Trees

Trees

Let us learn to appreciate there will be times when the trees will be bare, and look forward to the time when we may pick the fruit.

Anton Chekhov

Tree Nursery

Growing a forest…

Virgilia divaricata

Our local pioneer tree species, commonly known as Keurboom.

Our tree nursery, in partnership with Bio-Harmonic now has a total of 2000+ trees, and is set up to grow and supply trees into the Pachamama Forest Restoration Project, which has the potential to secure sales of a minimum of 2000 trees per year over the next five years. 

An additional nursery bench with irrigation has been set up in order to be able to propagate more trees from cuttings and seeds. This plays a vital role in our capacity to propagate trees and plants required for the forest reforestation, gardens, herbal medicine, and agroforestry project. The production of trees, and reforestation also increases our capacity for carbon offset projects.

We are looking forward to establishing a diverse mother stock of trees and plants on the land, as well the propagation infrastructure needed to produce, not only enough trees and plants needed for our own ecosystem restoration and agro-ecology projects, but also a surplus to supply plant material to the supply other regenerative projects. 


Forest Restoration

Restoring the natural ecosystem of a damaged forest.

We have acquired a three year funding agreement to plant two thousand trees in 2020 and support their growth into established forests. The budget includes a part for invasive, alien vegetation clearing and is a great support to continue with the work that has already started in this area. 

In the coming months we aim to secure additional funding to expand on this critical work and invest in more machinery and tools to facilitate a successful long-term forest and ecosystem restoration project. 

Project Description

The Pachamama Forest Restoration Project is working to restore degraded land on the edge of the indigenous Knysna forests. Our vision is the full restoration and regeneration of the indigenous forests, focusing on degraded forest edges, riparian zones and land affected by wildfires, on the buffer zone of the Garden Route National Park in the Kraaibosch region, Western Cape. 

We are developing and implementing holistic ecosystem restoration models, and climate mitigation and adaptation strategies. We are doing this through activities such as invasive vegetation management, and planting indigenous trees. In so doing we are creating resilient regenerated ecosystems, by building healthy soil, improving water resilience, and increasing biodiversity.

This phase of the Pachamama Forest Restoration Project will plant 2000 indigenous trees and clear 0.65 hectares of alien vegetation to extend the indigenous forest and increase its resilience to wildfires. 

Objectives and Scope

  • To extend the edge of the indigenous forest by 0.25 hectares (250m x 10m) of the Garden Route National Park, across buffer zone properties in Kraaibosch, Western Cape. 
  • To restore and support the regeneration of the following degraded and sensitive areas:
    1. The riparian zones running through the buffer zone properties: Through the management of invasive vegetation and revegetation/reforestation of endemic and indigenous plants and trees.
    2. The forest edge that was damaged by the 2018 wildfires: Through the management of alien vegetation, in support of natural regeneration and revegetation.
  • Other sensitive areas affected by the recent wildfires: Through invasive vegetation management and appropriate revegetation where necessary.

Outcomes:

Invasive vegetation will be cleared, over 0.25 hectares, along the 250m edge between the buffer zone properties (Farm 149, Kraaibosch, Knysna) and the indigenous forest, supporting the natural regeneration of the forest in areas damaged by wildfires. 

0.4 Hectares of degraded land (that would otherwise be slow to regenerate naturally) will be cleared of invasive vegetation to make space for assisted natural regeneration through the strategic planting of indigenous trees, on Farm 150, Kraaibosch, Knysna.

2000 trees, comprising of both endemic and indigenous varieties will be planted and maintained to restore 0.4 hectares of land on Farm 150, Kraaibosch, Knysna.

2000 water pans will be dug around newly planted trees to catch water and prevent the loss of topsoil through erosion. 

Trees will be monitored to determine growth and survival and a report produced on the ecological contributions of forest restoration interventions. 

This is a developing page and we plan to publish more information soon. Stay tuned!

Homtini Foresters

Harvesting local timber and creating wood products while assisting forest restoration.

The wood mill

Homtini Foresters is a self-sufficient wood mill which processes alien invasive trees. We promote sustainable living through a holistic, symbiotic program that works at the interface of sustainable forest management, rehabilitation, education and holistic well-being.

Where trees are cut, they are replaced with indigenous trees sensitive to the region, and/or non-invasive fruit trees, which form part of a ‘food-forest’ permaculture process for the Pachamama community. This timber is a valuable building material for future construction on the land.

Forest Management

The forest management includes the clearing of invasive vegetation, harvesting timber, and opening space for natural regeneration or assisted natural regeneration (strategic reforestation to accelerate natural regeneration) in areas that would otherwise be slow to regenerate

Various large, invasive Eucalyptus trees have been felled to prepare for a future food forest (Zone 2) area. The large logs were dragged by the tractor to the sawmill for milling, other branches were removed and organized used for lining pathways and chipping- so as to be turned into compost.

Ecologically, clearing these “thirsty”  trees will have a big impact on soil fertility and water holding capacity of the land.

Post fire: many Pines in the area affected by the fire last year have also been cleared and milled, creating space for  some of the two thousand funded indigenous trees to be planted next year, and yielding a valuable resource in the timber, to be milled by Homtini Foresters, and turned into a versatile material for building or carpentry projects, such as the Sound of wood.