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Plant More Trees

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Mount pulag.jpg
Mount Pulag mountain tip that went Bald
This can be reclaimed. Spread the native seeds that grow in these mountains on a yearly basis during the rainy season and nature will take over.
The provinces of Benguet, Ifugao, and Nueva Vizcaya meet at the mountain's peak.
By comparison the Picture you see below is from the chocolate hills of Bohol. The hills are made of limestone and very poor quality soil. But as you can see they are lush with grass.
Bohol chocolate hills.jpg
In the summer months the grass turn brown hence the name chocolate hills. The point we are trying to make here is that the government can start a few of the native Cogon grass in the Bald mountain of Pulag. Cogon grows very fast. Its roots grow deep. You can burn it down and the next rainy season it is back up again. Where Cogon grows, bamboo will grow. They are symbiotic. Cogon helps keep the rain water in the soil where the bamboo needs it.
Cogon also grows very well with the Tamarind tree (Sampaloc). The sampaloc tree grows very deep deep roots and can withstand 6 to 8 months of drought. The sampaloc is excellent for lumber (red hardwood). The sampaloc can have a symbiotic relationship with the cogon grass.
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Contents

Guaranteed within ten (10) years, The Philippines will be luxuriant with vegetation again.

  • Note: July 6, 2012:
I was in a meeting with the congressman (3rd district of Zamboanga del Norte) Cesar G. Jalosjos at his residence in Liloy. We were talking about the Tour de Zamboanga. There were DENR people there and the conversation led to the planting of trees. The DENR said that they sowed seeds via helicopter about five years back but the results were very poor. I was curious and I asked, how poor? He replied that after one year only about 10% survived. So they gave up on the project after doing it only once. The DENR said that lack of shelter killed most of the young sprouting trees.
I quipped by saying, the experiment was not a failure. It was a success! You had 10% wherein for years you had 0%. So I thought to myself: Now if they had continued the following year, the 10% growth would have provided more shelter for the following years sowing. Within the span of just 10 short years, had the DENR contiuned on that project of sowing seeds, the entire Philippines would be reforested. Go figure.
The congressman being a gentleman said that having nurseries will continue to prove to be one of the key factors in reforesting the Philippines. Then the conversation drifted on to other topics for discussion.
  • Most Filipinos do not want to volunteer to plant trees because there is no money in it for them. Why labor away in government owned properties planting trees and get no money for the labor while the government officials watching are getting paid? That's not fair. This is the attitude of most Filipinos. While there are some organizations who manage to convince their members to volunteer in this tree planting activities, those are just too far and few in between. Compensating the tree planters will be the fastest way to get the reforestation going. But then the government cries that there is not enough money for this endeavor. The budget is not enough. But there is a way. It is called the "plant now, Earn tomorrow".
The DENR can allocate half (1/2) hectare parcels of land and have these parcels mapped out. Filipinos will then be allowed to apply (register) as the caretaker for that parcel of land. Once a year the DENR will raffle out the names of the registrants and the winners will be given the right to plant (not live or build structures) in those parcels of land with the tree seedlings provided by the DENR on the "plant now earn tomorrow" basis. The question is, what will the registered planters earn? The registered planter will earn the right to harvest and sell of the trees (100% of the proceeds goes to the planter). Why 100%? Because he planted the trees. The government accomplished its task of reforesting the area and benefited from the sale of carbon emission credits. The waiting period for the harvest is 15 years. After 15 years the registrant can then present his rightful application for HARVEST. He must then replant more trees immediately after harvest. The cycle continues.
There are thousands of hectares that are just waiting to be reforested and there are millions of Filipinos waiting to have the opportunity to earn a family livelihood with a secure future.

Why doesn't the DENR want to continue with the Mother Nature way of planting?

I really have no idea why they dumped the project that was a huge success and branded it as "failure". Why call it a failure when it was a huge success? Only the DENR knows that answer.

It does not take a genius to figure out that the DENR definitely did something right. Why Stop? You can contact your local DENR people and tell them this story.

  • Contact your local DENR office and talk to the manager about this planting system. Going back to the basics.

Make it a yearly project to spread seeds of various types of trees

Every LGU should spread seeds of trees within their "watersheds".

