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Clear … Plant … Repeat …

clear plant repeat wilderness heights precious tree project

We have been assisting the natural reforestation of this Wildlife Corridor in Wilderness Heights for the past 18 months through the continuous process of clearing patches of invasive trees (primarily wattle and Australian blackwood), and then planting out patches of a range of endemic forest tree species (emulating the larger afromontane forest biome of the area). It is a labour intensive process and not a simple one – particularly so when the primary consideration is to assist the reforestation and regeneration process as naturally as possible. The clearing process is a pre-planned one that goes hand-in-hand with the planting process.

Clearing an infestation of wattle is not about going in and cutting every invasive tree down in one fowl swoop before planting can take place. It involves more of a “thinning-out-to-clear” process, which includes cutting/chopping, hand-pulling (roots-and-all) and ringbarking. The method we employ to eradicate wattle is determined by the size of the tree at the time and is designed to assist the natural regeneration process … not hinder it.

Scraps of biodegrading wattle left behind from the clearing stage provide ground cover on the forest floor and mulch for the trees, both of which reduce evaporation at ground level.

Ringbarking the taller wattle and leaving them in situ, while they slowly die off, helps retain the overhead canopy that provides protection (from the elements) to the newly planted trees. In addition, they “stand in” as protective cover while the faster growing pioneers (keurbooms) shoot up under their shade without having to compete with them for water. The wattle will eventually be cut down and used as a resource once the Keurbooms have grown tall enough to provide their own protective canopy for the other underlying, comparatively slower-growing forest trees.

Clearing a site completely prior to planting would hinder the process insofar as it would create a barren space where too much sunlight penetrating to ground level, precipitating a rapid sprouting of seeds (mostly wattle at this point) post any rainfall.

Planting only happens once a patch has been thinned out sufficiently to allow the easy growth of new trees. We have planted out twenty different species of forest trees over and above the Keurbooms in this corridor – each growing at different paces, reaching different heights and boosting one another through their underground communication systems, while above-ground they provide a seasonal source of food and a haven for our wildlife as the forest grows and matures.

Continuous maintenance and “pulling” of wattle saplings/seedlings within the newly planted forest patch is essential and an ongoing necessary process until the indigenous forest trees have established themselves as the dominant species.

Yes, it is a labour intensive process but a rewarding one when we see the results!

Thank you to all our sponsors who make the expansion of this wildlife corridor possible!

If you would like to help expand this wildlife corridor, click here!

#clearinginvasivewattle #biomimickedforests #precioustreeproject #wildlifecorridor #gardenroutereforestation #treeplanting #indigenoustrees #endemictrees #foresttrees

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Friends of the Forest – Libertas Guest Farm

Friends of the forest - Libertas Guest Farm

We planted out a mini bio-mimicked indigenous forest at Libertas Guest farm under two years ago (mid 2019) in order to assist the natural reforestation process on a site that was left devastated by the clearing efforts of local woodcutters at the time (for use as firewood).

The mini forest we planted out comprised a range of indigenous forest tree species including one Milkwood and a number of Keurboom, Boekenhout, Cape Beech, Cape Chestnut, Cape Holly, Blinkblaar, Wild Peach, Forest Elder and Wild Olive.  These are forest trees endemic to the site.

We have been monitoring the process.  See the results for yourself!

A big thank you from the Precious Tree Project Crew to all our sponsors and volunteers who were involved in this project.

Click here if you would like to sponsor an indigenous tree and help grow the wildlife corridors  in the Garden Route, or click here to make a donation.

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Introducing a different Element into the Wildlife Corridor

Introducing a different Element into the Wildlife Corridor -source seeds - Precious Tree Project

We were introduced to something completely different in our volunteer planting session this month: we planted out a bio-mimicked forest patch comprising a range of endemic tree species in Wilderness Heights with Source Seeds donated by The Crystallized Roots Movement. The purpose of The Crystallized Roots Movement, under the auspices of Earth Change, is to plant trees with a higher biophoton count in the soil using Source Seeds.

Source Seeds are ceramic balls designed to create biophotons, allowing the trees an opportunity to learn and connect with the world in a new way. Their goal is to plant 1 000 000 Source Seed trees across the globe and Precious Tree Project took up the offer of planting 53 of them in the Wildlife Corridor we are currently clearing and reforesting. While we believe in keeping the reforestation process as natural as possible, we thought we’d give this group of trees a boost of biophotons. We’ll keep you posted on developments and see how these precious trees compare in growth to that of their family of forest trees surrounding them!

A big thank you to all you wonderful sponsors whose support makes the growth and expansion of this wildlife corridor possible.

