Rubber latex is extracted from rubber trees. The economic life period of rubber trees in plantations is around 32 years – up to 7 years of immature phase and about 25 years of productive phase.
The soil requirement of the plant is generally well-drained, weathered soil consisting of laterite, lateritic types, sedimentary types, nonlateritic red, or alluvial soils.
The climatic conditions for optimum growth of rubber trees are:
- Rainfall of around 250 cm evenly distributed without any marked dry season and with at least 100 rainy days per year
- Temperature range of about 20 to 34°C, with a monthly mean of 25 to 28°C
- High atmospheric humidity of around 80%
- Bright sunshine amounting to about 2000 hours per year at the rate of six hours per day throughout the year
- Absence of strong winds
Many high-yielding clones have been developed for commercial planting. These clones yield more than 2,000 kg of dry rubber per hectare per year, when grown under ideal conditions.