A great national movement to plant 25 million acorns in Spain
The destruction of the trees
There are many places worldwide where trees are being destroyed. We have seen the catastrophic loss of forests with the huge fires in the Amazon or more recently the awful fires in Australia. Additionally, trees are being logged so we can use the wood for building, furniture, paper, and for home heating. Lots of trees have to give way when cities expand and build more apartment blocks.
With the cutting of the natural forests, fauna and flora suffer. Suddenly, when the trees are gone, their habitat is destroyed. With the loss of their food and water sources and protective hiding places, species are disappearing and some go extinct because of this. Plant and animal species might disappear even before being discovered.
Trees make oxygen which we need to survive, so one wonders what will happen when the trees disappear. What will be our fate?
The list of the Botanical Gardens Conservation International
To think that worldwide there are 60,065 species of trees is a mind-boggling number. There are no trees in the polar regions, it is just too cold. Brazil is the nation that is number one on the list of areas having the most tree species and is home to 8,715 varieties. The region of North America, close to the Arctic, has the fewest number, only 1400 species.
The Botanical Gardens Conservation International (BGCI) could compile this list with the data gathered by 500 member organizations. Unusual things were discovered because of this data. In a remote part of Tanzania, grow the Karomia gigas trees. A team of scientists discovered a single population of only 6 trees, it was nearly extinct.
In 2016, when this was discovered, the local people were asked to take care of those few trees, and notify the BGCI when seeds were ripe. With the villager’s help, the seeds can grow into trees in the botanical gardens which exist in Tanzania, to then later be planted into the wild again.
A planting movement in Spain
I am always happy when I come across positive news. I read something the other day in my local newspaper.
Thousands of volunteers across the country are collecting acorns to be planted wherever trees are needed. They will plant 25 million acorn seeds to hopefully produce at least 2.5 million oak trees. The aim of the Gran Bellotada Iberica is to do something against desertification and against climate change on the whole.
This non-government organization started only a few weeks ago in Extremadura and can already count on 1430 groups of volunteers, which gave heed to the call of doing something positive, like planting seeds.
They train these people on how to collect seeds from different oak types to then, in collaboration with town hall authorities, conservation organizations, and environmental management organizations, sow these seeds in areas with a lack of trees or where the earth is degraded.
The sturdy acorn seed
The acorn seed is very special. It is really a large seed and therefore, can hold a lot of energy. It can produce roots of a meter long in only the first year after being sown. That helps them to survive in the often harsh conditions of the Mediterranean climate.
The year 2019 has been cataloged as the hottest year worldwide. Just as in the rest of the world, Spain has noticed a rise in temperature and there is also a lack of rain.
Acorns are an important food source for many animals, and even humans, in times of need. The years after the Spanish Civil war were very difficult. Those were the times when people, for lack of something else, would make flour from acorns to be able to bake bread and other products. Even nowadays people still make edible things from an acorn.
Domestic animals like pigs that roam Extremadura and Andalucia feed on acorns and that imparts a special taste to their meat. Iberian ham is known worldwide. These dark-colored pigs have black hooves and that gives this ham the name “Pata Negra”. They can eat up to ten kilos of acorns a day.
In the wild, you have the squirrels, jays, and boars, which also love to eat this seed. That is the reason this tree is so important for the environment.
This movement is sowing awareness about deforestation and started because of a fire in 2015. It burned 8600 hectares in Sierra de Gata. The locals were really upset after seeing all the burned mountains and decided to make it green again. They joined the Reforest Accion association which nowadays has already 1000 volunteers of 41 nationalities.
A big planting action was started in the ash-covered lands and 700,000 acorns were planted. 3 years later their effort was rewarded and over 1000 trees are thriving. It is amazing that a seed can develop into a tree, especially when you consider the frequent droughts which happen often in the Mediterranean climate.
In September 2019, they put their challenge on social media. Anybody can join, be it a single person or a small group. You only need to download their Guia Belotera, which is a guide to planting acorns, and just follow the easy instructions.
They request you to fill in a form to document where and how many you have sown. This helps to produce a living database on this project.
The response has been fantastic, and they registered 250 actions all over the country. It is projected that between 10% to 20% of the planted seeds will develop into a tree. One has to take care though, that the seeds you collect, either from the tree or those that have fallen onto the ground, are good ones
The seed has to be hard and shiny. You can test them by putting them into water. Do not use the ones that float.
Where should one plant
The ideal place to plant would be in the shade of a shrub and the hole should be medium deep. Too close to the surface and animals will notice and dig them out. You have to place the seed in a horizontal position and cover it with soil with some leaves or bark.
