Wednesday, 21 December 2011

Jasminum sambac vs Gardenia jasminoides

Saturday, 3 December 2011

Valuation of Trees

Trees and other living plants are valuable, for they purify our air, act as sound barriers, manufacture oxygen, beautify our surrounding, provide shades, even historically, psychological, leisure etc.

But how much do that cost ?

Methods of valuation have been developed for landscape plants, including trees.  A valuation by trained appraisers, usually accepted by insurance companies, courts, and public agencies.

Tree Valuation Guide ( ISA 2009 ) is the most widely used method in North America. 
It is divided into 2 general categories :

1. The Replacement Method, for plants up to 8” in stem diameter 
Value ($) =
( Plant Cost + Installation Cost ) x ( Species Rating  x Condition x Location  ) + Removal Cost

2. The Basic Formula Method, for plants that are too large to replace.

            Value ($) =
Basic Value  x Species Factor x Condition Factor x Location Factor

The Thyer Tree Valuation Method ( Australia 1984 ) was developed in Sydney, Australia in 1984.  It was distributed for public use in 1985.

This method expresses the positive qualities of the trees, the contribution that the tree makes to the landscape, and the extent to which this is appreciated.

Value ($)  =    
Size ( height + canopy width + canopy diameter to dripline + circumference of trunk ) + Age  + Physical & Social Qualities + Planting Cost

This method was designed to value trees on public land in residential or commercial area.  It is not intended for use within bushland or jungle.

The Revised Burnley Method ( Australia 1988 ), was developed at the Victorian College of Agriculture and Horticulture Limited, Burnley Campus.  It was first published in 1988 ( McGarry & Morre ) and revised in 1991 ( Moore ). 

This method uses the volume of the tree as a inverted cone.  The calculation is done by determining an average value for at least 3 specimens form different nurseries.

Value ($)  =    
Tree Volume x Base Value ( $/m3 ) x Useful Life Expectancy Modifier  x  Form & Vigour Modifier x Location Modifier

The modified Burnley method is self-indexing for inflation, and sensitive to changes in the value of trees due to changes in consumer preference.  It has been tested in the courts and has been accepted as a realistic and well based method in the Australian context. 

However, many arborists find the establishment of the initial base value time-consuming and tedious.  It also does not deal with subjective components, such as historical or environmental significance.

The City of Sydney Tree Valuation Method ( Sydney, Australia 2003 ) was developed in 2003 for use in the city of Sydney to calculate tree value in public and private land.

Value ( $)  =   
Planting cost  x Size x [ { (Age + 6)/3 } + 4 ] x [ Trunk Diameter/ (42/2)+0.5 ] x
[ Condition of Tree x Life Expectancy / 30 ] x Visibility x Heritage Status x Ownership.

It was purposed to :
1. tree valuation to assist with management of trees on public land
2. tree value calculation for inclusion in contract documents for public land
3. tree value calculation for compensation when trees are damaged on public land
4. valuation to set tree protection bonds for trees on private land
5. valuation to set compensation to the community for trees unlawfully damaged on private land.

The Guide for Plant Appraisals, 9th Edition ( USA  2000 ) developed by Council of Tree and Landscape Appraisers ( CLTA ) has been widely used since 1951, and had been revised several times.  This guide is endorsed by American Association of Nurseryman, The American Society of Consulting Arborists, American Society of Landscape Architects, The Associated Landscape Contractors, Association of Consulting Foresters of America, International Society of Arboriculture, The Society of American Foresters and the National Arborists Association.

Value ($) =     
Basic Value [ Replacement Cost + {Basic Price x Trunk Area(at 4.5 ft) – Trunk Area(at 6 in) x Species } ] x  Condition  x  Location

Friday, 2 December 2011

Green Product : String - Musa x paradisiaca

Banana fruits only once.  That’s the way it is.   Takkan pisang berbuah dua kali, that’s the local Malay proverbs means ‘having good fortune more than once’.

After fruiting, the banana plant is fell.  It would be a waste of fertilizer to have a non-fruiting stand.  The fallen trunk will soon decayed into organic matter.

For those lived through 1980s and older, before the use of raffia strings, groceries are tied in Cyperus strings , and occasionally banana strings.

I tried to re-fabricate the time forgotten banana string.  Who knows, it will make a comeback.

First, chop the trunk into a 1.5-2.0m length , then peel the banana trunk till the core.  The sheaths are carefully julienne into a 5mm width strings.  Then the strings are hang to dry.   Once they are dried, it’s done !

