Investigation in Blora Teak Forest with Wood Experts

We were escorted by Pak Parsito, who works for Perhutani as the person who works and monitors all activities in the forest, and we communicated before we got there. On the first day in Blora, we went to Teak Forest, and we learned the area is about 600 hectares or 1,482 hectares and divided by places that have a certain number of groups because each site will have a different schedule for Girdling, Cutting, and Replanting. To find out which areas are ready for Girdling, Cutting or Replanting, Perhutani has an App that can show them the space or Map (like GPS) and the year the tree was planted (so we can know the age of the tree) by checking in the app. We will have Pak Jadi as our Freelancer, and he works with Pak Parsito. He can connect us with more people in Blora and can also give us internal insight if needed.

There are several activities in the forest that we learned from Pak Parsito.

 

Penjarangan, or in Indonesian, is called Penjarangan, so to make room for teak trees to grow big, Perhutani will carry out a thinning process where they will cut down trees that are about 5-10 years old. The result of thinning is Teak wood which is not too large in diameter and will usually be sold locally to be used as furniture and does not qualify for export.

 

Girdling, or in Indonesian, we call it Teres; before Perhutani cuts a tree, there will be a Girdling process where they will cut the bottom of the tree to make the tree die and have to wait about two years until the tree is dry. There are no leaves left on the tree before they can cut it down. The cutting process has to wait two years after the girdling process because, from their research, the tree will lose up to 90% of water by waiting for two years, and this is the goal.

Tree felling will continue after waiting two years after the girdling process; we can know the quality of teak by looking at the dry skin and the wood fibers. The easiest way to notice is if the palm fiber is straight up and does not create a wavy line, the tree is not bent. No abnormalities or diseases cause discoloration or holes in the tree. From our search in Blora, the age of the trees that Perhutani will cut down this year is around 70-80 years, with a diameter of about 30-60cm.

 

Replanting or Reforestation, after Perhutani cuts down trees, will start replanting after one year of the cutting process. For rejuvenation, they will use vegetative methods (plant cuttings), and there are standard silvicultural methods, such as watering, nutrition etc. they should focus on replanting to make good teak trees.

 

After all the trees are cut down, Perhutani will collect and stack them in a Timber Piling Place (TPK), a wood storage area, before the customer buys them. There is a unique event where Perhutani will conduct an auction for buyers to be able to purchase teak trees; usually, if the Teak Tree is more than 170cm in diameter, Perhutani will conduct an auction because it is rare.

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