Friday, November 27, 2009

Six Groups of Profitable Native Tree Species

Native flowering Cocomono tree
One of the exciting aspects of tropical tree plantations in the Orinoco basin are the many native tree species that have commercial value and potential. These tropical trees can be divided into 6 basic groups that lend themselves to profitable commercialization. In the case of Amazonia Reforestation, commercialization means collecting seeds from many of these native tree species, some of which are endangered, and discovering the best way to germinate them, how to sprout them in tree nurseries, how to prepare the soil for them, and when the best times to transplant them are. Some groups, like the world renowned Omacha Foundation, have already been experimenting with some of these issues, and Amazonia Reforestation is proud to be partnered with them as we establish our own natural reserve for the conservation and preservation of these wonderful native tree species. So what are the 6 groups?

Harvesting native Saladillo tree
The first group are those trees that can provide sawn lumber for both light and heavy construction, and for wood products like flooring, decking, plywood, crates and other common uses. The second group are those that are of such fine quality and grain that they are ideal for fine furniture, cabinetry and instrument making. The third group are those tropical trees that provide chips or pulp for paper and cardboard, excelsoir (packaging material), fibreboards, cement boards and similar uses. The fourth group are tropical trees that have a high calorific value, making them ideal for charcoal, briquets, and home heating and cooking. The fifth group are tropical trees that provide human food like fruits, nuts, seeds or saps, or fodder for animals, and which have local uses such as arts and crafts, tannin for curing leather, pigments, roofing materials (palms leaves etc.), dugout or canoe materials, and more. The sixth and final group are those tropical trees that offer natural, ayurvedic, naturopathic and aboriginal medicines, fragrances, insecticides, soaps and oils. All of the many diverse species in the Orinoco river basin have one thing in common, they support an amazing variety of endangered and other wildlife, birds (both local and migratory), insects, reptiles and amphibians.

Transition from Savannah to Gallery forest
Many of these tropical tree species are extremely fast growing (10 to 15 years to maturity), making them very attractive for commercial use. They provide additional benefits, because they are already adapted to poor soil conditions, nutrient depletion and high soil water content. They occur in both gallery forests found between the savannah and the riparian flooded forest or inundation forest, and the latter. Gallery and inundation forests are common to the Orinoco and its tributaries, like the Meta and the Rio el Bita. Sustainable and profitable socio-economic development must therefore include conservation, preservation and expansion of these forests, something our entire family is dedicated to achieving. Using native tree species in our afforestation and reforestation efforts will have a huge impact on local and migratory wildlife and birds, and can provide an essential gene pool for the future bio-diversity of our planet, which is rapidly diminishing due to mono-culture agro forestry practised in many other locations.


  1. Hi dexter, its pablo, Drew's friend, i would like to know wich species or trees's families are located in each group???

    Very nice job your doing!!

  2. Pablo, some times a family of trees can have members with varying qualities of wood. The groups I mention here are really sorted from a commercial point of view, in other words it doesn't matter what family they belong to, just what the best use might be for the wood.