This is our big year for planting tree seeds. In a few short months, we have gone from having a few seedlings in bags to more than one thousand pots with seeds in various stages of growth!
February 2019 – It all started with the free seeds we received from the Horti Fair in Quezon Memorial Circle. The seeds came from members of the Philippine Native Trees Enthusiasts (PNTE) and they had tips on how to treat each seed type of seed before planting it. It was fun to follow the different pre-germination treatment instructions for each type of seed and very rewarding to see the seeds grow!
June – We received more free seeds from Philippine Native Trees Enthusiasts at another plant show. This time we kept the seeds at home in Alabang instead of bringing them to Batangas.
None of the Buri sprouted. The Taluto and Ipil were amazing! They grew quickly and were transplanted to bigger pots after 7 weeks. After a couple more weeks, they were big enough to move to the farm nursery. The Malapapaya is slow growing. They are in individual pots and are just getting their true leaves.
In June, we also bought 100 Pili seeds that we planted and then discarded by August. They weren’t showing any signs of life and we needed the space for other seeds!
July – We bought 200 Balai Lamok seeds from a member of the Philippine Native Trees Enthusiasts group. We were excited to try the germination technique of Ephraim Cercado from PNTE. He in very successful in growing Balai Lamok.
Success! Back in 2017 we bought 198 Balai Lamok seeds and were able to grow only 8 seedlings. Now with the new germination technique we have 135 seedlings!
I think we can improve our Balai Lamok production even more if we decide to try again next season. We waited too long before planting the seeds and some of them got moldy. I think this may have made the seeds weaker. The potting mix was also too fluffy. It should have been packed down more evenly. The seedlings kept toppling over. We also may have been over watering in the early days.
Our Philippine Teak produced seeds for the first time. We collected them and tried different planting techniques. We were told that Philippine Teak is difficult to grow from seeds. We may possibly have one seed that grew. Or it might be a weed!
August – Our biggest month for seed planting so far! We bought 4 kilos of seeds and gathered fruit and pods from 3 kinds of trees in our subdivision.
We gathered Banaba from flowering trees in our subdivision. We experimented on which pods had viable seeds. The pods that were brown and dry and still on the tree but slightly open did the best. The seedlings from pods that were not planted immediately were undersized.
We gathered Mabolo fruit from two fruiting trees in our subdivision. Some of fruit practically fell on our head while we were standing under the tree. We were able to eat those and enjoy the creamy apple flavor. The other fruits on the ground were spoiled, but the seeds were good for planting. All 91 seeds sprouted!
We bought 1 kilo of White Lauan seeds and 1 kilo of Red Lauan seeds from Bukidnon. When the seeds arrived, most of the Red Lauan already germinated! Lauan are from the Dipterocarps family. Their seeds have wings and germinate readily but are only viable for one or two weeks. And many Dipterocarps only have seeds every 5 or more years.
We bought 1 kilo of Anang seeds and 1 kilo of Tail-leafed Panau seeds. Anang is the same family as Mabolo. It also has black wood. Tail-leafed Panau is a Dipterocarp. Most of the Tail-leafed Panau were germinated when they arrived, with very long roots. The Anang hasn’t sprouted yet.
Tonji noticed a good looking tree with pods in the village. It turned out to be Bani, a beach forest tree that grows quickly and can produce seeds in 3 years. We planted 35 seeds and are waiting for them to sprout.
All these seedlings from seeds that we bought and gathered are like our little babies. They have taken over the front steps of our house, the side garden, and one section of our lanai. We check on them every day, sprinkle them with rainwater, and pick out the hairy caterpillars that like to eat their leaves. When they get bigger, they will move from our house to the farm nursery and then eventually get planted on the ground.
The next stage of our seed collecting and planting will be collecting seeds from the Philippine native trees in our refuge that we have a lot of and that produce a lot of seeds. Trees like Banato, Alibangbang, and Akleng Parang. Then we can distribute them among the tree-loving members of the Philippine Native Trees Enthusiasts group so that even more people can learn to enjoy planting the seeds of Philippine native trees!
18 thoughts on “One Thousand Seeds”
Sylvs—I love this! I can’t wait to see what you end up growing and planting—the farm must look so different now from when we visited with Maricel!
What sketchbooks do you use when you use watercolor?
Thanks Sands! We should go again when you’re here!! We have some construction projects going on now in addition to tree planting.
For the farm sketching I use the Handbook Journal Co. watercolor grand portrait sketchbook. They have it in Flax.
Will get the sketchbook! I am coming in December! I arrive the 23rd, but am there until January 24—let’s go!
Nice, you’ll be here for the more relaxed post-Christmas rush period.
I get the angst, excitement and joys of a “forester-in-the-making.” Love your stories and photos!
Thanks Carmela! This seed planting is very rewarding and enjoyable. But yeah, the angst! Haha! Really different to plant the seeds yourself vs buying seedlings!
Sylvs, I love how you and Tonji are helping with reforestation! Tree lovers and animal lovers, my favorite kind of people.😍
Amazing couple’s love and care for trees! Infectious!
I admire your passion for growing our native trees. Keep it up. I hope i get a chance to visit your farm when the trees are fully grown.
Your passion is a gem. Keep planting and let’s make Philippines a better place to inhale oxygen and to live in.
Thank you! Yes we will keep on planting! 😀
Hello!! I love your site. It is so helpful and inspiring. I’m writing to ask about the Bani seeds you germinated. Did you have to take them out of the pods before sowing? Any advice on how to germinate Bani seeds will be greatly appreciated! Thank you very much.
Hi Jo Anne, thank you for visiting my site! Here are my tips for Bani:
– collect pods that are brownish green to brown with dark streaks
– remove the seeds from the pods
– you can try soaking the seeds for a few hours before planting. I didn’t take note of how long I soaked them!
They are fast growing and very satisfying to grow. Good luck!
Hello Sylvia– I was researching where to get Banato — please let me know when there are seedlings that I can purchase from you. Mga 5 lang, ok na…not that Im confident to grow them but it would be great if they can grow successfully. I am researching local natural dyes and Banato is one. Cheers.
I am a 3rd year student with a course of BSF-AGROFORESTRY here in MINDANAO STATE UNIVERSITY ,,,, I am very interested in this kind of job and hopping sooner i will be like you both NATURE AMBASSADOR as well as AMAZING EARTH HEROES!!!
SAVE NATURE, SAVE LIFE!
THIS LIFE AND A LIFE TO COME!!!
GODBLESS US MORE WITH GOOD HEALTH !!!