This Spring we were delighted to receive a generous donation of wheelbarrows, spades, branch cutters and overalls (for our workforce) from a corporate sponsor. These practical, and much appreciated gifts have already been put to good use.
This is a great example of how businesses can assist an NPO in ways other than cash donations. In addition, the Organisation’s South African Head Office has also been excited to share information on Precious Tree Project with all of their employees, encouraging them to support us through our various fundraising platforms: sponsor trees, gift a tree and art for nature initiatives.
A BIG thank you from all of us at PTP… let the clearing and planting continue!
Arbour Month and the Beautification of Knysna Road, George
We joined up with a number of local conservation bodies to assist the local municipality with their beautification of Knysna Road in celebration of Arbour Month. A number of large moribund oak trees that had been growing in rows along the main street for many years required replacement. Planting a single species of tree along streets in rows or lines as a beautification method has been adopted globally for centuries, and the incredible beauty of flowering trees in full bloom along any street, whether they are indigenous or not, is undeniable.
Lines of single trees of one species can, however, make a species more susceptible to a range of pests, particularly shot hole borer. Moreover, planting out a single species of tree also restricts biodiversity since a selective species of tree will attract a selective species of birds, bees and butterflies.
This year the decision was taken to replace the single rows of moribund oak trees with indigenous tree species and plant out a double row of trees, zigzagging their position alongside the road. In addition, we planted out a small bio-mimicked forest patch of a range of different indigenous trees in the middle of the open green adjoining Knysna Road to encourage greater biodiversity to the area. Species planted out included Outeniqua Yellowwood, True Yellowwood, Saffron, Wild Peach, Harpehyllum, Tree Fuchsia and Stinkwood.
Thank you to everyone who pitched in to help keep our streets and open Spaces green!
Roche Diagnostics has a tradition of innovation in healthcare around the globe and are committed to making a real difference in people’s lives by providing products and services for the diagnosis of diseases.
As part of making a difference in the lives of their staff, the Roche Management Centre staff participated in a team building exercise in the Garden Route. Each staff member in the team donated trees towards our Wilderness Heights Wildlife Corridor and pitched up as a collective effort to plant the trees we selected for their sponsorships.
As with all our planting sessions, we selected a range of indigenous species endemic to the site that were planted out in close proximity to one another in the form of a bio-mimicked forest patch within the larger forest itself.
Included in our mix of trees were Crotalaria capensis, Pittosporum viridiflorum, Vepris lanceolata, Elaeodendron Croceum, Rhamnus prinoides, Buddleja saligna and Rapanea melanophloeos. Here all the different tree species work as a unit to boost the presence and growth of each other. Much like team building between trees.
Thank you to Roche Diagnostics and all those staff who not only donated towards the planting of trees but planted them out as well! www.roche.co.za.
Lindsay Durham gifted her longtime and special friend, Clairabella, an Outeniqua Yellowwood for her 80th birthday. As a surprise, she also organised with Precious Tree Project that Clairabella get to plant her gift out in our Wilderness Heights Wildlife Corridor.
This is the beautiful and heartfelt message captured by Lindsay in the video below.
Thank you for your encouraging words and wisdom!
GIFT A TREE
By gifting a tree you are helping us not only to assist the natural reforestation process along the Garden Route and all the direct and indirect benefits that it comes with, but you are also choosing a Gift on behalf of another that has a low environmental impact too. We have selected 11 of our favourite endemic forest tree species for you to choose from to sponsor in honour / celebration of a loved one, which will be planted out with a range of other species, in bio-mimicked indigenous forest patches that emulate the natural forest biome of the area.
Hoekwil Primary school recently turned 100 years and in order to celebrate this huge milestone, Precious Tree Project, the staff, the school learners, their moms, dads and grandparents spent a day greening up the school by planting 100 indigenous trees and a large variety of shrubs around the school grounds.
We started the day with a short interactive group session on the importance of indigenous plants and trees – for animal, insect and humankind – then gave a quick demonstration on how to plant a tree to give it the best chance of survival.
A big thank you to all those who pitched up and pitched in to make the event such a memorable one for all.
And thank you to the school groundsmen and those school learners who have offered to maintain the trees and plants while they take root!
