Tree injury prevention

I have received repeated questions from either visitors or village people on why plastic cover was used ? Following photos were taken on 12 July 2012 when the trees were 11-month old. For weed management, I don’t use herbicide to control the weed. With my workers available, i ensure them to cut the weed by lawn cutter. Prior to the countermeasure there were some trees damaged completely during the cutting process. Later, suggestion to cover the tree with a protective mean by using plastic bottle.


This tree had been injured prior to countermeasure. The injured location may be weak enough to support if strong wind is present, the tree tends to collapse. If the cut is too deep, the tree may die.


The cut was quite obvious. With the protective cover installed, worker will be alerted to retract the cutting stroke.


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Indecisive situation

One proverb says “A woman can satisfy only to one man but can not satisfy every men”.


Whatever you do, people will always find something new to say. If you venture into Gaharu business, this universal problem will hit you, always you find problem with people opinions. If you pay too much attention to others, you are not managing yourself. Indecisive condition will drag you further, firm to your own decision after having analyzed those inputs you gained from the senior.

There are always lots of way doing something, just a matter you do it long way or through short-cut. A long way does not mean a wrong way and short-cut does not represent a proper method. You will reach the destination eventually. No one will judge this way is wrong or right. Choose a way that you feel comfortable and reasonable, you proceed, after all perfect does not exist in the imperfect world.


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Tigers freed after five days — they were safe

BANDA ACEH, INDONESIA (8 July 2013)—Rescuers on Monday reached five men trapped in trees by several Sumatran tigers for five days after the angry animals mauled a sixth man to death, police said.

First Lt. Surya Purba said three tamers managed to drive the tigers away before the men who were in weak condition were evacuated from trees in the protected Mount Leuser National Park in Tamiang, an Aceh district neighbouring with North Sumatra province.

The men were looking for rare agarwood — used to make incense and perfume — and accidently caught a tiger cub in a trap they were using to catch deer for food, said district police chief Lieut. Col. Dicky Sondani.

The incident caused five other tigers in the area to attack the men, Sondani said, citing reports from villagers who received mobile phone messages Thursday from the survivors. One of the men was mauled to death, while the five others managed to climb into trees.

The rescue team needed three days to reach the rugged area, said Sondani who was worried that the men could be weak and fall from the trees due to a lack of food.

“I received a report from rescuers that they have just evacuated the men after tamers managed to drive away the tigers,” Purba said. “They are all in weak condition.” He added they survived by drinking rain water.

The 28-year-old man who was mauled to death had managed to climb a tree, “but the branch broke, causing him to fall to the ground,” Purba said.

There were seven tigers wandering around the trees but four left before the rescuers arrived, he said.

The rescue team of soldiers, policemen and conservationists was sent after villagers failed to reach the men because of the tigers.


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Gaharu hunters trapped by “Big cat”

BANDA ACEH, Indonesia (8July 2013) – Rescuers are searching for five men reportedly trapped in trees by several Sumatran tigers after the angry animals mauled a sixth man to death, police said Monday.Agarwood hunter

Local police chief Lt. Col. Dicky Sondani said a 30-member rescue team had been sent to the protected Mount Leuser National Park in Taming, an Aceh district neighbouring with North Sumatra province.

The men were looking for rare agarwood — used to make incense and perfume — and accidently caught a tiger cub in a trap they were using to catch deer for food.

The incident caused five other tigers in the area to attack the men, Sondani said, citing reports from villagers who received mobile phone messages Thursday from the survivors.

One of the men was mauled to death, while the five others managed to climb into trees, he said.

The rescue team needed three days to reach the rugged terrain area, but they had not located the missing men as of Monday, Sondani said.

“We are worried because they could be weak and fall from the trees due to a lack of food,” Sondani said.

5 lelaki terperangkap atas pokok selama 3 hari

Banda Aceh – Lima lelaki terperangkap di atas pokok sejak tiga hari lalu selepas dikejar oleh beberapa ekor harimau Sumatera.

Agarwood hunter

You bunuh anak saya,kalau u turun, I baham u sampai mati.

Seorang rakan mereka mati dibaham haiwan berkenaan.

Polis berkata, lima harimau masih berada di bawah pokok itu selepas mengejar lelaki berkenaan Khamis lalu.

