A visit to Bukit Kiara Park recently proved an eye-opener for Sunday Mail photographer Ahmad Zamzahuri and I with trees as far as the eye could see.
The variety of trees was fascinating with 45 rainforest species planted to give visitors an eyeful.
Officials from Landskap Malaysia and the National Landscape Department took pains to brief us on the 2009 Hutan Kita-Kiara reforestation project.
Landskap Malaysia partnership development manager Tajang Jinggut, corporate communication officer Mohd Asyraf Mohd Bustaman and Tropical Rainforest Conservation and Research Centre partnership development manager Dr Dzaeman Dzulkifli were our guides for
We were taken to three zones where trees were planted during the 2009 event. Along the way, I was introduced to National Landscape Department deputy director-general Tajuddin Ahmad.
We spent an hour at the corporate, VIP and community planting zones. It took about 10 minutes to get from one zone to another.
Dzaeman and Tajang said less than 10 per cent of trees planted at the three spots had died.
I was told the 1.5m trees were planted in between existing trees so that the “baby” trees received nutrients and shelter from “parent” trees.
I was also told that as soon as the “parent” tree fell to the ground or died, the “baby” tree which had grown to a certain height would take over the open space.
This process is called “gap face regeneration”.
I learnt that nearly 40 per cent of trees under the Hutan Kita-Kiara programme had grown to an “indestructible” height, with trees being up to 15m tall.
As soon as a tree reached that height, it was nearly impossible for anyone or wild animals to uproot it.
At the end of my hike, I realised I had seen almost 40 trees of different types and sizes, including one sponsored by then Yang di-Pertuan Agong Tuanku Mizan Zainal Abidin.
I also learnt Landskap Malaysia was involved in other environmental projects to save the environment.
Tajang told me those who had sponsored trees during the Hutan Kita-Kiara project were welcome to inquire and check on the status of their trees with the National Landscape Department.
But, he added, as the process may take a long time, they could also make inquiries with Landskap Malaysia.