In-situ pressure injection for preservation of rubber wood (Hevea brasiliensis Muel Arg.)
H S Ananthapadmanabha, V R Sivaramakrishnan
Rubber wood is widely used for the manufacture of furniture, doors for housing and packing cases. However in an untreated condition it is highley susceptible to sapstain and decay fungi and borers. Its utility gets considerably reduced if the wood is not treated well in time. Preservative treatment has to be given within the period of felling and transport to prevent not only loss of structural properties and wood material. Although Boucherie, hot-cold bath diffusion, pressure impregnation, vacuum-pressure impregnation processes for treating timbers have been successfully employed for protection, but the process in cumbersome and difficult to adopt at the site of extraction. Hence, it was found necessary to evolve a simple and convenient method to treat trees in-Situ. A simple pressure injection technique was adopted to treat the standing tree using an instrument designed at the Institute (IWST). This instrument is easy to operate and inexpensive. It was observed that the movement of preservatives was satisfactory and effective. Samples of wood taken from treated stem of such trees were subjected to attack by brown and white rot fungi in the laboratory. It was observed that wood samples treated with Borax, boric acid and Bavistin (1:1:0.2); Borax, boric acid and Sodium pentachlorophenoxide (1:1.5:1) and Bavistin and Ekalux (0.5:0.5) showed higher resistance to fungi and insect attack compared to boric acid and Borax (1:1) in both laboratory and field conditions. Treated wood also retained natural colour and was free from fungal and insect attack for over 24 months in storage. Studies in this method of treatment of plantations species are in progress.