Kejadian berlaku selepas lelaki itu yang mencari kayu gaharu di Taman Negara Hutan Leuser di puncak Sungai Rengas, Tenggulun, kawasan Aceh Tamiang, membunuh seekor anak harimau secara tidak sengaja.

Konflik antara manusia dengan haiwan semakin menjadi-jadi di Indonesia. Tetapi, dalam kebanyakan kes, ia berakhir dengan padah menimpa haiwan terbabit.

Ketua Polis Tamiang, Dicky Sondani berkata, selain mencari gaharu, lelaki berkenaan turut memasang perangkap untuk menangkap rusa tetapi di luar dugaan yang terjerat malam itu justru seekor anak harimau yang disebut-sebut langsung mati.

Selagi mereka beristirahat, tiba-tiba sekitar pukul 03.00 WIB muncul empat ekor harimau dewasa di lokasi mereka menginap. Diduga induk harimau marah karena anaknya mati. Tanpa pikir panjang, keenam pencari kayu alim itu langsung berlari mencari pohon terdekat untuk dipanjat.Pada saat memanjat pohon di tengah malam buta itulah, salah satu dari mereka, David, terjatuh dan langsung diterkam harimau. “Informasi terakhir, tubuh korban tinggal setengah setelah dimakan oleh empat harimau,” ujar Kapolsek mengutip keterangan datok penghulu (kepala desa).

Menurutnya, 30 orang terdiri daripada polis dan tentera sudah melancarkan gerakan menyelamat mangsa kelmarin selepas dia dan tiga anggotanya terpaksa berpatah balik setelah melihat harimau itu.

Dicky juga berkata, usaha untuk mendapatkan khidmat pawang harimau sehingga semalam masih belum berhasil.

Anggota penyelamat mungkin mengambil masa dua hingga tiga hari untuk tiba di kawasan terbabit. Lebih buruk lagi, mereka juga terpaksa berdepan dengan harimau dan binatang liar lain, termasuk gajah.

Agarwood hunter

Dalam proses pencarian, Basarnas dibantu potensi SAR lainnya yakni Satgas Aceh Tamiang, Satgas SAR Langsa, Satgas SAR Idi, TNI Aceh Tamiang, dan Polsek Simpang Kir

Harimau Sumatera adalah harimau paling kecil di dunia. Hanya 400 hingga 500 ekor dipercayai masih hidup.

“Jika harimau itu masih berada di bawah pokok, kami mungkin terpaksa menembak mereka, paling tidak dengan ubat pelali, untuk menyelamatkan kelima-lima mangsa,” kata Dicky. – Agensi


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Agarwood nightmare

Vietnam, Million-dollar ky nam (agarwood) has enticed thousands of dreamers all over the country to try their luck in a jungle in the central region where they are being threatened by theft, rockslides, and deadly diseases or even involved in bloody scuffles.image1

Following a recent rumor that seven kilograms of ky nam worth VND55 billion (US$2.64 million) have been cultivated in a small valley in Khanh Hoa central province’s Khanh Son district, countless people hailing from neighboring provinces like Da Nang, Quang Nam, Quang Ngai, and Phu Yen have flocked there to search for the precious wood in hopes of finding a better life.

During the week-long course of working undercover to do this photo report, Tuoi Tre reporter witnessed the horrible living conditions of the wood hunters as they had to drink polluted water from puddles of water around or used chopsticks made of small tree branches to eat.

At nightfall, they slept in hammocks hung in the jungle or some slept sitting up by a cooking fire despite high risks of malaria or other jungle-born maladies.

Most of the wood hunters are poor and many of them had to borrow money from their relatives or friends to pay travel costs for the trip to their “dreamland”.

However, just a few of them were fortunate to find small pieces of ky nam and many went home empty-handed with deep-set eyes due to lack of sleep and dark dirty skin after hardworking days of searching in the sun.

Truong Tan Dat, a 47-year-old wood hunter hailing from Van Ninh district in Khanh Hoa province, told Tuoi Tre: “I arrived here after traveling a distance of more than 400 kilometers to avoid police and security guards because I was curious about the rumor that a group of people has found ky nam here and because I have five mouths to feed.”

“But the weather has been ugly in the area, so probably I will go back home empty-handed,” he sighed.


A hunter luckily finds a piece of ky nam as small as a finger that is craved by hundreds of eyes around.


