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Palo Santo reforestation program | 4000 trees are planted in the community of Joa / Ecuador

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Updated: 07-15-2019

Caring for, protecting and regenerating the dry forests of Manabí are some of the fundamental activities carried out by us. These companies have been working for 4 years in a reforestation project, which consists of regenerating the tropical dry forests of Manabí where palo santo wood grows, which are currently threatened by man.

The area chosen to start this project is a 50-hectare piece of land in the community of Joa, located in Jipijapa / Manabí, which is currently in the process of being declared a protective forest.

In 2016, around 5.000 small trees of Palo Santo were planted. On January 9, 2019 around 4000 trees were reforested, using 5 hectares of 30% of the forest.  This area is suitable to cultivate and harvest according to the conversion parameters approved by the Ministry of the Environment of Ecuador (MAE).

This is the first year where two types of trees are used for reforestation. 70% of the baby-plants comes from our own nursery and 30% are transplants, When there is an overpopulation of palo santo trees in an area of the forest, it is moved to a part of the forest where there are no trees.

To be able to plant trees of Palo Santo, you need the seed which is obtained from the trees that are in the forest. The trees must be about 6 years old. This will throw some flowers which carry the seeds. The seeds before being used will pass through the digestive system of the pigeons. Once the pigeons expel the seeds, they can be used for planting. Knowing the place where the pigeons throw the seeds is complicated, which led him to try a new technique of seeding: He prepares the soil, mixing sand with some sawdust from palo santo, then picks the seeds directly from the flowers, and proceeds to sow them. The soil that he prepares for sowing in the nurseries that causes good germination. One could say this is as if he uses seeds that have been ingested by the pigeons.

A very important fact is that the trees that come from the nursery, must be pruned before sown, -cut some branches and stem of the baby plant prior planting as the roots will be weak and cannot feed the whole tree.

Trees from 1 to 8 years were planted. The farmers carried out two types of plantations. The first called "open skies", which consists of planting trees in a distance of 4 meters. And the other called "spot", which consists of planting the tree of Palo Santo in an area that has bushes, trees or other crops. The Palo Santo tree will be placed where a ray of sunlight hits.

An agreement was made with the comuneros of Joa. They can use rent-free the "open sky" sowing area to grow corn between one plant and the other. This activity will encourage the comuneros to help take care of the palo santo trees. In about 3 or 4 years, when the trees are already strong, we will proceed to plant other species typical of dry forests, such as carob, guayacanes, pepito colorado among others. And thus we will be regenerating the dry forests of Manabí. 

Why reforest Palo Santo?

Our program of reforestation tries to be able to restore the dry forests of Manabí. The project started with the planting of the species palo santo, which within the dry forests of Manabí is very common, but its rate of Mortality is growing with the passage of time.

Currently in other countries such as Peru where the Palo Santo tree also grows, it is estimated that it is in danger of extinction. This is due to the great demand that exists today. Many people are interested in the wood of Palo Santo, and as we know this tree must have a life time of 30 to 40 years and must die on their own to use it. But due due to a poor sustainable management of the natural resources, people do not wait for the tree to die by itself and cut them. THIS CUT WOOD IS NOT WORTH IT!

People do not know there are products derived from palo santo wood, such as essential oils, soaps and more. These product we give us the real natural benefits palosanto is intended to provide. 

 "We are working to make the Palo Santo sustainable. If we want long-term palosanto, it is vital to also use the essential oil and / or their derived products (soaps, cosmetics, etc.), which not only prevents cutting down the trees, but It gives our body the holistic medicinal properties(without the smoke from smudging) that are naturally found in this sacred wood. " Indicated Fabrizio Vera president of EcuadorianHands

Something you should know is that a cut-tree is not worth it!, as it does not have the natural properties of Palo Santo, neither aroma. There is a simple trick to find out if a tree has died naturally, you should only carefully observe the smoke that the Palo Santo is throwing at the time of burning. If it comes out black it means that the palo santo has been cut. If it expels white or gray smoke is a palo santo of natural death.

In addition to the wonderful healing properties of Palo Santo, it has important economic benefits for the people involved in the pick up and distillation of the oil. Essential oils made without harming the Palo Santo tree. We only process wood that has been found to have died naturaly in the forest. 

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  • Semilla del árbol de Palo Santo.
    By: Carlos Astudillo On 11/17/2021

    Saludos cordiales! Desde mi niñez vivo encantado de la magia que encierra el ároma del árbol de Palo Santo; es un ritual para mí en ciertas épocas como Navidad, Fin de Año e invierno disfrutar de la calidez y aroma del humo del Palo Santo. Siempre desee conocer de cerca a este árbol milenario, el cual inspira espiritualidad y respeto. Ahora deseo poder sembrarlo y ver de cerca su desarrollo y fomentar su multiplicación.
    Espero su pronta respuesta, gracias!!!