In areas where there is regular erosion, attention should be given to planting trees that grow from "tree stumps". Poor people trying to supplement their income usually go in the watersheds and harvest trees for firewood, lumber or charcoal. When they cut the trees down, they leave the tree stump behind. Most trees die after they have been cut down. But in the Philippines we have a couple of super trees that grow from stumps: Gemelina and Lanete. In areas where these trees are planted erosion is controlled. Even if the trees are harvested in erosion prone areas the gemelina and lanete stumps continue to grow and produce sprouts or shoots from the stump thereby continuing to prevent erosion. Within a year you will see lots of branches coming out of the stump that will become a tree again in a few years.

The gemelina and lanete are so vigorous that they even grow when you stick a cut branch in the ground. These are also century trees. They do not die out after 20 or 30 years, they will grow to over 100 years.

Plant More Trees

Let us plant more trees in every barangay in the entire Philippines. It does not make any difference if the barangay is urban, partially urban or rural; we need more trees. Trees will prevent erosion, provide oxygen, prevent green house effect, and even a place of business for the shade tree mechanic.

The Philippines is a tropical country and practically anything will grow. The DENR has the planting trees project that goes on every year. Lots of picture taking for the media. Planting trees one by one is the "human" way of doing it. This individual planting of trees is good if done to "line" the roads and highways with trees or along fences or property divisions, or if you have a plantation.

To reforest the nation of the Philippines we have to plant trees the "mother nature" way. Sow the seeds during the rainy season. Go deep into "bald" forests and plant trees by sowing seeds. If there's not enough volunteers to do this, use the military helicopters to fly over the designated areas and sow the seeds.

I experimented on this "mother nature" way of planting in the 24 hectares that I leased in Curuan, Zamboanga City. I collected seeds of different types of trees that I can come by easily. I collected seeds of the following trees:

  • Gemelina (Gmelina) - The tree is very sturdy. You can cut it down (from the trunk) and it will come back with a vengeance. Excellent for planting on hills to prevent erosion. The fruit of the gemilina tree is round and about 1 inch in diameter. Not great for a tree plantation because you have to pull out the stump in order to plant new trees. The gemelina stump will continue to grow but you won't be able to get a good trunk out of it. Fantastic for the prevention of erosion. Small seeds.
  • Mahogany - The seeds are harvested from the pods. The seeds are also pod shaped and have extended wing like fan. Shape like bolo with a big handle. The extended fan is just natures way of helping move the seeds around.
  • Rubber tree - I was taking siesta and I heard a pop and then another one. I was alone in the payak then I heard and saw another rubber tree seed pop. I laughed.
  • Hanakdung - The seeds are so tiny. Like mustard seeds. The trunk of the tree can be 24 inches thick and the tree can be over 40 feet tall in less than 6 years. The wood is soft. And like the malangbuaya the tree will die within 12 years.
  • Malangbuaya tree - the seeds look like berries. Small, the size of a pea. The tree grows to about 30 feet and dies at about 12 years. Great lumber. The bats love to eat the fruits.
  • Ilang Ilang - seeds are flat (16th of an inch thick) and about an 8th of an inch in diameter. Very fast growing. The trunk of an ilang tree can be 10 inches in diameter within 8 years.
  • Jatropha - Seeds are the size of almonds. The locals call it tangan-tangan.

Early rainy season May of 2006 I took these seeds and just sowed them like good old Johnny Appleseed did. The Jatrophas did the best, the rest of the trees came up when I checked back in 2007. Not all the seedlings survived. However, enough survived that it proved to me that this planting system really works. Fantastic results can be achieved if done in large scale. Guaranteed within ten (10) years, The Philippines will be lush again.

Plant Wani (Type of Mango) Trees to Line the Philippine Highways

Oldest Wani Tree in the Philippines
This tree located in Tumaga Por Centro, Zamboanga City could possibly be the oldest Wani Tree in the Philippines. This wani tree has a circumference of 13.5 feet at 5 feet high from the ground.

Oldest Wani Tree in the Philippines
This tree located in Tumaga Por Centro, Zamboanga City could possibly be the oldest Wani Tree in the Philippines. This wani tree has a circumference of 13.5 feet at 5 feet high from the ground.

Wani is a type of mango. Grows to about 80 to 100 feet tall.

