Caring for, protecting and restoring the tropical dry forests of Manabí, is one of the objectives of EcuadorianHands, an Ecuadorian company that has been implementing reforestation in tropical dry forests for about 10 years, taking as main species the tree of Palo Santo (Bursera graveolens) a native and dominant species of these forests.
Although for many people dry forests, visually they are not very attractive because of their poor greenish color, for the welfare of us and our planet is very important, since it is considered that many of the species that inhabit these forests, such as the Palo Santo, help with the reduction of the carbon footprint. It should be noted that this is being investigated by Ecuadorianhands, who plan to present the results in 2020.
In the last 3 years, they have reforested around more than 9500 Palo Santo trees.
In 2016, about 5,000 trees were planted. In 2019, on January 9 to be exact, around 4000 more trees were reforested in the community of Joa / Manabí together with the people who live around the forest.
On December 7 of the same year, they participated in the campaign “Plant a tree with us” that took place in the city of Montecristi, where 500 Palo Santo trees were planted on the slopes of Montecristi / Manabí hill, together with the Cristi Boys Scouts and the citizens of Montecristi.
Before heading to the hill and starting the planting of trees, seeding was performed the first Palo Santo tree, in Montecristi central park, where the event was held, in order that people learn the proper way to plant a Palo Santo tree.
The sowing method that was used during the “Plant a tree with us” campaign was the transplant, which according to the explanation of the technicians consists of moving trees that are in the forest in an overcrowded area, to an area where there is not much vegetation.
Steps to plant a PaloSanto tree
Observe the root of the tree, depending on the root will proceed to make a hole where it fits in its entirety.
Place a little water on the tree from the stem to the root, if you have newspaper, it will be soaked with water, in order to feed the tree, during the first days of planting.
When placing the water we will proceed to place the tree in the hole and we plant it, once the tree is sown and it is firm in the ground, with our foot, we will crush the earth in order to remove the air from the hole, since if we leave air what we will do is that the roots rot.
Each tree of Palo Santo was planted in the right way, these 500 trees of Palo Santo will be used in future generations since this sacred tree has a minimum life cycle of 30 years when this tree dies naturally it must rest for 2 to 4 years in its natural environment, this is when this sacred wood manifests all its healing properties and we can take advantage of them.
Some of its healing properties that Palo Santo has are the large amounts of Limonene, a medicinal terpene known to be a strong antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, antifungal and antiseptic agent that can be used if you use its essential oil, which helps you relieve flu symptoms, allergies, asthma, cough, migraine, stress, and tiredness.
Using Palo Santo or its derived products helps protect and restore dry forests. Although it sounds crazy, it is true, since you help the artisans and the families involved in the collection of this sacred tree financially, therefore it will keep them taking care of the trees and the forest as a whole.
But if the inhabitants of the surrounding communities of the dry forests that live from the Palo Santo timber trade do not find customers who acquire this sacred wood, they will most likely begin to cut the trees to use the land in short crops, raise cattle, do construction, or something that helps them financially.