    Replied by: Jean Carlos Chávez On 03/14/2022 El Palo Santo es mágico y un exelente instrumento para alcanzar la calma y la paz espiritual que tu mismo mencionas. Te comento que no vendemos semillas. Actualmente estamos desarrollando una investigación para determinar la forma correcta de poder germinar Palo Santo, si deseas conocer más aquí
    Si tienes algún comentario, con gusto espero leerte.

  • Seeds please
    By: Kristin Ann Metcalf On 05/23/2021

    I would love to buy seeds or seedlings. Is that possible?

    Replied by: EcuadorianHands On 05/26/2021 We do not sell seeds. Thanks.

  • Palo santo
    By: VERONICA On 04/28/2021

    Do you sell wholesale and offer wholesale prices.

    Replied by: Jean Carlos Chávez On 04/29/2021 Hello, if you can see the wholesale prices in the following link

  • Palo santo
    By: Tye On 01/26/2021


    I am trying to find Palo Santo seed to test germination techniques. It is difficult to locate, I wanted to know if there is a way to purchase seeds harvested from your location and have them shipped to the US?


  • Seedspackseed
    By: Michael Cox On 11/23/2020

    I'm a endangered tree and cactus collector. I'm looking for palo santo tree seeds and/or starts to this possible?

    Replied by: Jean Carlos Chávez On 11/24/2020 Hello, thanks for reading our blog. We do not sell Palo Santo seeds

  • Semillas Palo Santo
    By: Slawomir Juzak On 11/20/2020

    Buen día. ¿Puedo comprarles semillas de Palo Santo? Durante muchos años he cultivado árboles a partir de semillas en Polonia. El Palo Santo es un árbol hermoso y me gustaría plantar algunos en mi jardín. Estaré muy agradecido por tu respuesta. Atentamente. Slawomir Juzak. Poland , Legnica

  • Seed possibilities
    By: Albert Frost On 10/28/2020

    I want to grow some trees here on my land to assist in the continued future of the species. Can I purchase seeds and also make a donation?

    thank you

    Replied by: Jean Carlos Chávez On 11/06/2020 Hello, thanks for reading our blog. We do not sell seeds.
    Learn more about our reforestation program

  • Palo Santo
    By: Maritsa Carrillo On 09/16/2020

    Hi names Maritsa just want to thank you all for the great job your doing. I really appreciate y’all for growing this magical amazing tree. For those that use it really love it cuz it does its work. So thanks again for growing it. My blessings to y’all from Texas.

    Replied by: Jean Carlos Chávez On 09/17/2020 Thank you very much Maritsa, we are glad that you read our content and that you support our reforestation program. We are currently publishing scientific articles regarding Palo Santo and dry forests, you can read them:

    Greetings from Ecuador!

  • Do you sell you product on Amazon?
    By: Peter Sew On 03/27/2020

    I am writing from Canada and was on looking for palo santo. A company by the name Santo Spirit is selling palo santo and claiming they are using proceeds to help you reforest. If that is the case I will definately buy from that company and support you and I will let my friends know as well.

    Thank you and all the best in your reforestation


    Replied by: EcuadorianHands On 09/17/2020 Hello,
    I am not sure what company is Santo Spirit. We sell to many customers. Some of them resell. Maybe if you ask them to contact us, we will know if they sell our palosanto.

    You can order directly from us, or from our store in Amazon US.


  • Palo Santo Seeds
    By: Lucy Pedroza On 03/21/2020

    I’m Lucy, and I would love to plant a Palo Santo Tree, but I haven’t been able to find seeds anywhere. I would really appreciate if you could sell me some Palo Santo Seeds!
    Thank You, Have a beautiful day ☀️!!

  • palo Santo tree
    By: Heather On 03/16/2020

    I should like to try to grow one of these in my garden/ conservatory if able but as I am in UK might be difficult plus I have no idea of availability if seeds in this country or where would find them or if would even grow here. Any information to help would be appreciated many thanks Heather

  • Bursera graveolens seeds
    By: Ken Choy On 02/09/2020

    Dear sir/madam,
    I am glad to visit you web site, it has got plenty education and knowledgeable, I am appreciated so much.

    I am looking for bursera graveolens seeds, would you got any for sale please? I lam looking for Palo Santo oil as well, it is a good idea if I can bought them and ship together.

    Thanks and regards.
    Ken Choy