Our primary focus is the assisted reforestation of identified wildlife corridors in the region. The need to address biodiversity through assisted reforestation, however, is not limited to the wildlife corridors we have identified. There is a rapid rise in residential developments on small holdings that fall within the Afromontane forest biome of the region, where existing indigenous forest patches and endemic plant species are continuously removed to make space for residential developments. Many landowners fail to restore the natural forest biome around their homes post the construction phase. The accumulative loss of biodiversity as a result is a concerning one and not often addressed by the designing team, the property developer or homeowner in the building process.
This month an intern currently studying Environmental Design at Stellenbosch University, Hano du Plessis (featured image), shadowed us in our daily activities for a week, which included joining in on our July monthly volunteer planting session in the Wilderness Heights Wildlife Corridor.
When asked what his primary take-away was from his week with us, this is how he responded: “How Being made aware of the incredible importance of designing-around-nature and landscaping with endemic and indigenous trees & plants as a primary consideration in the design process”. Nice!
We were delighted to have one of our international sponsors join in on our monthly planting session held in the wildlife corridor in April. She got to see the progress made on our Wilderness Heights Wildlife Corridor, where the majority of her donated trees over the past 5 years have been planted out. The importance of assisted reforestation became evident to her as she was guided through the corridor.
Allowing the forest to naturally re-establish itself is the optimal choice, but the poor quality of the soil (as a result of the presence of Pines, Blackwoods and Wattles), rapid reappearance of invasive saplings, climate change and associated extremes weather patterns all retard the regrowth and regeneration process.
Planting out a range of forest tree species that emulate the forest biome is our method of assisting the reforestation process and precipitating growth and the restoration of biodiversity in the area.
Thank you Monika for your ongoing support and our Very Important Planters for theirs. We could not do this without you all!
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”!
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.
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.
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!
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” (“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.
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!
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.
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!