Background

Precious Tree Project  – a registered not-for profit business (NPO 266-205) – is a Wilderness-based local tree-planting initiative focused on the regeneration of indigenous and endemic forest areas along the Garden Route.

 

Precious Tree Project

The project was set up in 2010 by Ray Nolan – locally known as the “Tree Man” – who wanted to address the regeneration of indigenous forests along the Garden Route.  Having moved down from Johannesburg in 2003, he observed the general lack of adherence to green building principles and diminishing local indigenous forests as residential developments expanded.

 

His mission: “I want to plant trees!” And it is our over-riding mission too … to plant trees and grow forests along the Garden Rout AND – through the process – to enhance local communities, establish local “mini satellite” nurseries, support existing local nurseries, create a tree-planting work-force and educate the public on a) the need for and b) the benefits of growing and regenerating endemic forests of indigenous trees on a local and global scale. Since PTP is local to Wilderness, our focus is here … in South Africa … along the Garden Route.

The Garden Route

The Garden Route – appropriately named for its lush, natural vegetation – has roughly sixty percent of its indigenous forest left. Growth and development in both the business and residential sector, coastal population expansion, climate change, rising temperatures and ravages of drought & floods over the past decade have had a significant impact on the area and consequently on the existing indigenous forest areas along the coast. And so began our journey of planting out mini “patches of forest” along the Garden Route on a number of individually-selected smallholdings – prime areas that supported our vision where continued care of our precious trees could be ensured.

In 2017, we redirected our efforts towards those private properties between Hoekwil and Plettenberg Bay that were devastated by the raging fires of June 2017.  This is a lengthy process and requires the planting out of thousands upon thousands of indigenous forest trees while background efforts of invasive non-indigenous tree clearing and soil regeneration also need to be made.

In June 2017, UNESCO members approved the Garden Route as an official UNESCO Biosphere Reserve (Source: Environment and Natural Resources News, June 2017). The decision, at global level to address our natural forest and all its biodiversity, is a positive and encouraging one yet lack of awareness of the importance of protecting AND growing forests, hinders the process.

Precious Tree Project is on a mission to build relationships with individuals and businesses who support our vision to regenerate, regrow and restore endemic forest areas along the Garden Route.  We’d like you to think of it as “Health Insurance for the Natural Environment”.

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