  • The fruit of the wani has smooth skin but thick. If you eat the fruit without peeling it properly your mouth will itch. But the fruit is so delicious and the texture of the meat is thick. People use it as "ulam" to go with their rice. Harvested un-riped wani fruits are sought for by locals because they are not as tart as the the other mangoes.
  • The wani tree mostly grows straight unlike its cousins. Most other mangoes branch out and spread. The wani tree trunk will grow to at least 10 to 15 feet before it branches out. You will seldom see mature wani trees with less than 20 feet of branch overhang. Great tree to line the highways. Will not obstruct traffic.
  • Longeavity of the wani tree: The wani tree lives to over 500 years old. Here is a picture of a wani tree that is over 300 years old.
  • Lumber: Wani makes great lumber. A wani that is 50 years old can easily yield 1000 (one thousand) board feet. The lumber is yellowish in color and is semi-hard wood.
  • Planting: It is best to plant the wani tree at least 25 meters apart. Other smaller type of trees can grow in between since the wani tree can grow as tall as 80 to 100 feet.

Why Line the Highways with the Wani Trees?

  1. The qualities above of the wani makes it a great tree to line the highways of the Philippines.
  2. The wani tree is very sturdy and it won't just be blown down easily by the wind.
  3. The canopy of the wani tree is so high that it will provide shade to the highways.
  4. The biggest reason why the government should line the highways with wani trees is "INCOME".
    • The young wani tree can produce at least 500 fruits per year. The mature tree can produce over 2000 fruits.
    • The barangay office in conjunction with the Philippine Highway Authority can help coordinate the harvest of the fruits.
    • At the year 2012 market a wani tree can yield a minimum 1,000 pesos per tree on a wholesale basis. Sold to the gatherers. The government does not provide any labor. The gatherers bid by the tree.
    • At 25 meters apart and planted on both sides of the highway, one kilometer will yield 80 trees. That is 80,000 pesos per year per kilometer.
    • Muslim Mindanao alone has at least 20,000 kilometers of highways, tripple that if you include the barangay roads.
    • At 80,000.00 pesos per year per kilometer, 20,000.00 kilometers will yield 1,600,000.00 (1.6 billion) pesos per year. That is enough money to maintain the all the highways of Muslim Mindanao.
    • Another extra benefit is that the wani tree is an excellent source of food for bats. Bats are an excellent source of protein for the people.

Now the government is planting mostly mahogany trees. Mahogany trees yield only lumber. A one hundred year old mahogany tree yields as much board feet of lumber as a wani tree.

The wani tree is hands down far better than the mahogany tree. It provides food, shelter and income for the masses.

If the government can find a better fruit tree or fruit trees to line the highways then let it be. This is just a very strong suggestion from the founder of zamboanga.com

  • Contact the founder of zamboanga.com at franklin_maletsky@yahoo.com

Plant Malunggay Trees

Oleifera Oaxaca.jpg

Malunngay can be grown anywhere in the Philippines. Serves as one of the best vegetable and food supplement ever.

Line the highways with Malunggay. Let the people enjoy the harvest to provide the filipinos with better nutrition. The www.medicalhealthguide.com/articles/malunggay.htm says:

  • Malunggay (Moringa Oleifera) has been used as herbal medicine in many cultures for hundreds of years, Malunggay is known as a very nutritious plant where it is used to combat malnultrition in third world countries especially for infants and nursing mothers.
  • The malunggay pods are the most valued and widely used part of the plant. Malunggay pods contains essential amino acids, vitamins and other nutrients. Malunggay pods may be eaten raw or may be prepared or cooked. Malunggay pods may be fried and may produce a clear, odorless and sweet oil mostly called - Ben Oil.
  • Malunggay leaves may be eaten as greens, in salads and as vegetable ingredients for soups and other tropical viands. *Malunggay flowers are cooked and eaten either mixed with other foods or fried in batter.

Watch this video about a Malunggay Tree Farm:

  • If the video does not show just "reload the page","refresh", or just hit "F5".

During the rainy season plant as many malunggay trees in the hilly areas of the watershed. This is a great way to prevent erosion. You can cut a malunggay tree down to only one inch from the ground and the tree will grow back with a vengeance. It does not die therefore the roots of the tree continue to hold the hill together preventing erosion.

Malunggay is easy to plant. You can plant it by simply spreading the seeds as I have suggested to the DENR regarding other types of trees. You can plant malunggay by planting saplings or you can simply stick a malunggay branch in the ground.

You can cut a malunggay branch into several foot long pieces. Stick the pieces in the ground about five inches deep and just leave it for nature to take over. It does not need any special care. If you plant these malunggay sticks during the rainy season, they will grow fast. Within 4 to 5 months you will have malunggay trees at least 4 feet tall.

