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  Young Budded Root Trainer Rubber Plants

root trainer plants kerala

Karshakasree K.C.Kuriakose made a revolutionary attempt to raise advanced planting materials of Hevea in polythene bags with no loss of initial roots resulting in better growth of plants and earlier tapping. This is known as "Cheerakuzhy Young Budded Rubber Plants". Facility for the selection of healthy plants of uniform growth and lesser casualty on out planting are also some of the other major advantages of Young Budded Rubber Saplings.

Recently, Rubber Research Institute of India has developed and introduced a little more advanced method of raising Brown Budded and Green Budded rubber saplings in polypropylene cups instead of polythene bags. These cups are called "Root Trainers". They have certain specific features like tapering or conical shape, vertical ridges, drainage hole at the bottom are all incorporated with the purpose of properly training the structural development of roots in a systematic manner and hence the cup is termed as "root trainer". Root trainers generally used have a length of 26cm with a volume of 600cc.

Successful introduction of root trainers for Hevea has inspired us to change our outlook in the nursery practices adopted for the Young Bud Poly Bag Nursery. It is a sophisticated propagation technique having great potentials in improving the physical quality of root system as well as reducing the time and cost required for the production of advanced planting materials. Taking these merits into consideration, Cheerakuzhy Young Bud Rubber Nursery is also making a set of experiments to develop Young Budded Root Trainer Rubber Plants on a large scale in co-operating with the Rubber Research Institute of India.

Under this method, the root trainers are filled with uniformly mixed potting mixture instead of soil. The potting medium is consisted of sieved and cured coir pith mixed with appropriate quantities of rotten cow-dung, bone-meal, rock phosphate etc. Then the root trainers are stacked in carriers made of iron rod or bamboo splints. After that germinated rubber seeds are planted directly in root trainers for raising the stock seedlings. These stock seedlings are subjected to Young Budding at second whorls stages i.e., on 28th day onwards after the germinated seeds were deposited in the root trainers. This process continues up to 60 days.

After the successful budding process, the Young Budded plants will be allowed to grow in the root trainer itself for 4 to 5 months. During this period, the tissues of the bud patch and the stock seedling will become firmly united within 3 or 4 weeks after budding. Thereafter, the stock seedling stem will be sawn off above the budded portion and the live bud grafts will be permitted to sprout in the root trainer till it attains the desired growth. Thus, by way of Young Budding, the plants in the root trainers get matured for cultivation within 9 months after sowing the seeds. All other cultural practices are adopted as in the case of Brown Budded and Green Budded Root Trainer Plants.

root trainer plants kerala

Merits of Young Budded Root Trainer Rubber Plants

  1. Germinated seeds are planted directly in the root trainers and the budding is done while in the root trainer.
  2. Germinated seeds of high quality are planted in the root trainer in order to avail healthy stock seedlings to carry out Young Budding.
  3. The structure and shape of root trainers causes natural air pruning to the tap root near the drainage hole at the bottom and thus prevents its coiling inside the cup and limits its growth temporarily.
  4. With regard to lateral roots, in its turn, also undergo air pruning and as a result hardened Young Budded Root Trainer Rubber Plants will have a natural root system consisting of a central tap root and a large number of lateral roots well oriented without any deformity or circular growth.
  5. The natural development of root system without coiling and spiraling remains more or less intact which ensures better growth and helps the plants resist strong winds and also gives them greater protection against drought in the initial years.
  6. Penetration of roots is impossible in the root trainers. So there is no breaking off roots as we find in poly bag plants when they are extracted from nursery trenches. This will also increase the initial survival rate.
  7. A gentle tap on the sides of root trainers is enough to facilitate easy extraction of the plant at the time of planting. So there is no severe shock to the root system of the Young Budded Root Trainer Rubber Plants. This will ensure better and faster shoot growth on transplanting to the field.
  8. Suspension of root trainers above the ground simplifies weed and disease management. This also accelerates growth performance of plants during the initial stages.
  9. Compared to poly bags, root trainers are much smaller and hence the labor requirement in the nursery and in the field, for transport and field planting, is much less than poly bag plants.
  10. Weight of the root trainers used for raising Young Budded Root Trainer Rubber Plants is much lighter than the soil filled poly bags and hence handling them in the field while planting are much easier.
  11. After pitting and filling, the planting points i.e., the top 20cm of the soil should be mixed with sufficient manure and later at the planting points, a planting hole is made by pressing the empty root trainer itself and the root plug is inserted into it. The gap around the root plug is filled with soil and pressed slightly without causing it any damage. Thus root trainer planting becomes much easier than poly bag planting.
  12. After planting, the plants should be observed regularly and only one vigorous shoot should be allowed to grow. All other side shoots developing up to 2.5m from the ground level should be removed carefully. This will induce vivacious growth to Young Budded Root Trainer Rubber Plants.
  13. A study on the growth performance of three month old Young Budded Root Trainer Rubber Plants raised in the root trainers show better growth than those brought up in poly bags.
  14. Young Budded Root Trainer Rubber Plants clearly display better survival and growth rate than the poly bag plants after transplanting into the field.
  15. The poorly aerated top soil is not at all used for filling root trainers in the nursery which indicates that the new technique leads to soil conservation. Thus it entirely conserves the earth and its environmental existence for ever.
  16. Root trainers could be reused for several years and hence they are more environment friendly than poly bags.

In short, the well oriented root system of the Young Budded Root Trainer Rubber Plants will grow to a biologically desirable natural form right from planting to maturity. Thus, they possess excellent physical qualities also.

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  • More than one decades of dedicated service; successful implementation of young budding technique; increasing support and participation from the people have made the Cheerakuzhy, a name synonymous with Rubber.
  • Selection of seeds
  • Adopting better methods for germination
  • Facilitating glass house & green house for initial growth
  • Selection of vigor & healthy plants for budding
  • Based on our experience, the most covetous achievement of Young Budded rubber plants is that they become ready for tapping in 5 years as compared to the seven or more of Brown Budded rubber plants.
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