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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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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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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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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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Growing the Indigenous Forest at the Botanical Gardens

Growing the Indigenous Forest at the Botanical Gardens - Precious Tree Project
Growing the Indigenous Forest at the Botanical Gardens - Precious Tree Project

The Botanical Gardens in George has been slowly re-establishing an on-site indigenous forest on their grounds. PTP and its very important volunteer planters, gathered together in December for a final tree planting session of the year and planted out 40 indigenous trees – adding to the newly established mini forest the Botanical Gardens set up earlier on in the year with help from GreenPop.

Hot, dry conditions on the day did not make planting easy and the stone-hard ground made digging the holes pretty challenging. But in true style, our enthusiastic volunteers got stuck in, dug the holes and gave these precious trees a new home! Earthworm juice & compost was added to boost growing conditions and assist these newly planted trees until they fully established themselves in the ground.

Sponsor our vision of planting a million trees and assist the natural reforestation process along the Garden Route – Sponsor Trees!

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Volunteer Tree Planting – George Botanical Gardens 7 December 2019

Volunteer Tree Planting - Botanical Gardens, George - Precious Tree Project

Volunteer Tree Planting – George Botanical Gardens

Hi everyone, some good rains coming our way for our forests this week!

Come join our final volunteer tree planting gathering for the year at the Botanical Gardens in George on Saturday, the 7th of December 2019 @13:00.

Bring your spades and watering cans if you have. As it is the final gathering for the year, bring a picnic basket, with a plate to share, your drinks and a blanket to sit on. We hope to see all our VIP’s (Very Important Planters) there! 🌳❤

Like and follow our Facebook Page for live updates.

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Planting Precious Trees in a Heatwave

Planting trees in a Heatwave - Volunteer Tree Planting - Precious Tree Project
Planting trees in a Heatwave - Volunteer Tree Planting - Precious Tree Project

Volunteer Tree Planting: We spent Saturday afternoon at the Smarts’ spot – one of our Wilderness Heights mini forest sites – where we got stuck into ring-barking any Australian Blackwoods we could see and adding more precious trees to their existing mini forest.

Planting trees in a heatwave. It was hot and dry, and the recorded 16mm of rainfall a few days before didn’t touch sides to soften the ground. Still baring scars from our ring-barking efforts last month, our committed bunch pitched up in numbers and planted these beautiful trees (some of them 1.9m Yellowwoods) in what had once been a pine-infested area. This is the one of many rewards …. that we get to keep adding to these mini forests here in the Garden Route and watch them grow year on in!

Sponsor a Tree!