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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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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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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!

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Thirty Sponsored Precious Trees Sent to Heaven

While there is still much work to be done on many private properties across Wilderness and Hoekwil w.r.t the clearing of non-indigenous trees and vines, and the many hazards their presence imposes on the area, Alan Fowle and Mandy Basson, have quietly been clearing and rehabilitating their property – HeavenSent – in Hoekwil, to make way for the regeneration of the endemic indigenous trees and the regrowth of the forest floor.

With our very important planters behind us and eager to get stuck in, we gave Al and Mandy’s regenerative efforts a boost. These ongoing restoration attempts of bio-mimicked forests are part of our vision to restore biodiversity, create a larger haven for our wildlife, address carbon levels in our atmosphere, reduce runaway fires, create employment etc.

Thank you Mandy and Al for being custodians of the land that our sponsored trees can call home. If you would like to assist us in our vision, click here to sponsor trees!

#reforestation

#indigenoustrees

#restorebiodiversity

#sitemanagement

#communityupliftment

#precioustreeproject

#treeplanting

#firesecurity

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Planting a 60 Tree Mini Bio-mimicked Forest

Planting a 60 Tree Mini Bio-mimicked Forest - Volunteer tree planting - Precious Tree Project
Planting a 60 Tree Mini Bio-mimicked Forest - Volunteer tree planting - Precious Tree Project

Volunteer Tree Planting – Mini Bio-mimicked Forest: MAN Automotive sponsored 60 trees towards a mini endemic and indigenous forest. Our group of committed VIPs arrived in full force to plant out this mini forest on Libertas Dairy Farm. The work was made that much easier as a result of the clearing efforts undertaken by the Potgieters.

Thank you Linda and Johan for your ongoing time, effort and personal investment in the rehabilitation and restoration process of your land!

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Celebrating our Tree Man’s 50th Birthday at Shamboh

No better way to celebrate the Tree Man himself than with a Tree Planting Ceremony

Ray turned 50 this month. As part of his celebration weekend in honour of his birthday, we gathered together to plant 100 precious indigenous trees on his small holding in Wilderness Heights. He sponsored 50 of them, honouring each year of his life, and the balance were sponsored as birthday gifts from friends, family and community members. Happy 50th Birthday Ray!

Creation of Mini Bio-Mimicked Forest Patches - Shamboh, Wilderness Heights - Precious Tree ProjectCreation of Mini Bio-Mimicked Forest Patches - Shamboh, Wilderness Heights - Precious Tree ProjectCreation of Mini Bio-Mimicked Forest Patches - Shamboh, Wilderness Heights - Precious Tree ProjectCreation of Mini Bio-Mimicked Forest Patches - Shamboh, Wilderness Heights - Precious Tree ProjectCreation of Mini Bio-Mimicked Forest Patches - Shamboh, Wilderness Heights - Precious Tree Project
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Shape of Emotion

Emotions ran high this year for many of us living in the Garden Route, whether directly or indirectly affected by the fires. Chantal and Matthew of 5th Place, came down from Jo’burg and conducted a Shape of Emotion session with us before we started to dig in and place our precious trees in their new home.

Thank you 5th Place for your sponsorship of these precious trees, your facilitation of the Shape of Emotion session, and for contributing to this gathering of our VIPs.