The Oil Palm Tree planted in Indonesia is said to have originated from the African continent which was brought by the Dutch and planted in what is now known as the Bogor Botanical Gardens in 1848. It had only been planted commercially on a plantation in North Sumatra in 1911.
The types of oil palm planted in Indonesia are usually from the Elaeis Guineesis Jacqu variety.
Oil palm trees begin to bear fruit when they are around three years old and have an average productive period of around 25 years.
Palm fruit can be harvested for 12 months in a year.
Mature palm trees can grow to reach 20 meters.
Each fruit bunch contains about 50 percent oil.
Palm fruit seeds called the kernels, produce palm kernel oil.
Palm oil production on average per year can reach 10-12 tons, but the average in Indonesia ranges from 2-4.5 tons, while for palm kernel oil an average of about 0.5 tons.
The stem of the plant is covered with midrib until the age of 12 years. After the age of 12 years, the dried frond will come off so that the appearance will be similar to a coconut tree trunk.
Common oil palm tree diseases are: A) Root / Palm Rot Disease (Blast disease) caused by the fungus Rhizoctonia lamellifera and Phytium sp. This fungus attacks the root system of oil palm plants that are in the soil and causes plant roots to rot. B) Basal stem rot (Ganoderma) which is also caused by fungi – Ganoderma applanatum, Ganoderma lucidum, and Ganoderma pseudofferum – and attacks the base of the plant stems and makes them rotten and easily transmitted. C) Rot (sprear rot) that often attacks young plants, the cause is unknown. D) Yellow line disease (patch yellow), attacks the leaves of plants and is caused by the fungus Fusarium Oxiysporum. E) Crown disease is caused by the genes of the parent plant. F) Anthra-nose (Anthracnose) attacks leaves and bones and is caused by several types of fungi, namely Melanconium sp, Glomerella cingulata, and Botryodiplodia palmarum.
A good and highly recommended spacing is 9 meters between plants, using an equilateral triangle pattern.
The diameter of the tree is about 25-75 cm with a bigger base of the trunk when it is fully grown. Oil palm trees generally have 40 to 55 compound leaves and can reach 60 if not pruned.
Palm oil midrib can reach 5-7 meters, some even 9 meters.
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