Oil Palm: Establishment


Legume planting
Holing and planting of palms
Weeding operations in immature oil palms
Concluding remarks


Oil palms are normally planted after land clearing and land preparation work, which includes lining, holing and terracing if the terrain is hilly. In low-lying areas, drainage would also be necessary. In most oil palm plantings, leguminous cover crops are also planted in the interrows as they are able to establish and spread much faster than other vegetation. The legumes should preferably be planted prior to planting the palms but in many instances, due to timing and other constraints, the oil palms are planted first.

The immaturity period of the palms, which would normally last approximately 30 – 36 months where ablation is done, begins from the moment of palm planting. In areas where no ablation is done, this is reduced to 24 months. Most planters would deem the immaturity period as the period where extensive field maintenance is required e.g. circle spraying, spot spraying, decreeping, manuring, pest control etc. to ensure not only high early yields be obtained, but also mature yields. This article highlights some of the work that a planter has to plan and carry out at the onset of oil palm planting particularly those related to legume establishment, holing and planting of the palms and the subsequent weeding operations. This article also complements the other two articles in the previous two issues of this annual report.

Ng H.C.P. and Tan C. C. 2003. Towards the establishment of a good oil palm planting. Annual Report 2002. Royal Johore Planters’ Association : 22-30.

Note: The full list of references quoted in this article is available from the above paper.