Since April of 2015, tentree has been planting trees across Haiti. As of this writing, 667,870 trees have been planted around the island nation. The seasonal changes determine the kind of work we do in Haiti. While the tree planting doesn’t last year round, there’s always something to do. Now that the rainy season in Haiti has started, t’s time to get planting.
For the entirety of the dry season, we’ve been planting seeds in our nurseries in preparation for the rainy season which begins in the autumn. When the rainy season begins, we get to work transplanting the trees. It’s an ideal time to move the trees from nurseries to their permanent planting sites, as all the rain water helps support early development.
The rainy season is also an ideal time to harvest seeds for future planting. By harvesting seeds from nature, we cut down on the cost of planting.
When the dry season begins and the humidity drops, we start our seed planting all over again and repeat the cycle. What goes on during the dry season is important, but the real fun comes when the rains get started and we get to see our saplings planted in the ground.
Why plant trees in Haiti?
In the nearly three years we’ve been planting in Haiti, we’ve learned a lot about the value of trees to local communities.
1. Trees empower the locals.
The nurseries through which we operate in Haiti are managed by members of the community providing jobs and education about the importance of responsible tree management and the benefits trees provide to the local environment as well as their health.
2. Trees improve farm productivity.
A lot of the time, we think about the need for removing trees to make room for farmland, but did you know that trees can actually benefit farms? Rampant deforestation compromises the ability of the soil to retain water and nutrients that lead to healthier crops. Our trees prevent topsoil erosion and help local farmers grow crops more productively.
3. Trees restore watersheds.
It seems a little counte-intuitive that trees are important for preserving watersheds. Trees drink water, don’t they? Yes, but they also stop soil erosion and runoff down Haiti’s steep hillsides. Preventing that runoff keeps watersheds from being polluted and allows healthy, clean rainwater to absorb into the soil.
4. Fruit relieve chronic hunger.
Many farmers around the country choose to farm fruit trees, and we help make sure their farms are stocked and productive. These fruit trees make sure their families, and their communities, are well fed.
5. Trees end wars.
It’s incredible the impact a tree can have on nations. Over the years, there have been numerous conflicts along the border with the Dominican Republic and Haiti, and much of it stems from mistrust, misunderstanding, and even cultural prejudice. We work with communities in the Fonds Verrettes region of the country where our local partners facilitate collaboration and reconciliation between Dominicans and Haitians.
We’re excited to have the rains back.
The rainy season is a season of hope. We get to see the hard work of the dry season come to fruition with thousands of tiny trees planted. It’s truly a reminder of why we do what we do, and we couldn’t do it without you.