Tree Plantation

Established in 1974, Sabah Softwoods Berhad (SSB) is the pioneer company thatventured into large scale commercial tree plantation in Malaysia. Its objective is to replant fast growing tree species on a shorter rotation period in a homogenous manner which will enhance the yield per hectare with higher operating efficiencies at optimum cost.

In the initial stage, SSB intention was to grow softwoods, mainly Pinus caribaea for pulp and timber wood production. However, due to the slow growth of the species and the difficulty in seed procurement, the softwood species were replaced since then with three fast growing hardwoods, namely, Acacia mangium (AM), Gmelina arborea (GA), Albizia falcataria (AF) and later to Eucalyptus pellita (EP).

The current total tree planted area is 24,173 hectares of which are planted with only Eucalyptus pellita and Albizia falcataria yearly. The continuous planting of Acacia mangium in the long term of SSB’s tree plantation is no longer feasible in view of Ceratocystis, a serious wilt cranker disease that affected the stem and root of Acacia mangium. It is undoubtedly the most serious threat to Acacia growers since this species was first introduced in South East Asia thirty years ago. Therefore, from year 2012 onwards, most of the affected Acacia mangium planted areas were harvested and replaced with Eucalyptus pellita. As of 31st January, 2017 the remaining areas of Acacia mangium is about 1,705hectares followed by Eucalyptus pellita and Albizia falcataria of 10,139 and 5,787 hectares respectively. Apart from the planted areas, the rest of the tree plantation consist of high value conservation forest, water catchment areas, steep areas, riparian and wildlife corridors.

The Acacia pulp logs are substantially processed into woodchips and export to Japan and China for its pulp and paper industries. Albizia falcataria in bigger log forms and grades are sold to the local market for processing into plywood, veneer and block boards. Eucalyptus pellita and Albizia falcataria constitutes the major supply of pulp and saw logs, replacing Acacia mangium in the long term wood production of Sabah Softwoods tree plantation.

Planted Tree Species
Acacia mangium (AM) Gmelina arborea (GA) Albizia falcataria (AF) Eucalyptus Deglupta (ED)
Tree Plantation
Chip Mill