The rubber tree (Hevea brasiliensis) is the key focus of every rubber plantation. As a supplier of natural rubber and rubberwood, this is one of the most important sources of renewable raw materials. The high level of demand for its natural products has meant that agricultural and forestry scientists have been working intensively with the rubber tree for decades, on the one hand to further develop its robustness and, on the other hand, to optimise its latex and wood yield. In order to meet the high and constantly increasing level of demand, the rubber tree is predominantly cultivated in plantations nowadays. Optimised rotation periods of around 15 years ensure that, in addition to daily latex production, high timber yields are achieved regularly. Nowadays, South-East Asia, Latin America, China and West Africa are among the most important cultivation regions for the rubber tree, which is one of the hardwood species and originally comes from the South American rainforests. In South-East Asia in particular, where more than 70% of global latex production is generated, rubber tree species have been developed by breeding, crossbreeding and cloning. In addition to rapid growth, above-average latex production and a high wood volume, they are characterised by their durability and resistance. Newer plantations cultivated with rubber species from these generations are already producing more than 4,000 kg of latex per hectare per year after only four to six years. Latex is obtained from the rubber tree when it is cut in the proper manner. The latex juice flows in the sapwood area of the trunk, directly under the bark in capillaries, in which water and dissolved nutrients circulate in addition to the latex juice. If the latex juice is not stabilised, it will coagulate into natural rubber after a few hours. The coagulation stops the latex from running out. Woodsource AG uses the rubber plantations as sustainable, agricultural and forestry-based commercial timberland. The company has the necessary skills and experience, as well as the correspondingly developed network and qualified personnel to implement all agricultural and forestry activities in an efficient and results-oriented manner. Woodsource concentrates on the main tasks:
a) Organic cultivation of rubber plantations
b) Sustainable management of rubber plantations
c) Maximum latex yield
d) Optimum development of the wood volume
e) Best wood quality
New, robust rubber tree species are characterised by high latex yields and large wood volumes. In principle, trees do not need much more than light and water to grow. However, a rubber plantation designed for sustainable profitability is all about achieving the highest possible latex yield, the largest possible wood volume and the best possible wood quality. The prerequisites for this are created by optimum management. A comparison between unmanaged or poorly managed rubber plantations and systematically and optimally managed rubber plantations shows striking differences in yields. While unmanaged or poorly managed rubber plantations generate annual net yields of 1-3%, properly managed rubber plantations generate annual net yields of 8% and above. The right management measures at the right time are the key to modern plantation management. The intensity of the cultivation is determined by the ongoing analysis of the latex yield, tree growth and wood quality.