This year we have decided to plant in February!
Previously we had planted at the beginning of the rains but we have noticed a couple of issues:
- the planted area needs to be cleared every month as everything grows at a ridiculous speed - the surrounding shrubs and bush that is. The trees grow relatively slowly in comparison which means the bush is always in danger of swamping the new seedlings and indeed did swamp a lot of them.
The rainy season is erratic: the seedlings could be washed out and die with too much rain or they could shrivel up and die with too little. Seedlings are sensitive little things!
TREEZ can't afford to have the planted areas cleared so often
So, for the reasons cited above, this year we will plant in February :) And in the meantime, we will do a few rain dances!
In other planting news, the Mulunguzi Timber Co-Operative who harvested some of the last remaining pine areas on our side of the mountain, have been busy! They have been clearing and replanting a huge area on the South Eastern slopes of the Plateau. They have been talking about replanting 100,000 pine trees, and they might just do it!!
Although this side is looking quite bare, with some hard work from all of us the trees will thrive and in a few years we will have a beautiful mountain again :) And not that the mountain is not beautiful now; it is all about what we are used to. For many of us Zomba equates to huge pine forests but right now, there are really the most amazing views - it is absolutely stunning!