8 months on from our primary tree planning day in Peribuela in March 2008 we have returned for our second round of data collection.
On our first return in April, the area being monitored (the larger of the 3 sites we have started work on), had suffered few initial casualties, just 6 sighted deaths from the 400 trees planted (1.5%).
We then took a sample size of 46 trees to be monitored on a regular (6 monthly) basis.
The November measurements reveal the difficulties faced by saplings during the summer months, despite this summer being relatively moist in comparison with previous years.
Of the 400 planted we sighted 30 dead trees, a mortality rate now of 7.5%, which is still very good. Of our monitored trees however 28% were now dead, a higher number due to 2 reasons;
- 4 of the 13 dead were one tree variety called Rosa, demonstrating they are not hardy enough to plant at this stage of the forest development, leaving 31 of the 40 Alisos measured alive, ie 77.5%.
- we have concluded the trees we are measuring are in slightly more open spots (they were more eye catching during tagging), and hence also the more likely to suffer (less shade and therefore ground moisture), giving us the worst case scenario, rather than best case.
Overall we are happy with the progress, as all the survivors with one exception are looking healthy and strong (the exception is #36 on the graph, the negative growth tree as it died back and re-sprouted). During 6 more months of winter rains it is expected they will all be on the 1metre mark, and begin to poke their heads above the scrub and starting to change the landscape.
The next steps
We are continuing to support the Peribuela tree nursery and it is hoped it will grow steadily into 2009. We have our next big reforestation day in January when we expect to plant another 1000 trees. In March another 1000 trees are planned.
We are also planning to plant trees on some unused private land that may later develop into small ecotourism projects with the collaboration of the owners.
And talks are in progress to plant some Alisos for agro forestry purposes in a new community local to our home.
So, 2009 promises to keep us nice and busy.
Thanks again for your support, past present and future, and don’t forget to clean up your carbon!