Oranjestad, St. Eustatius – If November and December are the planting months (after the hurricane season), then the earlier months are full of preparation. The hardest part of preparing for planting is done by the plants themselves. Trees take a long time to grow as they can be around for hundreds to thousands of years.
Beside all the collecting and planting of seeds, and the growing of seedlings and saplings, the ReforeStatia team focused on erecting fencing around planting sites such as on the eroding cliff beyond the airport. Short saplings are easy pickings for roaming animals. All the preparation the trees put into growing would have been lost if the trees were not protected. Orders were delayed due to COVID-19 restrictions globally but they finally got the supplies.
The team has been testing out the use of pallets with fence posts to protect trees planted on Oranjebaai and Zeelandia. So far so good! A major planting project was the Fort Oranje Cliff. Almost three thousand ‘seed bombs’ containing seeds from slow growing plants were placed among Oleander and Euphorbia (hardy, disliked by goats and will act as shade in the future). Beach Morning Glory were then added along the top and face of the cliff and irrigation lines.
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