I have come across this article, “Where to Buy Durian Saplings? – you’ll get it right’’, by Sean from Home Acres. In this article summary, I will highlight some good points of the article.

Many amateurs who want to start a durian plantation tend to get durian saplings at a lower price rather than the right durian saplings. It is common to get cheap durian saplings from sellers who only want to make a fast buck.

Remember, NOBODY wants to get a good bargain for durian saplings and ends up realizing it’s the WRONG tree only when it bears its first fruit! Imagine wasting so much time and money just because we want to save a few bucks!

To avoid this, always sources your saplings from SPBT certified fruit plant nursery, as you will find your desired fruit tree clones there.

What is SPBT certification?

SPBT stands for Skim Pengesahan Bahan Tanaman; it is a planting material verification scheme issued by the Department of Agriculture Malaysia. SPBT keeps records of the plant clone genetic origins. Buyers can trace back the plant saplings to their mother plant, and it will be an identical plant.

SBPT is available for all fruit trees that have a few cultivars. Department of Agriculture’s website has a list of certified fruit tree nurseries that is updated periodically.

What durian saplings can we get?

There are a total of 3 types of durian tree present,

  1. Wild durian trees – Grown from seed, and it is hard to find because they exist in deeper areas of the forests. Their fruits have an unpleasant taste.
  2. Native durian tree – It is also grown from seed, and the fruits have lower commercial value due to the inconsistency of fruits.
  3. Grafted durian trees – Clone from matured durian trees, and the fruits have more commercial value due to better overall consistency like the Musang King.

Did you know Musang King are clones and can’t be grown from seeds?

Grafted durians trees have the most commercial value, so it is the most famous durian saplings. They are saplings that produces cloned durian fruits while having the rootstocks of a native durian tree. The reason for using native durian tree rootstocks is because they are more robust and can adapt and survive local soil conditions.

There are a few types of grafting, and local Malaysian nurseries produce 90% of the durian saplings using the eye bud grafting method.

How does the eye bud graft technique work?

It is done by inserting a cut (longitudinally) small scion with an unopened eye bud into the native durian sapling’s rootstock’s exposed cambium layer. Then, it is wrapped in parafilm, only leaving the eye bud free.

The newly transferred eye bud will break and start growing as the main stem after a few weeks. Also, it is vital to remove any shoots from the rootstock stem because they don’t bear unwanted native durian fruits.

The final product will only be the grafted main stems with native durian sapling’s rootstock.

Should we get older and larger saplings?

The main reason for getting larger saplings is because it has a higher chance of survival. Large saplings are 4ft to 5ft tall, and they are also known as APMs (Advanced planting material). The benefits of larger samplings are:

  1. Has higher disease and drought resistance
  2. outcompete weeds and strive easily after transplanting
  3. Better adaptation to a new environment and mature faster

Of course, advanced planting material is more expensive compared to the normal ones. Some people might get a mixture of both because larger saplings are also harder to transplant manually.

Check out Cover cropping benefits and cultivars in Malaysian Agriculture