A big thank you to Josie Crook and The Crystallized Roots Movement for the sponsorship of these Source Seeds.

A big thank you to all our volunteer planters who continually pitch up to plant trees, grow our forests and expand this wildlife corridor!

Here’s to all of us learning and connecting with the world in a new higher vibrational way!

If you are interested in The Crystallized Roots Movement, visit earthchange.org.

If you would like to support our ongoing efforts of assisted regeneration of our forest biome, click here!

#endemictrees #bio-mimickedforests #precioustreeproject #naturalhealth #gardenroutereforestation #treeplanting #indigenoustrees #ringbarking #clearinginvasivetrees #wildlifecorridor #biophotons #sourceseeds

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Nothing but benefits to planting out trees

Nothing but benefits to planting out trees - Workforce -Libertas Farm 25 March 2021 - Precious Tree Project

In the best of economic times, finding employment in the Garden Route is a difficult task. Here the economy is largely driven by the tourist industry and is mostly seasonal for many local businesses and individuals. Covid and lockdown regulations impacted heavily on this already limited earning potential of the local community members living around the breadline, particularly as more businesses struggled to keep afloat and their doors open. The move into Alert Level 1 at the end of February and the slow regrouping of local businesses has not eased the situation for most of them.

The need to address the employment situation in the short, medium and long term has always been on our agenda and as such, PTP commits a percentage of all funds received towards its job creation program. Two primary activities that are part of the assisted reforestation process is clearing invasive non-indigenous trees and planting out pockets of endemic forest trees. Creates the perfect opportunity for employment for those who have basic level skills… All it takes is guidance, on the spot training, a spade and/or a panga and off to work we go!

Thank you Kevin Coyne, Coyne Healthcare SA for your sponsorship that has made it possible to provide employment to those who sorely need it!

If you would like to support our ongoing efforts of assisted regeneration of our forest biome, click here!

endemictrees #bio-mimickedforests #precioustreeproject #naturalhealth #gardenroutereforestation #treeplanting #indigenoustrees #ringbarking #clearinginvasivetrees #wildlifecorridor #coynehealthcare #libertasguestfarm #jobcreation #coynehealthcarecommunity

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The Bigger Business of Assisted Reforestation

The Bigger Business of Assisted Reforestation -Libertas Frm 27 February 2021 - Precious Tree Project

Assisted reforestation is more than just planting out indigenous trees in bio-mimicked forest patches, creating much needed jobs, restoring biodiversity, filtering the air, water and soils etc. Ultimately, in the bigger picture, it is about assisting the natural balancing of our ecosystems and restoring the health and well-being of our natural environment upon which our own the health our own health and well-being depends. It may well take a decade or two, but we are investing in the future in terms of what we are leaving behind for the generations (of both human and animal) to come.

So of course, we love it when the bigger businesses get this Big Picture and get involved. Kevin Coyne and Coyne Healthcare SA have been contributing to PTP’s vision of expanding the indigenous forests in the Garden Route with their ongoing sponsorship and we have been directing these funds towards the rehabilitation of one of the wildlife corridors running through the farmlands in Hoekwil.

Our happy group of VIP’s got their hands dirty yet again in a volunteer planting session to put more these precious trees in the ground.  We’ll keep you posted on the growth and expansion of this corridor.

Thank you Kevin Coyne, Coyne Healthcare SA and our very important planters who have made this expansion possible!

If you would like to support our ongoing efforts of assisted regeneration of our forest biome, click here!

#endemictrees #bio-mimickedforests #precioustreeproject #naturalhealth #gardenroutereforestation #treeplanting #indigenoustrees #ringbarking #clearinginvasivetrees #wildlifecorridor #coynehealthcare #libertasguestfarm

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What we do Matters

What we do Matters - Precious Tree Project

“Before the emergence of this pandemic, I started plans to raise awareness of our natural biome, by using my passion for cycling to raise money for an amazing local Non-Profit-Organisation in Wilderness whose intention is to assist the natural restoration of indigenous forests in the Garden Route, Precious Tree Project.

Since the current pandemic, we have seen how communities less fortunate than us, are being starved of essentials: basic food and health supplies.  This highlights the importance of becoming sustainable: by growing our own foods, planting trees that clean the air and recycle water around us. Nature heals and gives us medicines through its offerings of medicinal herbs, plants and trees.

My mission, together with Precious Tree Project, is extended to not only plant indigenous forest trees, but to share, teach, develop and actively regrow what we have unconsciously pushed back for so many years and create sustainable livelihoods.

I commit to making my passion for cycling, a (sustainable) vehicle to maintain ongoing awareness.

What we do matters. I invite you to join me. 

