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 jelutung, 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.
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.
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.
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
Documentation of research data
Data on the pilot plantation and research blocks are being documented continuously. Among the available data are:
Total area of each species planted
Types of soil
Location of the species
Control of soil and pest disease
Information on seeds
Cost of development
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.