Tree Planting

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RIPPLE Africa’s Tree Planting in Africa Project

  • A well run community tree nursery growing about 4,000 tree seedlings
    A well run community tree nursery growing about 4,000 tree seedlings
  • Club members manage and maintain the tree seedlings ready for planting out in the rainy season
    Club members manage and maintain the tree seedlings ready for planting out in the rainy season

RIPPLE Africa runs a tree planting project in Malawi, Africa. RIPPLE Africa’s tree planting project has three main aims:

  • Every household grows 25 trees for fuelwood and 10 fruit trees
    Every household grows 25 trees for fuelwood and 10 fruit trees
  • The household woodlot for 25 trees is 10 metres by 10 metres, and this will help to provide sustainable fuelwood
    The household woodlot for 25 trees is 10 metres by 10 metres, and this will help to provide sustainable fuelwood
  • Every household will grow 5 pawpaw and 5 guava trees to provide fruit for the family
    Every household will grow 5 pawpaw and 5 guava trees to provide fruit for the family

RIPPLE Africa’s tree planting project has been running since 2006, and has helped over 175 community groups to plant over 3 million trees in the Nkhata Bay District of Malawi, Africa. RIPPLE Africa’s tree planting project is the largest tree planting project in our district, and provides a long-term solution to fighting deforestation in Africa. One of the major causes of deforestation in Malawi is an unyielding demand for wood, causing the destruction of indigenous forests. RIPPLE Africa’s tree planting project directly fights this by planting thousands of quick-growing exotic trees at household level and in community woodlots, and these provide a sustainable source of firewood and timber for local people. Quick-growing exotic trees provide an immediate benefit to the community who use the trees like a crop: coppicing the tree (cutting off the branches for firewood without felling the whole tree), which then grows back quickly to provide more wood. This alleviates the significant burden on Malawi’s indigenous forests, and changes the way people in Malawi think about their natural resources. Where appropriate, RIPPLE Africa also plants indigenous hardwood trees in areas of particular degradation.

  • A good team spirit at Katenthere Tree Club
    A good team spirit at Katenthere Tree Club
  • RIPPLE Africa encourages primary schools to plant trees
    RIPPLE Africa encourages primary schools to plant trees
  • Makwalakwata Primary School has planted over 2,000 trees
    Makwalakwata Primary School has planted over 2,000 trees

RIPPLE Africa runs its tree planting project at household level as well as through community partnership. At household level, RIPPLE Africa provides tubes and seeds, together with training and monitoring, so that householders can grow 25 quick-growing trees and 10 fruit trees per household, typically in conjunction with our Changu Changu Moto fuel-efficient cookstove project. As RIPPLE Africa is now working with tens of thousands of families to build Changu Changu Motos in the Nkhata Bay District, introducing tree planting at household level has been a logical and effective method of distributing trees. At community level, RIPPLE Africa staff work with schools, individual farmers and community groups who each look after a tree nursery of around 1,000 to 5,000 trees. RIPPLE Africa coordinators provide the seeds, equipment, training, and monitoring. In return, the groups and individuals are responsible for growing, watering, planting, and looking after the trees once they are planted. Tree planting occurs in areas immediately surrounding each community group, so that the people who have volunteered their time receive a direct benefit from their labour. To date, RIPPLE Africa estimates that many thousands of people have benefited from RIPPLE Africa’s tree planting project in Malawi.

Why This Is Important

  • Planting out the tree seedlings in December/January, the beginning of the rainy season
    Planting out the tree seedlings in December/January, the beginning of the rainy season
  • A well managed woodlot of senna siamea trees: YEAR 1
    A well managed woodlot of senna siamea trees: YEAR 1
  • Senna siamea trees grow quickly and can be coppiced after five years for fuelwood: YEAR 3
    Senna siamea trees grow quickly and can be coppiced after five years for fuelwood: YEAR 3

Deforestation is one of the greatest issues facing Africa today. The effects of deforestation are tangible: less rain, hotter climates, soil erosion, and drought bring famine, poverty, and starvation. Yet in Malawi, an area of forest the size of a football pitch is cut down every 10 minutes! (To find out more about deforestation in Africa, please read the General Information About the Environment in Malawi page.) RIPPLE Africa’s tree planting project is a direct solution to fighting deforestation. The importance of tree planting in the face of deforestation remains self-evident. However, simply planting more trees without addressing the demand for firewood and timber would be a losing battle! RIPPLE Africa’s tree planting project is not only about planting trees in Malawi, but is helping to halt the demand on Malawi’s existing indigenous forests, and to change the way people think about their natural environment, and the destructive and unsustainable actions which are causing deforestation. By involving individuals, community groups, local schools, and encouraging tree planting at household level, RIPPLE Africa aims not only to conduct tree planting in Africa, but to slowly change the philosophy in which people use their natural resources, forever.

What It Costs

It only costs 20p to plant one tree in Malawi, Africa! This cost is nothing compared to the significant benefit just one tree can provide. Please support this critical project and help fight deforestation in Malawi, today.

  • Senna siamea seedlings in black polythene tubes — tree planting in Africa
    Senna siamea seedlings in black polythene tubes — tree planting in Africa

Links to Documents

Videos

Makwalakwata Primary School Tree Nursery (4:45)