Thursday, May 20, 2010

What am I doing wrong with my Almaciga?

A successful friend in the ornamental plant business once told me that in order to be successful in growing plants, one must be able to duplicate its natural habitat. In order to do this, considerations must be made with regards to soil type, climate, temperature, average rainfall, sunlight requirement, micro-organisms present in the soil or other living organisms that may aid it in a particular stage of its life cycle as to a symbiotic relationship and other factors that I may not be aware of. Basically, replicate the natural habitat of plants or trees that mother nature intended it to have and sure enough, you'll have healthy flourishing plants and trees.

Well I haven't seen natural stands of Almaciga trees in any forest that i've been to. The only lone mature tree that I have seen before stands inside the UPLB campus in Laguna, which I understand was planted decades ago. I have also seen young trees about 3 meters high and they look like living christmas trees, mainly because of the spear shape growth which is evident among competing trees for sunlight. However, the canopy seems to baloon into a mushroom shape upon maturity stage.

Almaciga or Agathis philippinensis, which comes from the family Araucariaceae is a beautiful evergreen tree. The resin from this particular tree is popularly known as "manila copal" and is also used to make varnishes and lacquer, caulking for boat, waterproofing materials, lighting fire and torches, soap and etc.

The picture shown top right is from the batch of seedlings that I have acquired on November 2004. Picture on the middle right side is the only seedling that survived among several that I have planted on site. This one was taken last November 2009. A duration of 5yrs has passed and look at the growth rate. Not much I would say...... One factor that I can think of is that my Almaciga is planted at a site with an elevation of just about 100m above sea level, as suppose to what Rojo mentioned in his book, Revised Lexicon of Philippine Trees that Almaciga trees are found "In upland rainforests, mostly 1200-2200m, occasionally as low as 250m altitude in Luzon." Or maybe because Almaciga is just a slow growing species that it's just taking so long for me to appreciate. Left photo shows a young Almaciga tree that will emerge as one of the tallest trees in the country.

I hope that when my Almaciga grows to its full glory, I am still alive to tell the story.


Anonymous said...

Hi. May I know the proper care for this tree (e.g. pruning, fertilizing)? Thank you very much.

Rico said...

Anonymous, can you please re-read this blog post again. I think you didn't understand me right. Thanks!

Mac said...

Hi Rico, you've been giving a lot for our flora. I hope we can keep in touch I am also into reforestration project in my hill-slope property in Paenaan, Baras, Rizal and I am a fan of indegenous species although so far I only have old trees of lanite and some young Narra in my property. I am looking for a nursery that can provide me seedlings for Toog tree and some cebu cinnamon.

Rico said...

Hello, Mac! Please email or text me. Contact details are indicated above. Thanks :)

Post a Comment