Tuesday, 18 October 2011

Phragmites karka

Phragmites karka is a very tall perennial common reed grows in thick pure stands on swampy lands.  The stems grow up to 5 meters in height and 2-3cm in diameter. 

The origin of P.karka is uncertain.  However it is widely distributed all over the Old World’s tropical regons.

Common name : Bayongbong, glagah asu, gumulong, kasongket, palungpung, parongpong, perumpung, prumpung, tatepal, tatupele ( Indonesia ), pit-pit ( New Guinea ), 卡开芦 ( China,  Taiwan ),  nal, nalkhagari, doka-ghas, kilak, potagala, chamana, perunanal, nalam, eela karra ( India ), kyu ( Cambodia ), say nui ( Vietnam )  etc
Synonyms : Arundo karka, A. roxburghii, Phragmites cinctus, P. roxburghii, Trichoon roxburghii.

This plant is a reliable indicator of freshwater.   In places, such as at the mouth of Laguas River, Guam, there is a sharp division between the reeds and the plants which grow in brackish water.

The root of common reed is regarded as cooling and diuretic by the Chinese.
It is also used for thatching and making mats, baskets, chairs, fences, fish traps etc.
The culms used for hookah pipes, flutes, and pens.
Panicles are used for brooms.
The flowering stalks yield a fiber suitable for cordage.
It is planted at wetlands, treatment plants etc to remove nutrients, organic matter, COD and other pollutants.

Saturday, 8 October 2011

Grasses @ Broga Hill

Imperata cylindrica, commonly known as blady grass (Australia), speargrass (Nigeria), silver spike (S.Africa), cogon grass (USA), lalang (in Malay), 茅草 (in Mandarin), etc , is a species of grass ( Poaceae ), native to east and southeast Asia, India, Micronesia, Australia, and Africa.

It is first describe by Linnaeus in 1759 as Lagurus cylindricus.  French entomologist and botanist Palisot de Beauvois renamed it to current accepted name Imperata cylindrical.  
Its other synonyms include : Calamagrostis lagurus, Imperata allang, I. arundinacea, I. koenigii, I. pedicellata, I. sieberi, I. thunbergii, Saccharum cylindricum, S. europeaum, S. loenigii, S. laguroides, Sl sisca, S. thunbergii.

It grow from 0.6 -3 m tall.  
The leaves are about 2cm wide, and narrow to a sharp point at the tip.  Leaf margins are finely toothed and embedded with sharp silica crystals.  Upper surface is hairy near the base, underside is usually hairless.
Roots are up to 1.2m deep.
Propagation via seeds and rhizomes.
It can withstand draught and fire, regenerates quickly after fire.

Imperata cylindrica is found in areas where the soil has been disturbed, such as roadsides, building sites, agricultural land, ex-logging area, cleared jungle.  Once established it often form dense monocultues.

Despite considered weeds in most part of the world, it is cultivated in some area for commercial uses.
In Papua New Guinea, it is used for thatching the roofs of traditional homes.
It s planted as ground cover for soil stabilization to prevent erosion.
It is also used in paper-making, and weaving into mats and bags.
In traditional Chinese medicine, it is use for its medicinal properties for astringent, febrifuge, diuretic, tonic and styptic actions.
Some cultivars are planted as ornamental plants, including the red-leaved ‘Red Baron’
Young inflorescence and shoots may be eaten cooked.
Roots are edible containing starch and sugars.

Pennisetum polystachyon also known as feather Pennisetum, mission grass, rumput gajah ( in Malay ), ekor kucing ( in Malay ),  狼尾草 ( in Mandarin ) etc.

Pennisetum polystachyon also known as P. triticoides, P. setosum, Panicum polystachyon, Panicum longisetum.

Originated from Old World tropics, probably India and tropical Africa.

It is an annual, simple erect in large clumps, capable to grow up to 2 - 3 m in height.
Leave are linear with narrow blade up to 45cm long.
Inflorescence is cylindrical with dense spike, yellow-brown, 10 – 26 cm long.
Propagation via seeds.  Seeds are dispersed by flowing water, strong winds, or they may adhere to clothing or animal.
It canot stand heavy grazing.  However, it tolerates fire. 
It is capable to adapt to wide range of soil type.

In Thailand, India  and Fiji, it is used as green fodder.
It is planted at slopes to prevent erosion.
P. polystachyon easily invades both wasteland and cultivated land,  and of course moutainous land too. 
At many places, it is regarded as noxious weed.

