Planting Trees

"He who plants a tree is the servant of God, He provides a kindness for many generations, And people he will never see shall bless him."
                                          Henry Van Dyke (1852 - 1933), U.S. poet. "The friendly trees"

Tree planting is undoubtedly one of the most popular activities of forest restoration. At the end of a hard day's work, the sight of degraded land, dotted with newly planted saplings, is immensely rewarding and gives planters the satisfaction of knowing they have done what they can to reverse the destruction of natural resources. However, tree planting is by no means the end of the forest restoration process: long term commitment is essential for success. Whilst it may be easy to mobilize a community for tree planting events, it is often more difficult to maintain motivation to care for the trees after planting. Unless weeds are controlled, fertilizer applied and fires prevented, the hard work of the tree planters and the immense effort expended in the 
nursery to grow the planted trees may amount to nothing. Forest restoration is a process, not just a tree planting event. Therefore, this Part provides an overview of all those activities that necessary to ensure the success of forest restoration projects, after the trees have left the nursery.

Direct Seeding

Some framework tree species can be established in the field directly from seed. Direct seeding involves:
·     collecting seeds from native trees in the target forest ecosystem and if necessary storing them until sowing;
·     sowing them in the restoration site, at the optimal time of year for seed germination and
·     manipulating field conditions to maximize germination. 

Aerial Seeding

Aerial seeding is a logical extension of direct seeding. It can be useful where direct seeding must be applied to very large areas, for restoring steep, inaccessible sites, or where labour is in short supply. Many of the same species choices and pre-sowing seed treatments developed for direct seeding can be applied to aerial seeding equally well.