Agarwood hunters are looking for their landing field in the jungle.


A young man is watching foggy that shrouds Gop Nga mountain before he and his companion take a trip to an area – a couple of hundred meters away from their place – that is rumored to have ky nam.


A frugal lunch of a small dried fish for wood hunters hailing from Van Gia commune in Khanh Hoa province.


A group of wood hunters from Van Ninh commune had waited in a tent until the rain stopped.


Huynh (L), 50, and Kien hailing from Van Gia commune risk their lives, sheltering under a huge rock. They believe that the two small tree trunks as seen in this photo are able to prevent a rockslide.


A group of wood hunters shelter under a canvas during a rain.


Countless people are scouring a 200m2 area that is rumored to have ky nam.


Each team has a leader, who is in charge of entering the names of the members on the pay-list which will later make it easy for him to share money if they find something valuable.


Two young men from Van Thang commune, Van Ninh district take a short rest after hardworking hours of searching.


A man luckily finds a small piece of ky nam as small as a finger in an area of Gop Nga mountain.


After hours of scouring, a team of 300 hunters from Van Gia commune discovered some pieces of ky nam as small as a finger. The members were delighted by the discovery while the leader quickly put the pieces into his pocket to prevent them from being robbed by aragwood thieves.


On the way to their hometown on the afternoon of September 28, the team of agrawood hunters from Van Ninh decided to change their direction after they had been informed that the team from Da Nang would stop them at the T-junction Dong Lac in Cam Ranh city in Khanh Hoa province to settle their conflicts over agarwood hunting.


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Wild trees ready for inoculation

Country   :    Indonesia
Species      :    Malaccensis
Diameter   :  >30cm
Height       :  >30M


One of the Gaharu fever in Indonesia.


Simple and cost effective way to construct platform for inoculation purpose, safety factor need to be emphasized.


Trees are tagged for indication.



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Main enemy of Gaharu — Human beings

It take years to grow a matured tree but people would have chopped it down within minutes. Today, poachers are well-entrenched within the forests for one very lucrative reason: gaharu  ….. where its deadly enemy is human beings.

Syndicated gangs, often of Thai, Vietnamese or Myanmarese origins, scour the jungle for months in search of Aquilaria malaccensis and the fragrant resin sometimes infused within the heartwood of this tree species. The presence of the resin is, however, unpredictable as it occurs only as an immune response to injury or pathogenic infection.

There are many names for it – gaharu, agarwood or oudh. Its etymology can be traced back to ancient times when gaharu, thought to be derived from the Sanskrit word agaru, was found in and traded from India. It was one of the most sought-after substances in China during the tenth century, and direct exports to the Middle East began sometime in the ninth century.


Damaged: Poachers have chipped off this agarwood tree in the forest near the Penang Botanic Gardens to see if it has been impregnated with the fragrant resin.

Most syndicate-hires lack the skill to distinguish a karas containing gaharu from one that does not. So the poachers hack down every agarwood tree, leaving a trail of unnecessary devastation in their wake.

Decades of relentless harvesting have caused the tree to become increasingly difficult to find. Perhaps, that is why poachers are more brazen now. A 30m-high karas tree was felled close to the Penang Botanic Gardens. The pillaging of gaharu raises wide-ranging issues: illegal collectors armed with axes and M16 rifles not only endanger wildlife but put unarmed wildlife enforcement officers at risk. The illegal trade also bleeds profit from our gross domestic product – exactly how much is lost from royalties and export tax remains unknown.


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Sinensis gaharu

Photos show the gaharu formation from Sinensis species, entire unit could be one of the decoration display in the office, hall or even at home. Photos courtesy by Mr. Tan





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ICU inoculation — leafs fall

15 Jan 2013, artificial inoculation to the tree will stress the tree. Leafs started to fall in the first week, some say 30% in common.

Inoculation 2

17-month Sinensis, leafs fall about 20~30% within a week after inoculation.

Inoculation 2

17-month Sinensis, leafs fall about 20~30% within a week after inoculation.


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ICU inoculation

07 Jan 2013, i had my first liquid inoculation on one of my 17-month old Sinensis tree. This inoculant was purchased from one of the booth in MAHA 2012. I drilled a 6mm hole, 2″ depth and 300ml inoculant was dripped into the stem. This tree is young, its diameter 3.8″ measured about 1 feet above ground.