Thursday, 6 October 2011

Stenochlaena palustris - Miding

Miding is Stenochlaena palustris, a fern of the Blechnaceae family.

It is rhizomatous and epiphytic perennial, commonly found in fresh water and peat swamps, as well in secondary jungle.

The young frond tips, with or without open leaves are consumed as vegetable.  The frond colour varies from light green to dark green.  Red shaded leaves means malnutrition or unfavourable environment.

Stenochlaena palustris can be propagated from the spores.  Stem cutting with 4-6 nodes and some leaves are also used.  Rhizomatous stem can also be used.
Miding grows well on moist or irrigated soil.
It is very sensitive to herbicides.
Pests and diseases are not common, thus pesticides application is necessary.
Pruning of old fronds may promote new growth.

Passiflora foetida

Passiflora foetida is a species of passion flower native to the tropical New World.  It is also known as wild maracuja, santa papa, marya-marya, wild water lemon, stinking passion flower, love-n-a-mist, or running pop.   

The ‘Passion’ in passion flower refers to the passion of Christ, due to its unique physical structure of its flower.
The specific epithet foetida means ‘stinking’ in Latin, refers to the strong aroma emitted by damaged leaves.

It is a creeping vine.
The stems are tiny and wiry, covered with minute sticky yellow hairs.   Older stems become woody.
The leaves are three-lobed and viscid-hairy.  When crushed, the leaves give off a pungent odor for some people considered unpleasant.  
The flowers are white, about 5-6cm diameter.
Fruit s are edible, globose, covered by hairy sepals, 2-3cm diameter, yellowish-orangey to red when ripe.
Seeds are black, covered by whitish pulp

Wednesday, 21 September 2011

Floral @ Fraser's Hill

Poinsettia pulcherrima - Christmas flower 圣诞红

Hemerocallis sp - Daylily 金针花

Vitis sp - grape 葡萄

Tradescantia spathacea variegata - Moses-in-a-cradle

Spathiphyllum sp

Thursday, 15 September 2011

Terrestrial Ecozone

An ecozone is the broadest biogeographic division of the Earth’s land surface, based on distributional patterns of terrestrial organisms.

Ecozone delineate areas of the Earth’s surface within which organism have been evolving in relative isolation over long periods of time, separated from one another by geographic features, such as oceans, deserts, mountain ranges, that constitute barriers to migration.

An ecozone may include a number of different biomes.  Yet similar biomes in different ecozones may be inhabited by plants and animals with very different evolutionary histories.

A bioregion is a geographic clusters of ecoregions that may span several habitat types, but have strong biogeographic affinities, particularly at taxonomic levels higher than the species level.

WWF scheme divides the Earth’s land surface into 8 ecozones, and further subdivides ecozones into bioregions :

AfrotropicSahel & Sudan
Southern Arabian Woodlands
Forest Zone
East Africa Grassland & Savannas
East Africa's Highlands
Southern African Woodland, Savannas & Grasslands
Dessert of Sourthern Africa
Cape Floristic Region
Madagascar & Indian Ocean Islands
New Guinea & Melanesia
IndomalayaIndia subcontinent
Sunda Shelf & Philippines
NearcticCanadian Shield
Eastern North America
Northern Mexico
Western North America
Central America
Central Andes
Eastern South America
Northern Andes
Southern South America
PalearcticEuro-Siberian Region
Mediterranean Basin
Sahara & Arabian Desserts
Western & Central Asia
East Asia

Wednesday, 24 August 2011

Solanum nigrum - Meranti

Sayur Meranti or ranti is Solanum nigrum, a short-lived perennial shrub of Solanaceae family, native to Eurasia.

Meranti has small white flowers with 5 lobed corolla, about 5mm-8mm in diameter, with yellow stamens.  Fruit is berry, green, about 6mm-8mm diameter turn black when ripens.  It is reported that there is a red fruits strain in India.

However, meranti can be confused with a variety of other related nightshades : Solanum americanum, Solanum ptycanthum, and Solanum villosum.   I myself cannot be really sure if the Meranti I encountered is really a Solanum nigrum.

S. nigrum is harvested for its berries and leaves.  It can be consumed raw as salad or cooked.

Solanum nigrum - Meranti's berries, leaves, and flowers

Solanum nigrum - cross section of a Meranti's berry, exposing its seeds

Tuesday, 23 August 2011

Melastoma malabatricum - Senduduk

Melastoma malabathricum is known as senduduk ( Malay ) or straits Rhododendron.  Together with some 50 other species, it is a member of the Melastomataceae family from S.E.Asia, India and Australia.

