Following their training in St. Eustatius, the reforestation rangers have been busy collecting the seeds of various native tree species. These seeds will be used to grow the trees that will be planted to develop new forests and expand upon those which already exist on the island as part of the wild forest creation component of the project. The seeds that were collected are from the trees seagrape, gumbo limbo (locally known as turpentine), moringa, fiddlewood and red mangle (locally known as red wood).
These tree species will be used in the project because they are native to Saba or have become naturalized over time. The seeds of these specific trees were collected because they are currently in season and, therefore, available for collection. Other tree species will be used in the project as well. The seeds of those trees will be collected once they come in season and are available for collection. Different tree species bear seeds and/or fruits at different times of the year.
Some of the seeds were collected directly from trees, while others were collected at the base of the trees where they had fallen. Some of the seeds were also collected from the road. The road acts as a natural catchment for many seeds that fall from the trees that grow along the roadside. These seeds are dried out on the road surface over time. The drying out of these seeds allows for the reforestation rangers to already plant these seeds without having to further dry them out.
The seeds collected are taken back to the project’s nursery site. Those that were collected directly from trees are placed on trays to further dry out to prepare them for planting. Those which have already dried out are planted in small pots. The seeds are planted in a mixture of manure and top soil that is collected from various sites throughout the island. This mixture is used to ensure the seedlings get sufficient nutrients and to already familiarize them with the soil in which they will be planted at the reforestation sites once they are old enough to be out planted.