput jantan (Hopea odorata) July-Oct 2004 & Sept 2005 14 – 28 months 7-16, 47, 49,51-53. 69-70 &73 19,351 58.64
2 Khaya ivorensis (Khaya ivorensis) Mar-Oct 2004 & July 2005 16 – 32 months 2-6, 17-20, 35-38, 41-46 & 57 28,964 87.77
3 Meranti temak nipis (Shorea roxburghii) Apr 2004 31 months 21 1,369 4.15
4 Meranti temak (Shorea hypochra) Apr 2004 31 months 32, 39-40 2,931 8.89
5 Jelutong (Dyera costulata) May 2004 30 months 22 – 25 2,122 6.43
6 Karas (Aquilaria malaccensis) Jun 2004 29 months 30-31 & 34 1,236 3.74
7 Sentang (Azadirachta excelsa) Oct 2004/Jan 2005 22 – 25 months 54-56, 60-61, 71-72 7,192 21.8
8 Tongkat Ali (Eurycoma longifolia) July 2005 & Sept 2005 14 – 16 months 18-19 3,852 16.19 (planted between Khaya ivorensis)
9 Jati (Clone 16) (Tectona grandis) July 005 16 months 63-65 2,511 7.61
10 Jati (Clone 25) (Tectona grandis) May/July 2005 16 – 18 months 59 & 62 3,056 9.26
11 Nyatoh taban merah (Palaqium gutta) Sept 2005 14 months 74 967 2.93
* Age of trees in Nov 2006** @330 trees/acre   Total 73,551 227.41

Establishment of research blocks

Research blocks were established for each of the species selected and 200 trees were planted per blocks.

Species No. of Trees No. of blocks
1. Jelutong 600 3
2. Khaya ivorensis 600 3
3. Merawan siput jantan 600 3
4. Meranti temak 600 3
5. Meranti temak nipis 400 2
6. Sentang 600 3
7. Nyatoh taban merah 300 2
Total 3700 19

Studies carried out in each of the research blocks include:

  • the study of tree growth
  • the study of diseases and pests
  • the identification of problems faced by plantation forest
  • the ability of the species to overcome plantation problems
  • agroforestry

Documentation of research data

Data on the pilot plantation and research blocks are being documented continuously. Among the available data are:

  • Species planted
  • Total area of each species planted
  • Types of soil
  • Location of the species
  • Meteorological data
  • Control of soil and pest disease
  • Information on seeds
  • Block maintenance
  • Cost of development
  • Plantation treatments

Studies on soil microbes

Nimura Genetic Solutions Sdn Bhd carried out a scientific study on soil microbes at the Segamat Research Station. A total of 70 soil samples were taken for further analysis between 26 April 2005 and 16 June 2005.

Mohd Noor Mahat

Tel : 03-62797092

E-mail : mohdnoor[at]frim.gov.my