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Gift a Tree

Gift a Tree - Wilderness Heights Wildlife Corridor 25 March 2023

A forest pocket of gifted trees

Sponsorships and donations in support of our wildlife corridor rehabilitation and assisted reforestation endeavours come in a number of ways. One of these is our Gift-a-Tree platform where you can gift a tree to a bio-mimicked forest pocket planted out in one of our wildlife corridors in honour of a loved one… honouring a birthday, a promotion, an anniversary or a life lived.

Gifting a Tree in our wildlife corridors in celebration of another simultaneously supports the ongoing rehabilitation activities in our local wildlife corridors. So, if you would like to Gift a tree to a special person in celebration of a birthday, an anniversary or in honour of their life, simply click here.

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Collaborating for Nature

The Touw River Conservancy (TRC) is a local conservation body focused on increased conservation efforts on private and municipal property in the Greater Wilderness Area. Much of their volunteer efforts in conservation are geared towards clearing invasive vegetation as a first level priority step in any rehabilitation or reforestation process. Clearing invasive trees is a labour intensive process and a labour of love by the TRC team who put their own time and effort into it.

The TRC has been clearing a site in Wilderness Heights which has been identified as one of many vital corridors for wildlife in the area, most of which are shrinking as a result of rising higher density development in the area and overrun by non-indigenous invasive vegetation. This site used to be an old cattle dip for the farmers many years ago, but neglected from disuse as farms were subdivided into smallholdings. It become heavily infested with pine, wattle gum, bugweed, to name a few of the highly invasive non-indigenous species dominating the competition for space and water.

In 2022, the TRC joined the George Municipality’s Adopt-a-Spot program whereby it has undertaken to continue to clear, maintain and rehabilitate the site – now recognised as a heritage site in the Garden Route. When Precious Tree Project was donated funds by the Wilderness Ratepayers and Residents Association (WRRA) and George Tourism as part of the Wilderness Centenary and Beautification Project, we allocated the funds towards planting out in a mini-forest pocket on the site.

Since many of the leaves of indigenous trees are a vital food source for many of the wildlife species in the area, irrespective of the age of the tree, we got creative in our tree protection methods structures giving the trees time to take root and ground themselves.

A big round of applause to the TRC and its committee members involved in the rehabilitation of this site and for all those local community members who joined in and gave a helping hand on the day.

Click here if you would like to sponsor an indigenous South African forest tree towards our wildlife corridors in the Garden Route OR visit www.payfast.co.za/donate/go/precioustreeproject.

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After Action Satisfaction

After-Action-Satisfaction-WHWC-17-September-2022-Precious-Tree-Project

The “Shamboh” Wildlife Corridor in Wilderness Heights has been one of our focal sites of ongoing rehabilitation over the past few years. Returning to the area to continue clearing out aliens and then coming back to plant out another mini-forest brings with it the opportunity to observe the natural reforestation taking place in the corridor in between our assisted reforestation efforts, as well as the satisfaction of seeing the growth of the mini-forest pockets we have planted out in previous sessions.

Each planting session is a labour of love taken on by our volunteers and becomes an exercise of short term fun for medium and long term gain. All made possible by your individual sponsors via our Gift-a-Tree platform. Thank you!

Click here if you would like to sponsor an indigenous South African forest tree towards our wildlife corridors in the Garden Route OR visit payfast.co.za/donate/go/precioustreeproject.

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Play, Plant, Love

Play, Plant, Love - Precious Tree Project

Playing for Trees is one of our popular fundraising platforms to raise money to plant out trees. In September 2021, Precious Tree Project collaborated with Denneberghof Country Estate Events and held our “You & Your Plus 1” Spring sports challenge at their beautiful venue, located between Victoria Bay and Wilderness. The proceeds received from this event were raised to plant out a small bio-mimicked forest patch of indigenous trees on the property, where efforts to rehabilitate the land are on the go. On the 19th of February 2022, a group of our VIPs (very important planters) got together to plant them out. The ownership now rests with the landowners to maintain them carefully until they have taken root.

The Precious Tree Project would like to thank everyone involved in this project: those who played for trees, those who planted out trees and those at Denneberghof who have committed to maintain them with love while they ground themselves in their new home.

Thank you SHOMON for the use of your original soundtrack “Feels so Right”!

If you would like to sponsor an indigenous forest tree to our wildlife corridors, click here OR you can go to https://www.payfast.co.za/donate/go/precioustreeproject.

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Hey ho, hey ho … Off to plant we go …

Libertas Guest Farm Wildlife Corridor - Precious Tree Project

We started working on a section of this Wildlife Corridor running through Libertas Guest Farm in the earlier part of 2021. Most of the “alien management” of the corridor running though the farm is undertaken by the landowners themselves, but the ongoing task of restoring lengthy tracks of land to its former natural glory can be an unrelenting challenge. The primary invasive species dominating the corridor are black wattle, lantana and bugweed. In addition to being invasive, these species are particularly fast-growers. As a prime wildlife corridor (and currently monitored with cameras by NMMU students), PTP jumped in to help clear the giant bugweed and to boost the reforestation process with endemic forest tree species that are great sources of food for the wildlife too.

A BIG thank you to Dr Morley for his tree-cycling project and FAGRON SA for the sponsorship of 75 endemic forest trees that we planted out.

