Wednesday, August 02, 2006

What are we planting?

In seven short weeks we have managed to plant 1,483 plants belonging to 13 different species. So what are we planting? I've posted some of the local and scientific names, but what do these trees look like? What are they used for?


Common Name: Rosewood
Scientific Name: Thespesia pulpunea

Banalo is a sturdy plant, able to tolerate harsh condition. Locally it is used as a traditional medicine ingredient and as posts for cattle fencing. We are planting this species at Lao Lao to gather pertinent data on workable species.


Common Name: Pandanus or Screw Pine
Scientific Name: Pandanus tectorious

Pandanus grows well in savanna areas like Lao Lao. It is often the only tree growing among the grasses. It is salt tolerant and adaptable to many growing conditions.

It is an important species for local wildlife, especially fruit bats and coconut crabs. The fruit of the Kafu is also edible for humans. It produces a nut that tastes like coconut.


Common Name: Palomaria
Scientific Name: Callophyllum inophyllum

Daok is not listed as one of the species identified to thrive in damaged soils. Foresty is planting them for data purposes. There are several very large Daok trees in Sugar King Park. They are very large, very beautiful trees.

Daok is used locally for a variety of uses, included shade, traditional medicine, oil, and art. It is a culturally important species and we hope that it will grow in Lao Lao.


Common Name: Indian Mulberry or Noni
Scientific Name: Morinda citrifolia

Lada is salt tolerant and adaptable to any growing condition. It is usually one of the first trees to colonize an area after a clearing and Lao Lao is no exception. Before this year's burn, there were many Lada trees growing on the hillside. We know it will grow, so it makes sense for us to use it.

Noni is used in traditional medicine as a cure all and its leaves are used to make Noni juice. There are currently plans to convert several thousand hectares of Tinian pastureland into noni plantations.


Common Name: Formosan Koa or Acacia
Scientific Name: Acacia confusa

Sosugi is a nitrogen fixing plant. As it grows and dies it will add more nitrogen and organic material to the soil. It is already growing naturally in the area, so it makes sense for us to plant more.


Scientific Name: Gliricidia sepium

Gliricidia is on our list of plants that will grow in damaged soils. It is a fast grower and highly tolerant of poor growing conditions.

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