Global warming is a current issue that the world faces today. It is quite sad that people usually do corrective actions rather than preventive measures. Earth focused organizations, groups and individuals had been initiating different activities and programs to alleviate the effects of abuse on mother nature. In my own simple way, I will do the same by sharing steps on how to plant a mahogany tree.

My parents have green thumbs. We have a garden at home where my mother had been growing orchids (cattleyas, vandas, dendrobium, anthoriums) and ornamental plants. My father has appreciation with those kind of plants and sometimes helps my mother  cultivate them.

Mama’s Garden: Dendrobiums
Mama’s Garden: Cattleyas

But he is more inclined to planting trees: mahogany, narra and gemilina. I remember that he would not miss picking up Mahogany and Narra seeds that he would see along the way to the church where we used to attend Sunday service when I was very young. Then he would plant them in the farm.

Here are the steps on how to plant a Mahogany tree based on my actual observation. You may refer to the topmost photo for a visual summary.

  1. Dry. “Aren’t the seeds going to wither and die under the sun?” I innocently asked my father. “No, that’s the first thing you should do when you plant a tree.” he replied. I accepted it without asking further how is it possible. I just knew he’s expert on growing trees.
  2. Plant. Plant the dried seeds on loam soil placed in a small plastic bag. Plastic containers (that of oil, vinegar, soy sauce, snacks, etc.) may be reused for this purpose. Nurture the seed with its basic needs: sunlight, water and air until it has become a seedling. Seeing the leaves sprout from being a seed may give inexplicable joy.
  3. Transfer. Once you have a seedling, you may now transfer or plant it to the location where you intend the tree to grow. Tear the bottom part of the plastic container. Place the seedling on a small pit. Cover bottom part of the seedling with scooped soil.
  4. Guard. Place twigs around the seedling to protect it from being eaten by herbivores or from being accidentally trampled.
  5. Nurture. Water the seedling from time to time. Watch it grow. 🙂

The mahogany trees that my father planted when I was three had been like a mini forest when I was a teenager, the same time when I planted Mahogany trees with him at the farm. My younger brother was only five years old then. This was what the trees looked like after 12 years:

Mahogany Trees
Our 12-year old Mahogany Trees (12.30.15)

Most of them withstood the typhoon Yolanda, which was the strongest typhoon in Earth’s written history, in 2013. So many trees had fallen nevertheless. Truckloads of lumber out of the fallen trees caused by typhoon Yolanda were collected.

Narra is the national tree of the Philippines. From 1st Grade class, I can still remember that the Narra tree symbolizes strength. Narra lumber is one of the best materials to be used for furnitures. I asked my father why he had planted more Mahogany trees than Narra. I then learned that it takes 25 years for Mahogany tree to mature and be used, while it takes 50 years for Narra.