The stem of rubber trees at the foot should normally have 2.5 to 3 meters (8-10 feet) height to take revenue by proper tapping. Branches should be developed after that height. To achieve this height, branches that shoot from the stem of the rubber plants are plucked off in their early age. 3-4 branches that shoot after reaching 2.5 to 3-meter height are allowed to grow. It helps the balanced growth of the tree. Very often, saplings grow branches at this specified height.
But, some rubber saplings are different. They don’t grow branches even after reaching the specified height. In such cases, branches have to be grown artificially. To achieve this, farmers commonly remove the bud from the top of the pant. This practise is wrong. Subsequently, many branches develop just beneath the bud that is removed. Branches should grow without harming the growth of the bud.
The new technique to grow branches without causing harm to the sapling is purely harmless and natural. The mature bud of any plant is covered from sunlight to keep it dormant. And this activity gives a wake-up call to the dormant buds just beneath it. This is the principle applied to shoot new branches.
Although there are several ways to grow branches in the sapling, OM Abdul Hameed, a former Assistant Field Officer in Malankara Estate, Thodupuzha found the technique that is fairly practical.
According to his technique, when the top layer leaves are mature enough, they are coupled together around the bud covering it and tied up. So, the bud is kept away from receiving sunlight by a group of leaves. The position of the knot around the leaves is very important. Make sure that the knot must be just below the bud.
The knot must be gentle enough. It can be done with a banana fibre or a thread. The knot shouldn’t be too tight to damage the stem of leaves. If the fastening is above the bud, as the bud grows, it will take a turn because of the bond. The bond blocks the straight growth.
Likewise, if the fastening is too below the bud and lose, sunlight will hit the bud, preventing the dormant buds below from growing. Thus, the whole attempt fails.
If the knot is fastened correctly, new offshoots sprout out just beneath the covered bud after 10 days since the action. The leaves can be released after 3-4 sprouts have come up.
If more than required number of offshoots come up, maintain 3-4 sprouts to all directions and remove the rest of them. In Hameed’s opinion, this method is successful and effective except in severe summer.
The rubber trees grown under the care of Hameed with a balanced branch distribution in the Malankara Estate attract the attention of people. Though he retired from his official role, even in his 70s, he is still active and available to clear any doubts of farmers.
Contact Hameed on 9946879566
For more details, contact Rubber Board call centre. Phone: 0481 257 66 22