It is an evergreen shrub, up to 2 m tall.  
Grows well in most tropical habitat.  
Propagation via seeds.  Seeds dispersed by birds.

Stem with appressed scales.
Leaves ovate, hairy,  4-14cm length x 1.7-3.5cm width.
Flowers in clusters, produced at tip of shoots.  Petals reddish purple.
Fruit is a berry-like capsule with numerous seeds coated with red, sweet astringent pulp.

Seeds dimorphic, with and without embryo.  
Fertile seeds folded or spiral, triangular to D-shaped, 0.45-0.8m long x 0.35-0.5mm wide ; testa light yellow to dark cream coloured.  
Infertile seeds appear similar to fertile seeds but smaller, 0.3-0.5mm long x 0.2-0.3mm wide ; appeared collapsed, dented, or wringkled ; testa black or reddish-black.

Fruits is edible, sandy-feel taste, and stain the mouth and teeth dark-blued.  The fruits are also used to produce black dye. 
The roots are used to produce pink dye.

Due to its growth habit, it is regarded as noxious weed in many places.
However, regardless of its nuisance to human, it provides abundant food to birds, and other small mammals.  Its flowers attract butterflies, and its leaves host caterpillars.   

Flower, at full bloom

Matured fruit

Ripe fruit, cracked open


References :
1. Federal Nozious Weed Disseminules of the U.S.
2. Encyclopedia of Life
3. Wikipedia

Wednesday, 10 August 2011

Jasmine is not Just Jasmine

Jasmine is a genus of shrubs and vines in the Oleaceae family, with about 200 species, native to tropical and warm temperate regions of the Old World. 

The most famous is probably Jasminum sambac, the Arabian jasmine.  Despite its English common name, J. sambac is not originally native to Arabia.  It was from South and S.E. Asia, and were spread into Arabia.  From there, they were introduced to Europe. 

Jasminum sambac
Family : Oleaceae
Common name : Arabian Jasmine, 茉莉花
Description : evergreen shrub, flower : white, fragrant, clusters, zygomorphic, multiple petals, full bloom at night
Origin : South Asia, S.E.Asia
Uses : ornamental, jasmine tea, national flowers of the Philippine & Indonesia, leis, corsages, crowns

The word 'jasmine' also loosely refers to many other flowers not of Jasminum genus or Oleaceae family.  

Cestrum nocturnum
Family : Solanaceae
Common name : Night-blooming Jasmine, lady of the Night, 夜来香,夜香木
Description : evergreen woody shrub, flower : greenish-white, cymose inflorescences, zygomorphic, tubular corolla 5 lobed, full bloom at night
Origin : tropical America
Uses : ornamental

Gardenia jasminoides
Family : Rubiaceae
Common name : Cape Jasmine, Common Gardenia, 栀子花
Description : evergreen woody shrub, flower : white, fragrant, solitary, zygomorphic, multiple petals
Origin : Asia
Uses : depicted in Chinese paintings, fruit for Chinese traditional medicine & dye, ornamental

Gelsemium sempervirens
Family : Gelsemiaceae
Common name : Yellow Jasmine, Carolina Jasmine, Evening Trumpet flower, Woodbine
Description : evergreen liana, flower : yellow, fragrant, clusters, zygomorphic, bell-shaped, corolla 5 lobed
Origin : tropical America
Uses : ornamental, toxic, state flower of South Carolina

Millingtonia hortensis
Family : Bignoniaceae
Common name : Tree Jasmine, Indian Cork Tree, 烟筒花
Description : evergreen tree, flower : white, fragrant, panicles, bisexual, zygomorphic, long tube, corolla 5 lobed
Origin : S.E.Asia
Uses : wood for timber, bark for cork, leaves for tobacco substitute

Nyctanthes arbor-tristis
Family : Oleaceae
Common name : Night Flowering Jasmine, Coral Jasmine
Description : evergreen shrub, flower : white with orange-red center, fragrant, cluster of 2-7, zygomorphic, 5-8 lobed, full bloom at night
Origin : Southern Asia
Uses : Ayurvedic medicine

Trachelospermum jasminoides
Family : Apocynaceae
Common name : Star Jasmine, Confederate Jasmine, Trader’s Compass, 络石 , 百花藤
Description : evergreen liana, flower : white, fragrant, clusters, zygomorphic, tube-liked, corolla 5 lobed
Origin : East Asia
Uses : ornamental

Tuesday, 12 July 2011

The Malay Mail : Fruitless RM17m City Orchard

Monday, July 11th, 2011 11:14:00

Only a fraction of money used for tree-planting in this soon-to-be launched urban oasis. And it still needs more funds.

