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Tree Planting in the Aftermath of the Haiti Earthquake


Written by Plant With Purpose on September 7, 2011 in General

By Bob Morikawa, Technical Director, from his blog “Where is Bob?

Ever wondered what has happened in Haiti since the earthquake? Heard the news reports about how there’s been no progress? Here’s a couple of photos of a hillside where we did tree planting in the aftermath, between April and October 2010. In the first photo, you’ll see there are a bunch of contour canals still in place, and the little green patches in the mid foreground are all trees. I skidded down the hill, about a 45 degree slope, to give you a closer view of some of those green patches, which are now 1 to 1.5 meters tall.

I’m not trying to say that Haiti is suddenly going to be reforested. Those little trees have a long way to go…

Here are more pictures of little trees struggling for survival. One of my favorite things, I guess.

Below is a farmer’s plot fenced off to protect seedlings. You can see trees growing in the fence line and the little blobs of green inside the plot, which are trees too. There are dozens of trees here, about 1.5 to 2 meters tall. This plot is probably about 18 months old.

Below is another plot, which is about five years old. For those who know, this is the Pere Albert Memorial plot. (Pere Albert was one of the catalysts to us starting our program in Haiti in 1997.) You can see outside the fence there are not many trees at all, and one of the culprits is lurking around for more food.

A tiny leucaena, which has seeded naturally from the larger trees in the above picture. In a couple of years, this little tree and a half a dozen others I saw scattered around will start to fill in the space in the bottom part of the plot in the picture above. Here’s to you, Pere Albert, where ever you are.

Bob Morikawa is Plant With Purpose’s Technical Director and visits our Haiti program, Floresta-Haiti, a few times a year to collect data, conduct surveys, and meet with farmers to see how they are doing and how we can continue to improve our program and foster innovation.


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