How do we plant and protect millions of trees?
We have planted hundreds of millions of trees. To ensure the long-term success of these trees, we address reforestation through a holistic approach by implementing various planting methodologies and protecting the trees we plant.
Over the years, we have tested various methods to determine which ones work best. Today, we utilize six planting methodologies that have proven to be both efficient and effective for long-term success.
Singling or Farmer Managed Natural Regeneration (FMNR)
This method focuses on developing healthy forest canopies that provide shade, moisture retention, and soil nutrients. Singling is the process of cutting back excessive bushy growth on previously cut-down coppice species trees. This allows the tree to focus its energy on the main one or two stems remaining, resulting in a fuller and faster-growing tree.
Seed balls, or “seed bombs,” are marble-sized balls made of clay, compost, soil, and seeds. This method begins by collecting native species seeds from fast-growing pioneer species. The seeds are sorted, and one to two seeds are embedded inside a soil mixture and rolled into balls. The seed balls are then dried and stored. Once the rainy season arrives, the seed balls are placed in small holes and lightly covered with soil to ensure they stay in place. Within days, a new tree begins to grow!
We use nurseries to produce slower-growing native species trees to ensure diversity at our planting sites. These nurseries vary in capacity from 25,000 to 400,000 seedlings. Our nurseries also include agroforestry trees that are distributed to local communities and farmers.
We utilize bare root transfers in two ways. First, we use a forest bare root method that harvests seedlings from healthy or remnant forests at the onset of the rainy season. This method involves gently collecting these seedlings and quickly replanting them at a nearby deforested area. Second, we use our nurseries to produce and populate seedbeds with an abundance of seeds. After the seeds germinate, the seedlings are quickly transferred to a planting site.
This method places the seed directly into the ground just before the rainy season begins. Our teams sow the seeds randomly rather than straight lines, so the new growth will more closely resemble natural growth!
Propagules are elongated, dart-shaped seedlings of various mangrove species that typically grow in estuary habitats. These propagules grow on their parent tree and are equipped with all of the necessary nutrients to become trees. Our teams collect the mature propagules and plant them at restoration sites within specific tidal zones to ensure a healthy, diverse forest.
How do we protect our trees?
The last step in our planting process is to ensure the trees we plant are protected. Through your support, we hire people within the community to protect the trees we plant from being cut down or destroyed by natural disasters.
Natural disasters like fires can sometimes pose a threat to our planting sites, which is why we’ve set up guard towers. These towers provide guards the vantage point they need to spot fires early on and put them out before any trees are burned.
Another way we protect our trees is by guarding them against illegal wood harvesting. We employ local people like Joseph to guard these newly-planted forests and protect them from being cut down.