UNWELCOMING: The entrance to Taman Dusun Bandar

IT was supposed to be an ‘orchard within the city’, a sprawling 7.7ha tropical paradise dotted with rows of fruit trees which would enchant KLites and tourists alike.

Four years later and despite millions spent on development, the Taman Dusun Bandar ‘orchard park’ project in Jalan Bellamy hardly resembles the urban oasis it set out to be.

More shockingly, only RM600,000 from the RM17.2 million allocation was spent on fruit trees!

These were among the discoveries made by The Malay Mail following a chance visit to the park recently.

The park, reportedly due to open in two months time, is nowhere near reaching its target of being an orchard.

In 2005, the then KL Mayor Datuk Ruslin Hassan, in announcing the project, had said upon completion, the orchard park would have 100 species of local fruits like durian, mangosteen, langsat, duku, rambai, ciku, cempedak, jackfruit, guava and banana trees, among others.

An area was also supposed to cater for herbs, coconut palms and spices.

The park, Ruslin was quoted as saying, would be one of the city’s major tourist attractions. It would serve as a haven for tourists and locals to learn about local fauna and sample all kinds of local fruits, as well as camp in the area.

It was supposed to be launched last December.

Our checks at the site, however, showed apart from a handful of mango and ciku trees, the park only had young trees and saplings, some of which were shriveled. There was also an absence of shady trees, forcing visitors to withstand the scorching heat.

It is learnt the project was helmed by former Federal Territories and Urban Wellbeing Ministry deputy secretary-general (Planning and Development) Datuk Bakaruddin Othman.

The contract was awarded to a company to develop the site, formerly the Kampung Delima squatter area, into an orchard park.

However, it is learnt the project has now been handed over to City Hall and there is a possibility more funds will be needed to complete it.

A source from City Hall said many trees had died in the area as a result of improper planning.

"If you want to transform the area into an orchard park, you cannot plant mango or durian trees from scratch, you have to transplant existing fruit trees to the area."

It is also understood the area used to have an uneven topography and it was mainly dominated by slopes. It is alleged the area used to have many fruit trees and others with shady canopies planted by previous residents, but the trees died due to land excavation works done there.

The RM17.2 million allocation for the park was made under the Ninth Malaysia Plan.

RM17m fruit for your thought
Poser over whether 'orchard within the city' waste of taxpayers' money

MURKY WATERS: Plastic bottles in a lake

THE Taman Dusun Bandar, despite its pledge of being an 'orchard within the city', has yet to live up to its promise.

A quick chat with a City Hall Landscaping Department sta¬ff stationed at the park revealed that the park was expected to be officially launched within the next two months.

When pointed out that the fruit trees were scarce, the staff said: "Baru tanam, masih kecil lagi" (they've just been planted, they're still small).

The staff also said City Hall personnel had only moved into an administrative building in the area about two months ago.

"For now, you only get people coming here in the morning to jog. It's open to the public but not many know it exists."

A civil servant, Bahari Ayub, 49, told The Paper That Cares the area used to have big shady trees including rain trees.

"But you can't see them anymore as they are all gone. The area is very hot now, there's not enough big shady trees around and you can see that even new plants that are being planted are slowly dying," he said.

The Malay Mail had chanced upon the park a fter visiting the famous Seri Menanti Ikan Bakar in Jalan Bellamy and were surprised to see a park next to the stall. We took a stroll in the park to find out more about the fruit trees planted in the area, but we could not find much except for small trees and some which resembled mango trees.

We also saw some ciku fruits, but they did not look tantalising.

There were hardly any shady trees in the park and walking under the scorching sun at 11am was an unpleasant experience.

We saw plants which had shriveled up and died or their leaves turned completely brown.

Hardly any trees were labelled and we were not able to identify most of them save for a few.

We finally managed to find a shady area which was near a pond situated behind the Kuan Cheng Girls School, where there were a couple of big shady trees including a bamboo tree.

According to the park's site plan, it has 23 unique spots including a cafeteria, refreshments kiosk, drop o¬ff plaza, amphitheater, playground, surau, east bridge, bamboo bridge, curved bridge, disabled and baby-friendly toilets, as well as an administrative building.

An impressive list of facilities, yet the fruit trees appear to be missing.

