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Rubber tapping

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– **Rubber Tapping Process:**
Latex collected by slicing groove in tree bark
– Trees tapped at 6 years old, 6 inches in diameter
– Tapping doesn’t require cutting down trees
– Jungle rubber resembles primary forest
– Mono culture rubber plantations have low environmental impact

– **Night Rubber Tapping:**
– Bark removed in downward half spiral at night
– Tapping panel yields latex for up to 5 hours
– Opposite side tapped to allow healing
– Spiral directs latex to collecting cup
Latex preserved with ammonia solution

– **Additional Tapping Techniques:**
– Chemicals added for latex preservation
– Plastic bags used in place of cups
Latex used for rubber products
– Naturally coagulated latex collected for processing
– Intensive tapping on older trees before cutting

– **Tapping Knives:**
– Tools used for rubber tapping
– Different techniques for tapping
– Historical context of rubber tapping
– Evolution of tapping methods
– Importance of proper tool maintenance

– **Related Topics:**
Rubber tapping in Malaya
– Wikimedia Commons resources on rubber tapping
– Connection between natural rubber and forestry
– Comparison to maple syrup tapping
– References for further reading

Rubber tapping (Wikipedia)

Rubber tapping is the process by which latex is collected from a rubber tree. The latex is harvested by slicing a groove into the bark of the tree at a depth of one-quarter inch (6.4 mm) with a hooked knife and peeling back the bark. Trees must be approximately six years old and six inches (150 mm) in diameter in order to be tapped for latex.[better source needed]

Rubber tapping in Indonesia, 1951

Rubber tapping is not damaging to the forest, as it does not require the tree to be cut down in order for the latex to be extracted. Jungle rubber is essentially old secondary forest, strongly resembling the primary forest. Its species' richness is about half that of the primary forest. Michon and de Foresta (1994) found that sample jungle rubber sites contained 92 tree species, 97 lianas, and 28 epiphytes compared with 171, 89, and 63, respectively, in the primary forest, and compared with 1, 1, and 2 in monoculture estates. Thiollay (1995) estimated that jungle rubber supports about 137 bird species, against 241 in the primary forest itself. Jungle rubber is expected to resemble primary forest in its hydrological functions. Mono culture rubber tree plantations have far less of an environmental impact than other crops, such as coffee or especially oil palm.

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