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Blog by MBP Volunteer, Trevor

Photos courtesy of Trevor





Salama from KAFS!

It’s hard to believe that half a year has passed since I first arrived in Madagascar. The rhythm of life and work on the reforestation team can skew your perception of time. Weeks will slip by if you aren’t careful. But that can be good because it may take weeks or even months to see seed become seedling and then seedling ready for the field. But the results are well worth the patience. Recently the team got to finally see the results of a project that started months ago. Back at the beginning of the year Terri from Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo traveled to Madagascar to share her knowledge on the cultivation and propagation of plants with the team. One of the many techniques we learned from Terri was how to air-layer. For those of you unfamiliar with this practice it is in short plant magic. When done correctly with the right species you can stimulate the growth of roots from a manipulated branch, producing a ready-to-plant clone of the parent tree. But like I said earlier, this is a slow process. After months of waiting we pulled back the foil to discover most of our attempts resulted with strong developing root systems. Everyone, volunteers to nursery managers, had a lot of fun preparing the air-layering and then harvesting them. As we harvested we rushed from tree to tree excited to see all of our successes. It was a great way to spend a morning and demonstrated to us another great tool to rebuild the forest. Thank you so much Terri for your time and shared skills!

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