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

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. 

We’ve been contacted by customers and friends wanting to take part in this ecological action. The best ways is purchasing products made of naturally dead palo santo bursera graveolens. Nevertheless there’s also the option of adopting simbolically one of the ID/georeferenced palo santo tree. As we’ve mentioned before, they will be monitored throughout their development. You are Welcome!

And you? Are you ready to adopt a Palo Santo tree and contribute to the protection of the environment? Donate and/or Get Palo Santo Essential Oils and Incense products and make the difference!

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