Lawaaikamp Creche is a small school for learners under the age of 5 years. Situated in Thembalethu in George, the creche, like most in the surrounds, is located in an area where employment levels are low and funding not easy to come by from the local community members. The crèche is continually in need of assistance and more often than not, is unable to afford the upkeep of the outdoor learning environment: the grounds are noticeably bare and absent of trees (for shade at the very least), the vegetable patch that was started early in 2021 is bare of produce and the rickety outdoor “jungle gym” is in need of repair.
We teamed up with local authorities to assist the school’s requirements for more trees around the ground and supplied the crèche with trees, indigenous tree seeds to germinate on-site and then plant out in the grounds over the course of the year using the planting method we demonstrated on the day. We also donated veggie seeds in order to help revive their vegetable garden.
Not only did we use the opportunity to raise awareness among these young learners about the importance of trees but to teach them about the importance of eating their vegetables too!
If you are able to assist with food seed contributions or help with the jungle gym, please contact Melissa on 084 490 8876.
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!
The Inkcubeko Youth and Science Centre is a non-profit initiative of the Isisombululo Community Improvement Programme and serves Thembalethu and the greater Garden Route District. The centre operates as a safe space for youth to explore how their external world around them works by igniting curiosity and interest in science, technology, engineering, arts, mathematics and innovation. The centre also serves as a foundation for youth empowerment, community development, capacity building, social cohesion and youth orientated projects and programmes.
In collaboration with local environmental authorities, we spent the morning with the staff planting trees and raising their awareness around the importance of trees and the health of our natural environment… important information that they themselves will impart to the learners and community at large.
As one would like to see be the norm, they have started a small organic food garden on the property and we have joined in on this program by providing food seeds, seeds of green leafy vegetables, compost and earthworm juice to kick start the process. Their longer term goal is to have an organic waste management system in place to feed the food gardens.
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.
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!
Planting out indigenous trees in bio-mimicked forest patches has a range of benefits for both the natural environment and all life on the planet.
Benefits of Trees for our natural environment
As a tree grows and matures, it will
produce more oxygen than carbon dioxide. This means that a growing and maturing
tree will contribute to reducing greenhouse gases and will reduce global
warming for anything between 40 and 100 years (and beyond). The other benefits
of trees are endless and range from the most basic and practical, such as
binding and nitrogen fixing of soil to improving all around water quality.
A single tree becomes a biosphere and an ecosystem for many forms of life, ranging from bacteria, insects, birds through to primates, apes and humans. Many trees planted together to mature into a forest will develop into a wonderfully complex, inter-connected and intricate life-form that is beyond the individual tree.
Trees play a key role in our battle against climate change
Trees play a key role in our battle against climate change. They feed our rivers, help to regulate the impact of storms and floods, harbour biologically-diverse ecosystems, provide shelter, jobs and security for forest-dependent populations. Within our cities, urban forests purify the air and ground water, regulate temperatures, provide shade, and encourage pride of place. More benefits of trees:
Reduce greenhouse gases and reduce global warming.
Oxygen production as the tree grows and matures.
Shade and cooling of the natural environment.
Biomass and biodiversity.
Food and shelter for a myriad of different life forms; from the most basic of moss and fungi to other plants, birds, insects, animals, and human-beings.
Provide medicinal value.
Future building materials. Limited use of trees/wood as a building material is recommended in fire hazardous areas.
Future life on this planet.
Benefits of Trees for Us
Trees produce the oxygen we need to breathe!!
Cleans the air we breathe (absorbs CO2).
Cleans the water we need to drink – nearly 70% of our bodies are made up of water.
Cleans the water we need to grow our food.
Cleans the soil in which we need to plant our food and grow our trees.
Provides shade to our homes when well positioned.
Save electricity consumption as it reduces reliance on air-conditioners in summer.
Provides a healing, relaxing environment for mental, emotional and spiritual well-being.
Every tree you sponsor goes towards regenerating and expanding natural endemic forest areas along the Garden Route. Not only are you growing forests, you are also contributing to the PTP Workforce, and the daily upkeep of our mini-satellite nurseries where all the magic happens before we plant out the trees.