Click here if you would like to sponsor an indigenous forest tree to our wildlife corridors OR you can go to https://www.payfast.co.za/donate/go/precioustreeproject.

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The Gift of Gifting a Precious Tree

The Gift of Gifting a Precious Tree - Precious Tree Project

Gifting a tree to a loved one as a birthday present, wedding gift or any other ceremonial and remembrance occasion is becoming more popular with our followers. Our ability to continuously assist with the ongoing reforestation of the Wilderness Heights Wildlife Corridor is a result of the support we receive every time you gift a tree in honour of your loved ones.

The Precious Tree Project Team says thank you!

Click here if you would like to sponsor an indigenous forest tree to our wildlife corridors OR you can go to https://www.payfast.co.za/donate/go/precioustreeproject.

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Arbour Week vs Corporate Environmental Responsibility

Arbour Week vs Corporate Environmental Responsibility - Precious Tree Project

South Africa celebrates Arbour Week annually in the first week of September. National Arbour Week, as most of us know, is that time of the year where South Africans – individuals and business alike – are called upon and encouraged to plant indigenous trees as a practical and symbolic gesture of sustainable environmental management.

Multicup Solutions, a division of Libstar Operations (PTY) LTD – sponsored a number of indigenous trees as their symbolic gesture towards sustainable environmental management. We planted these trees in a mini bio-mimicked forest patch within the Wilderness Heights Wildlife Corridor, one of our ongoing assisted reforestation projects in the Garden Route.

Multicup Solutions are, however, going beyond symbolic gestures of environmental management confined to a single week or month of the year. They are committed to practical, sustainable environmental measures to reduce the overall environmental footprint of the full production cycle of their products, including transport, consumption and disposal thereof. They are introducing a new earth-loving packaging range that is certified compostable and made from plant-based sources. www.multicup.co.za

A big thank you to Multicup Solutions for their commitment to our environment, for their sponsorship of indigenous forest trees and another big thank you to our VIP’s who helped plant them out!

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

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ALWAYS ROOM FOR MORE: Oakhurst Farm Cottages & AfriCamps

Oakhurst Farm Cottages and AfriCamps - Precious Tree Project

Oakhurst Farm has history in the Garden Route – covering approx. 640 hectares of land – of which 200 hectares is pristine fynbos and indigenous forest – the farm is run commercially by the Crowther family – sixth generation descendants of the original purchaser, Henry Dumbleton, who bought the land in 1820. It is one of the few remaining large working dairy farms along the Garden Route but is also well known for its stylish accommodation and the wide variety of outdoor activities around the farm for their guests, including hiking trails to the waterfalls, horse-riding, fishing on the dam or cycling through the indigenous forest.

The Precious Tree Project team has history with Oakhurst Farm – the Crowthers’ inherited a farm not only with many hectares of pristine indigenous forest but they also inherited highly invasive non indigenous trees such as wattle, blackwood and pine. While these serve as a great resource for the farm’s requirements (firewood for the guests, mulch, etc.) clearing them is an ongoing challenge and a costly one at that. The Crowthers’ have remained committed to the clearing process over the years as well as continuously planting out more pockets of endemic species on their farm.

On Saturday 4 September, in celebration of Arbour month and as part of their ongoing tree planting efforts, we joined forces with them yet again and shared a memorable morning with their weekend guests planting out a small bio-mimicked forest mix of true Yellowwood, Boekenhout, Outeniqua Yellowwood, Wild Peach and Tree Fuchsia at their AfriCamps site.

Thank you Jake and Claire for always making room for more indigenous trees!

www.oakhurst.co.za

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

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Choosing Green to Honour Purple

Choosing Green to Honour Purple BTS Precious Tree Project

BTS is a South Korean band with a large number of big international hits and a very big following across the globe, known as the BTS Army. The BTS Army have a base here in South Africa and this year they are celebrating their 8th Anniversary by gifting trees in honour and support of BTS’s Purple Pave Project.

“When we think about generosity, we think of you. When we think about kindness, we think of you. When we think about humility and care for mankind and for our planet, we always think of you. You’ve inspired millions to make our world a better place today, but also for tomorrow. For you, for us, we pay your example forward. We purple you.”

“Our gift of trees is in your honour as part of the “Purple Pave for BTS” Project. We purple you.”

“… ‘It’s okay … when I say 1, 2, 3, forget it. Erase all sad memories. Hold my hand & smile’ .. Our gift in your honour as part of the ‘Purple pave for BTS’ Project“

“Borahae BTS!”

“Borahae” (“I purple you”) is a phrase combining two Korean words: Violet (“bora”) and I love you (“saranghae”) and was coined during a 2016 concert by Kim Taehyung (a.k.a “V” of BTS). “Borahae” implies “I’ll love you till the end of days” since purple (violet) is the last colour of the rainbow.

The Precious Tree Project Team says thank you to the South African BTS Army for choosing a green project to celebrate and honour a purple one.

BTS on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/bangtan.official.

If you would like to sponsor an indigenous South African forest tree on behalf of BTS and help expand this wildlife corridor in the Garden Route, click here OR go to https://www.payfast.co.za/donate/go/precioustreeproject.

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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!

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