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tender and goes to the highest bidder. The land is not sold outright, but leased for lengthy periods, the majority being for ninety-nine years. The rent is small, varying from one to two shillings per acre, according to quality of soil. Under an old law by Sir Stamford Raffles payment for land need not be made until the purchaser has held it for six years, thus giving him every chance of recouping himself for the necessary outlay.
The task of clearing the jungle is effected by felling a large proportion of the trees, drying and packing their trunks around those that are still standing, and awaiting a suitable opportunity when fire applied to one side, aided by favourable winds, sweeps right across the desired area, leaving blackened stumps and gnarled trees behind it. These are again burnt out and the ground is then made ready for planting.
The young trees, which have been grown in nurseries for some six months, are planted out and stumped. Sometimes planting takes place from seed, but the former operation is easier and generally adopted. In order to give admittance for sunlight the trees are planted at unequal distances, namely in avenues of 24 x 30 feet or 20 x 17 feet; they are kept back for some six weeks until the roots have formed properly, when they are allowed to grow steadily in height and girth. During the time of preparatory growth, catch crops such as coffee, tobacco and tea are grown among the young rubber, this method giving a fairly good return until the trees are matured and fit for tapping. Rubber consists of the dried milk or latex of certain plants or trees ; it is extracted from the trees by incisions made in the trunks about six feet from the ground, cups