The inoculant was completely absorded within the next 24 hours.

Very young tree, 17 months old, 07 Jan 2013

3.8″ diameter, 1 feet above ground

6mm drilled hole, 2″ depth, 300ml inoculant

Tree planted Aug 2011, photo taken 07 Jan 2013


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The Gaharu tree

Gaharu tree

Anyone who has not visited Gaharu Tea Valley Gopeng should pay a visit, especially if you are one of the Gaharu fever. It is located in Kampung Sungai Itek, 31600 Teja, Perak, Malaysia, GPS location –N4.460934, E101.185942.

Its well-managed Agarwood plantation has been opened for tourism purpose. The Gaharu Tea Valley of Gopeng has steadily climbed up the ranks as an eco-tourism site since its opening, and is today a major tourist attraction in Perak, and one that is identifiable on many major online mapping and travel sites. I visited there 2 times, first was in 2010 and recent one was June 2012. Hundreds of people visited the plantation and many even hug the trees for luck. I was told that the giant tree which stood steadily on top of the hill had met its misfortune — struck by lightning somewhere in Sept 2012.  What a pity, the tree has given her way.

Age of tree 21 years old

Age of tree 20 years old, planted in 1992

This photo was captured in Dec 2012,  during  a Seminar Gaharu Kebangsaan organized by MTIB.


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Sinensis fruiting

Aquilaria appears to flower and fruit sporadically at different times of the year and normally they will fruit when reaching 3 years old. In Taiwan, Aquilaria Sinensis usually bear fruits from March to June each year. Attached photo shows one of the Aquilaria Sinensis fruits at month 15th after planting.


Sinensis fruiting at month 15th

Species                                   :  Sinensis

Date of planting                    :  August 2011

Date of photo taken             :  November 2012

Height of tree                        :  5 feet tall *

* Note : This tree was one of the 37 trees inter-relocated in farm, May 2012.


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Gaharu thieves, Mount Erskine, Penang

Gaharu thieves’ mini village was the perfect hideout

16 Nov 2012, GEORGE TOWN: A group of agarwood tree (gaharu) thieves set up four large camps deep inside a jungle near Mount Erskine to cleverly hide their location from view.

Their “mini village” had a kitchen, a storage place and a workshop to process the agarwood.

It was a perfect hideout until the state Forestry Department officers busted it on Monday.

A stockpile of food comprising some 10kg of rice, cooking oil, canned food and vegetables enough to last several people for at least two weeks was confiscated.

Department officers visited the site again yesterday and recovered several pieces of low quality agarwood.

“We believe the higher quality ones were sold earlier,” said state Forestry Department director Abdul Wahab Deraman.

Two Cambodians were arrested during the ambush on Monday while two others managed to flee the scene.

Two large pieces of agarwood, believed to be worth between RM50,000 and RM100,000, were also seized in Monday’s raid.

According to veteran hiker Gurdial Singh, even regular hikers and mountain bikers had not stumbled upon the “hideout”.

“Access to their mini village’ is via an undiscovered path and you would have to go in from Point 8 on the hill behind the Mount Erskine wet market,” he said.

Gurdial tipped off the department on Sunday after coming across five felled trees while running near Taman Lembah Permai in Tanjung Bungah.

The oil from gaharu resin is highly prized in the Middle East and can fetch up to RM20,000 per kilo.

The oil is used as a base for perfumes due to its fresh and woody scent.

It is also used as a key ingredient in traditional Chinese medicine for various ailments.



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Seminar Karas/Gaharu — 11 ~ 12 December 2012

Seminar Gaharu Kebangsaan

Anjuran : MTIB

Bertempat : Hotel Sunway Putra, KL

Tarikh : 11~ 12 December 2012

Yuran : RM150

Rating : Value for money

Borang penyertaan :


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2nd bamboo stick inducement, Banting, Selangor.

2 trees were induced on 23/10/12, having BHD 5″ and 5.7″. They were Crassna tree, planted about 55 months ago in Banting, Selangor. Bamboo sticks were used since it is proven one of the method to produce end prodoct for Cultivated Agarwood farmers.

Bamboo stick inducement

Bamboo stick inducement

Bamboo stick inducement

Bamboo stick inducement

Bamboo stick inducement

Bamboo stick inducement

Bamboo stick inducement


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