Contractor wanted more money, says mayor

HOT AND SUNNY: No shade in sight

MAYOR Tan Sri Ahmad Fuad Ismail pulled no punches in lambasting the incomplete state of the Taman Dusun Bandar.

"If people were to go there now, there would be nothing to see. People want to know what a durian, ciku, jackfruit or mangosteen tree looks like. If you don't have this, then there is no impact and people will question the relevance of having such a park."

He said the contractor handed the park to them two months ago. It is now under the purview of the council's Landscaping and Urban Cleaning Control Department.

"Yes, the contractor (Zikhtar Associates Sdn Bhd) was awarded the contract to carry out not only landscaping works but also to plant trees. This was a decision made in 2005 and when I stepped into office in 2008, nearly three quarters of the works were completed."

A quick check with the Construction Industry Development Board showed that Zikhtar Associates specialises in general building works, general civil engineering works and also provide miscellaneous mechanical equipment.

Ahmad Fuad confirmed that RM17 million went towards the project and the money came from the Federal government. However, he said the contractors had later asked for additional funds to "complete" the park, including planting more trees. Their request for an additional RM7 to RM8 million was rejected by City Hall.

"I did not want to give the money because I believe the RM17 million was more than enough for them to carry out the job. I don't want to be accused of wasting public funds."

He said it was unfortunate to learn that the bulk of the money was used for landscaping and other earth works, and less emphasis on planting big trees.

"If you want to have an orchard, you must create an orchard-like environment. You must have trees with lots of fruits, and these must be big shady trees.

"When a tree is big, it would probably only take between one to two years before it starts bearing fruit. We can't be waiting for decades."

Ahmad Fuad said City Hall will have to think of how to 'undo the wrong' and ensure that the park meets its objective.

On how they plan to do this, Ahmad Fuad said they would scout for fruit trees and perhaps, transplant them at the park.

"We may go to rural areas and look for people who want to sell their fruit trees to us. If the price is reasonable then we may consider buying it from them.

"But it's going to be tough for us to find trees."

Ahmad Fuad also said there were some big fruit trees like rambutan in Jalan Cochrane which used to house government quarters.

"We may need to speak to the developers of the area and see if we can take some trees from there."

Contractor: Park meets objective

BARELY a fraction of the RM17 million orchard park project was used for tree-planting, but the contractor maintains that the park has met its objective.

Zikhtar Associates Sdn Bhd company director Zulbainoor Zulkeflee said the bulk of the money was spent on earthworks, landscaping, building works, internal drainage works, lighting as well as tree-planting.

He said the total budget for trees was only RM595,000 from the entire allocation.

He maintained that tree-planting was not the priority.

"You must understand that this was formerly a squatter area and the terrain of this area was uneven and hilly."

He said earthworks in the area began in 2007 and the initial target was for big trees to be planted. However, these trees, he said, would take around six years to bear fruits.

"City Hall were the ones who set the conditions. They leased the contract to us."

Asked if the works carried out were sub-contracted to other parties, he said it was 100 per cent done by his company.

"We want to do the best and we delivered what we proposed. We want to make it a place where people can rest and learn about trees."

Zulbainoor said they had asked for more money for the trees but their request was denied by City Hall.

Asked how was the park was deemed to had met its objective, Zulbainoor said: "City Hall said they will take over (the tree-planting) works."

He said the majority of fruit trees in the orchard comprised wild fruit trees, and only 40 per cent were local fruits like mangoes, durian, ciku, lychee, nangka and cempedak. The trees, he said, were planted two years ago and it would take some time before they bear fruits.

Asked why the bulk of trees were wild fruit trees, he said: "This is not an ecoresort."

He also said it was impossible for existing big trees, which would take a shorter period to bear fruits, to be planted in the area as they were difficult to find.

"City Hall had asked for 200 big trees to be planted here. But this does not make sense as you cannot get big trees."

"You can scour the entire country but you won't be able to find them," Zulbainoor said.

"We carried out a lot of research on the soil condition and even though it is mostly clay, it is possible to plant but it will take time."

When asked how visitors were supposed to learn about trees when they were all small, he said City Hall was supposed to take pictures of the trees and label them for reference in an education centre within the park.

He said some trees were dead or dying because they were struck by lightning and all trees had tags but were missing since two years ago.

Zulbainoor also refuted claims the park was handed over to City Hall two months ago as they were in the midst of getting a certificate of completion and compliance.

He also said the company has yet to receive full payment for the works carried out.