With gratitude”

Dr Jon Morley (11 April, 2020).

A big thanks to each and every volunteer for your support on the day and making this possible! A special thanks to Coyne Healthcare who have fully supported Doctor Jon’s tree-cycling fundraising efforts for us over the past year, which has afforded us the opportunity to improve the daily school – going lives of the young children at Bergplaas Community Creche in a number of ways!

coynehealthcare #coynecommunity #vitalihealthcentre #communityupliftment #indigenousforestpatch

Tour de Burn – a tree cycling project

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Celebrating Arbour Week

Arbour Week - get involved and volunteer

On the 18th of September, the team at the Garden Route Botanical Gardens in George hosted a day of tree planting – honouring the gift that mother nature extends to us in the form of trees by planting trees. 

Precious Tree Project, in collaboration with Jon Morley’s Tour de Burn project, donated a range of indigenous forest trees and Keurboom seeds on the day to assist them with their passionate restoration and reforestation efforts. Our enthusiastic team of volunteers joined in with those of the Botanical Gardens to plant out 143 precious trees on the day. Thank you!

Happy Arbour Week!

If you would like to sponsor an indigenous forest tree, click here to visit our online tree shop.

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Expanding the Wildlife Corridors

PTP Shamboh Wildlife Corridor - Expanding the Wildlife Corridors

One of the incredible benefits of planting out bio-mimicked forest patches and assisting the reforestation process of the indigenous forests in the Garden Route region is the value this brings to our wildlife, particularly i.t.o assisting their survival rates.  As one of the few natural forest biomes in South Africa, our Garden Route forests are home to many species of our four-legged wildlife:  the region is a well-known haven to the Knysna elephant, rooikat, leopard, bushbuck, vervet monkeys, porcupines, baboons, etc. Not to mention the bird, reptile and insect populations that thrive when the forests are healthy. A haven is more than a safe space for our circulating wildlife, it is also a fundamental ongoing source of food for them, from the forest trees themselves and from the forest floors.

Factors including the rapid increase of human activity and development in the area, climate change, the uncontrolled spread of highly invasive non-indigenous trees (which themselves compete for water amongst themselves) all have had a negative impact on our local forests – and therefore on the territory in which our wildlife naturally roam, breed and feed.

Re-establishing and protecting wildlife corridors is a key component of our reforestation efforts and between April and August this year, in slow, regulated lockdown-motion, we got stuck in with small groups of volunteers at a time and took on the task of rehabilitating a site that is regularly traversed by troops of baboons, vervet monkeys, by bushbuck, porcupines and a rooikat. The task is one of both clearing the invasive wattle and blackwood trees that have infiltrated the site from the neighbouring state owned property and then planting out a range of endemic tree species in the spaces that were cleared. And so the assisted reforestation and natural regeneration of the forest floors begin …

Thank you to all donors for their contributions that make projects like this possible  – we planted out over 100 precious trees to grow the wildlife corridor, which included outeniqua yellowwood, boekenhout, forest elder, cape chestnut, cape beech and keurbooms.

And thank you to all our enthusiastic VIP’s who pitched in (as and when regulations allowed) and got their hands dirty!  A much needed grounding reconnection to mother earth in a year when being outdoors and in nature has been sorely needed!

If you would like to support our ongoing efforts of assisted regeneration of our forest biome, click here to sponsor trees!

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Growing a bio-mimicked forest patch at Vitali Health Centre

Growing a bio-mimicked forest patch at Vitali Health Centre - Precious Tree Project

With lockdown restrictions for most of the year, Dr Jon Morley – our passionate “cycling for trees” partner – has yet to clock more miles on his bicycle in a “staged cycling event” across the Western Cape in order to raise awareness around the significant impact that forests and trees have on our own personal health and well-being. Continuous training on his cycle through the mountains, luckily has been permissible, and is keeping him in shape while allowing him to still get exposure to the public however small and continue to raise local awareness.  

He also managed to get his hands dirty with that “good stuff” called soil and plant out a batch of the trees that were donated to his tree-cycling project. 

These precious trees were donated by Dr Peter Hodson, and between the Vitali team and our VIP’s (very important planters), we spent a morning planting out a small bio-mimicked forest patch of indigenous trees at Vitali Health Centre in Hoekwil.  

Tree species included Outeniqua Yellowwood, Boekenhout, Wild Olive and Camphor Bush, which themselves come with their own recorded medicinal values.

The presence of a growing and maturing mini indigenous forest – on a site where holistic health and well being are of considerable interest to the Doctors, Health Consultants and staff at the Centre  – will increase the healing energy of the site tenfold over the years to come.

If you would like to sponsor an indigenous forest tree, click here!