I used to use malunggay as fence posts. I learned this as a young boy when I saw my mother sticking these malunggay branches to support the fence. She said "this will support the fence and it will keep the hungry neighbors from jumping the fence to harvest malunggay. They can simply harvest from the fence line and they won't bother what is inside."

Malunggay will grow in any type of soil. Sandy loam is preferred but even in clayish soil it will grow. Malunggay can survive through droughts.

Plant Tamarind (Sampaloc) Trees

The sampaloc tree can save the forest of the Philippines. Other [ http://www.herbs2000.com/herbs/herbs_tamarind.htm several uses of the tamarind tree].

Tamarind is a multi-use tree (see Appendix 1). It is a source of timber, fruit, seeds, fodder, medicinal extracts and potential industrial components, so in terms of the rural farmer the tree can provide seasonal income in periods of potential hardship. Tamarind trees are able to compensate farmers in seasons after subsistence crops have generally been harvested (pods are harvested in the dry season), thereby giving a potential economic return in local markets when food is scarce.

Tamarind is a tree that is easy to cultivate and requires minimum care. It is generally free of serious pests and diseases, has a life span of 80-200 years and can yield 150-500kg of pods per healthy tree/year at 20 years of age. The potential of the tamarind tree within rural farming communities has been well recognised, although unimproved wild trees are continuously being exploited to meet growing domestic and international demand.

Tamarind is able to flourish in a wide range of soils e.g. rocky, sandy, or rich soils, but all soils need to be free draining. The tree grows well in open areas and does not thrive when shaded. The branches are wind resistant, and the deep tap root and extensive root system aid stability, which means it can withstand violent typhoons and cyclones. Tamarind can grow up to 2000m above sea level.

Need for Recognition and Praise

The need for recognition and praise seems to be deeply embedded in the human psyche. This need for recognition and praise grows and needs to be fed. So as the person becomes more prosperous or gains more power his need for more recognition and praise increases.

If the pinoy plants a few trees to line the highways or cover a few hectares of land he/she immediately gets the media involved.

No wonder after years of trying, the DENR is still not successful in reforesting the Philippines.

Below is an article of a selfless act of an individual not motivated by ego or for the need of recognition to enhance his career.

One man can create a forest

article copied verbatim from: http://www.mnn.com/earth-matters/wilderness-resources/stories/indian-man-single-handedly-plants-a-1360-acre-forest

A little more than 30 years ago, a teenager named Jadav "Molai" Payeng began burying seeds along a barren sandbar near his birthplace in northern India's Assam region to grow a refuge for wildlife. Not long after, he decided to dedicate his life to this endeavor, so he moved to the site where he could work full-time creating a lush new forest ecosystem. Incredibly, the spot today hosts a sprawling 1,360 acres of jungle that Payeng planted — single-handedly.

The Times of India recently caught up with Payeng in his remote forest lodge to learn more about how he came to leave such an indelible mark on the landscape.

It all started way back in 1979, when floods washed a large number of snakes ashore on the sandbar. One day, after the waters had receded, Payeng, only 16 then, found the place dotted with the dead reptiles. That was the turning point of his life.

"The snakes died in the heat, without any tree cover. I sat down and wept over their lifeless forms. It was carnage. I alerted the forest department and asked them if they could grow trees there. They said nothing would grow there. Instead, they asked me to try growing bamboo. It was painful, but I did it. There was nobody to help me. Nobody was interested," says Payeng, now 47.

While it's taken years for Payeng's remarkable dedication to planting to receive some well-deserved recognition internationally, it didn't take long for wildlife in the region to benefit from the manufactured forest. Demonstrating a keen understanding of ecological balance, Payeng even transplanted ants to his burgeoning ecosystem to bolster its natural harmony. Soon the shadeless sandbar was transformed into a self-functioning environment where a menagerie of creatures could dwell. The forest, called the Molai woods, now serves as a safe haven for numerous birds, deer, rhinos, tigers and elephants — species increasingly at risk from habitat loss.

Despite the conspicuousness of Payeng's project, forestry officials in the region first learned of this new forest in 2008 — and since then they've come to recognize his efforts as truly remarkable, but perhaps not enough.

"We're amazed at Payeng," says Gunin Saikia, assistant conservator of Forests. "He has been at it for 30 years. Had he been in any other country, he would have been made a hero."

Copyright Treehugger 2012

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