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Let the Planting Begin: 275,000 Trees at the Irente Planting Site in Tanzania

Preparing 275,000 tree seedlings to be out-planted in Irente

We are delighted to report that ForestPlanet’s partners will plant the first 275,000 trees in the Irente Planting Site over the next few weeks. Our friends—individuals and organizations—have made this possible through their support.

The Irente Planting Site is a 2,200-hectare region of the Western Usambara Mountains region of northwest Tanzania. It will take more than two million new trees to stabilize the soil and replenish the groundwater supply. This initial planting is an important first step.

During this autumn’s “short rainy season,” the trees will be planted in a 250-hectare area near the village of Mlesa, where a natural water well is located. This particular well supplies water for multiple villages, but its production has dropped 60% in recent years. Because the roots of trees help channel rainwater into aquifers, one reason for the drop in water supply is the loss of trees in the region.

Our partners in Tanzania will plant a variety of trees in this area. The species breakdown will be:

● 50% fruiting or agroforestry
● 25% water resource stabilization
● 25% forest reserve

The fruiting/agroforestry species include grevilia robusta, moringa oleifera, plums, peaches, pears, loquats, and avocado. As described in a previous article, grafting techniques will safely and significantly accelerate the trees’ fruit production.

The water resource stabilization species include lauvofia cafra, rauvolfia caffra, taborinaemontana, ficus thonningii, and ficus sur.

The rauvolfia caffra tree transplants well, and can grow up to 1.5 meters per year

While all trees help capture water to some degree, these are indigenous and fast-growing species with root systems that grow in a downward direction rather than spread out. Natural rainfall is channeled downward, giving the water a chance to be absorbed by the land before it becomes runoff. These species can also be planted in relatively close proximity to fruiting trees and ground crops.

The forest reserve species include markhamia lutea, ocotea usambarensis, podocarpus usambarensis, and albizia schimperiana. These are species indigenous to the region and favored by local birds and fauna.

ForestPlanet is grateful for the generosity of The Palmer Foundation, the American Ultimate Disc League, D.C. United, Audi of America, multiple individuals, and our many ongoing business partners.

Considering that the cost per tree is 15 cents, every donation really can make a difference! Would you consider contributing $15.00 to plant 100 trees this season, or $150.00 to plant 1,000 trees? With your help we can reach a total of one million trees planted in 2021 alone! Our secure online donation form is here – please share!

Every seedling has the potential to change the planet.

275,000 trees, planted one at a time

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