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It's Reforestation Time Palo Santo

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We have been working with our program of reforestation and restoration of the dry forests of Manabí for almost 10 years.

In the last 4 years we have reforested over 10,000+ Palo Santo trees, a native and abundant species of tropical dry forests, as a sign of gratitude to nature for the resources it offers us.

This 2020 we are more recharged and with more desire to continue reforesting. Within our planning is to plant about 4000 trees native to dry forests such as the dog zapote (Colicodendron scabridum), Aromo (Acacia farnesiana), Jolote (Cojoba Arborea), Cerezo (Muntingia calabura), Palo Santo (Bursera Graveolens) among others, on the 50 hectares located in Joa / Jipijapa / Manabí , which is in the last processes to declare it protective forest

The first rains are a reminder that it is time to reforest and continue our work to restore the dry forest, it is for this reason in January we launched our 2020 reforestation program by planting our first 1500 trees of the Palo species. Saint (Bursera Graveolens).


On January 16, 2020, at 07:00  we entered the forest and began with the search for our Palo Santo trees, we found areas where there were many Palo Santo trees of all ages, these areas are known as palosantales, this era a perfect area to extract the trees and transplant them.

To reforest Palo Santo trees we use the method called transplantation, which consists in determining an area of the forest that has overpopulation of the same species for the extraction of trees that are very close to each other and transfer them to an area of the forest where no there are trees so that they can continue with their natural development. In this way, the space that remains when extracting the trees will be used by other native species of the dry forest, in this way, we are helping with the restoration of tropical dry forests.

It should be noted that you should not extract all the trees that are found along the way, we take a tree of palo santo as a reference and measure with a manual tape 2 meters away, the trees that are within two meters are removed, and leave the reference tree intact, it will remain there in the forest continuing its growth.

In two days we got to collect around 1500 trees, the same ones that we took to the nursery to prepare them to reforest them.

We prepare the trees in the following way, we cover their roots with a sheet of newspaper and a garter which degrade in two months, this is done so that by sowing the newspaper the paper is soaked with water, and can feed the tree, during the first days of planting.

Once we have our well-kept trees ready to be planted, we must determine the area in which they are going to be planted.

Forests are the right place for the definitive transplantation of these trees, especially the tropical dry forest of Manabí, where it is presumed to be its origin, it can also be transplanted in any type of soil, a place with a different climate since it adapts and It develops without any problem.

It should be taken into account that this species is a slow-growing and large tree, when we reforested the 4000 trees in Joa in January 2019, we did it with two methods, the first one is called, open sky, which consists of planting trees at a distance of 4 meters, and the other called stain, which consists of sowing the tree of palo santo, within an area that has thickets or other crops, it is important to plant the tree of palo santo where it receives the rays of sunlight.

On January 21, 2020, we will sow with the stain method, since this year we were accompanied by the students and teachers of the agronomic faculty of the technical university of Manabi with whom we are working on several investigations regarding dry forests and the tree of palo santo.

This year we were 20 people excited to reforest. Each time, we are more people wanting to restore the dry forests of Manabi. We divided into 4 groups of groups of 5, each group carried a batch of trees, machete, and beak. Upon entering the forest we divided into zones, 2 groups were responsible for reforesting in the upper zone and the other two in the lower zone. 

Steps to plant a Palo Santo tree correctly

With a manual excavator, machete or spout, we will proceed to make a hole in the ground. The hole should be deep and wide enough to provide the plant with enough removed soil that facilitates initial rooting and accumulates the necessary moisture for the new roots to establish. It is recommended that the planting holes have dimensions of 40 x 40 cm and that the extracted soil be returned to the hole free of stones, roots, sticks, etc., ensuring that it is as loose as possible.

Then comes the final planting, which consists in the correct installation of the plant in the ground, in this case in the hole we have made. Before planting it is important to moisten the site where the tree will be located, the plant must be completely straight, once placed in the hole we will proceed to throw soil, ensuring that it is very compact taking care that there are no air pockets inside the hole That can cause our tree to rot. The tree should be planted to the root neck.

Common mistakes to avoid at the time of planting

  • When performing the transplant, avoid:
  • Break roots.
  • Leave airbags.
  • Place stones.
  • Bury very deep roots.
  • Use tools that cause damage to the roots and trunk.
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  • Article on Planting Paolo Santo tees
    By: Suzanne Banks On 02/06/2020

    Thanks for this great article. I have just written about your work and have used quotes from the articles and pics too. I have credited you and your website for this. Let me know if there is anything I've missed.
    Thanks again,
    Suzanne from Australia