At our planting operation in Borneo, our indigenous trees grow incredibly quickly with a high 85% - 90% survival rate for establishing saplings.
While fast growing trees in Borneo offers some of the fastest C02 sequestration rates (converting C02 into carbon ) the land preparation labor efforts required are high as invasive vines must be cleared by hand.
Young trees must then be protected from fast growing vines which can quickly choke and smother young trees making silverculture ( underbrush clearing) an essential but expensive and labor intensive part of planting operations in Borneo.
A recent visit in December 2019 to our Bornean operation in Sabah showing the onsite nursery where we are germinating and planting Dillenia Borneensis, a large indigenous tropical hardwood tree from seeds collected from a local mother tree.
Visiting a clearing that was just a mat of vines only 5 years ago and is now a forest with 15 meter tall trees was an incredible experience and reminds us that this dream is possible. Some of these trees already with a trunk Circumference of up to 120cm - this would take a tree in Europe 20- 30 years to achieve ! It was an incredible moment and in 5 years these trees will double in height again. At another reforested area further down the river where we have 7 year old trees we spotted an orangutan nest from a few nights earlier which highlighted just how fast the animals reclaim the forest once it regrows.
The Sabah region has one of the worlds richest concentrations of endangered wildlife in the world. It is home to Bornean elephants, clouded leopards and sun bears and when sleeping over night in the jungle you hear an incredible wall of sound from 10 000 frogs while during the day river cruises orangutans, hornbills and proboscis monkeys are regularly seen.
This is indeed a fantastic and very rewarding place to regrow forests.