Burned areas, embankments, or waste ground are the places where one should plant. Jays and squirrels also plant acorns, so we are just imitating nature. One has to take care to only use seeds from local native species. Another thing one has to know is if the land is public or private and ask for permission if needed.
Check with your local town hall to be sure that they propose no building projects for the area you have chosen. Inform the local environmental organization that perhaps they will want to join you.
The more people hear about it, the better. Families with children have joined this movement to show the young ones how to care for the environment. Some people opt for having the seeds sprout at home and when they have turned into small trees, plant them out.
Certain areas are so dry that these young trees require water regularly so they can grow into mighty oak trees.
Oak trees can live for a very long time. Please, have a look at this YouTube video of the 1000-year-old trees.
Some big projects worldwide
Mother Earth needs trees and when we harvest trees for whatever reason, we should at least plant new ones to replace them. In the past, various big-scale actions were started by India and Pakistan.
China and its project Green Great Wall show it is possible to make a change. They started this ambitious program in 1978 and have hope that it will be completed by 2050. On completion, it will be 4500 km long (2800 mi) long. It is like the anti-desertification effort made in Saharan Africa. This is an effort to plant a broad greenbelt, from coast to coast.
From the beginning of the China project, some 66 billion trees have been planted, but not all have survived. At the beginning of 2018, China used 60,000 soldiers for a planting project. The area, roughly the size of Ireland, should be full of trees by the end of the year.
This is an initiative to combat the Gobi Desert, which advances every year taking 1400 sq mi of grassland. Dust storms from the desert take topsoil away too, so planting trees will inhibit, reduce, and maybe prevent all this.
Even if there are enormous problems, like very limited water levels or massive plant failure rates, they make at least the effort. This is something not all countries can boast of.
Ethiopia planted 353 million trees in 12 hours in July 2019. Planting more trees will have a positive influence on climate change.
Everybody should at least plant 1 tree in their lifetime. At the birth of each child, we should plant a tree in the garden if possible. Over the many years I have lived on my farm, I planted a great variety of trees. They have grown big and beautiful, and I may enjoy the shade they give in the hot summer.
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Source: Sur in English, 3rd to 9th, 2020, article by Ines Gallestegui
Photo Source: Pixabay
You might care to read the following post. This is exactly the opposite of what the world needs to survive. It is very upsetting to see a nation that shows so little respect for creation.
The tree is very useful to us and the tree adds to our oxygen. A few days ago I saw a report on Australia where a lot of plants and animals have died due to the huge fires.
I had no idea about the acorn. By reading your article, I was able to get an idea about this seed and get a very good idea of what a shoot needs to be able to grow into a tree.
I want to thank the volunteers who paid attention to the need of Mother Nature planting seeds which hopefully will grow to be big trees in the future.
Thank you for sharing such a beautiful article.
Good afternoon Shariful,
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Yes, those fires in Australia have destroyed so many things. It will take more than our lifetime to recuperate from this disaster.
Nice to hear you found my article interesting. Oak trees are very impressive trees as you could see in the video.
I am happy that worldwide in many countries there are tree planting movements. We need trees to survive.
Many thanks to you for sharing such a beautiful article with us. Through this article, I learned how important the tree is to our nature. And I think in this world if we want to avoid fires and the bad effects of a warm climate, we should plant at least one and love nature.
If we each plant one tree, we can provide oxygen for many organisms on earth and we can prevent the earth from becoming a desert. I plant one tree myself every day and I own a farmhouse and have lots of trees here.
Good afternoon Mobashera,
Nice to hear you liked my article. I was happy to be able to write about something positive. Nature is very dear to me and hearing about people planting so many seeds on a national level was very uplifting.
In our world, so many places are being destroyed and the environment is suffering. We should educate our children to take care of the planet which is after all our habitat.
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It is truly devastating the degree to which we’re cutting down trees. It is sadly accompanied with so many pitfalls. Oxygen production is on every vital benefit these trees makes available. The issue of wildlife is also as urgent.
But it makes me glad that there are people who care about these things. So I must say, the acorn seeds movement is a very welcomed development.
Great post, Taetske
Good afternoon Ikechukwu,
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I have written different posts related to trees for both my websites. We need trees for a lot of things but we should always try to replant. Here in Spain, there have been big fires so it is a good idea to make planting seeds a priority as otherwise, this country will become a desert before soon.
The other problem we have here is a lack of rain. This past year it has been very dry. Yesterday it rained the first time after a whole month.
Many thanks to you for giving us such a beautiful article. I have come to know the importance of being close to our nature through you. I think that everyone should plant at least one tree and the importance of trees to protect our natural balance is immense.
The balance of the earth is okay for the tree and if it weren’t for that we would not be able to survive in such a beautiful way in our world. I hope that after reading the article, many will be encouraged to jest and try to preserve the balance of the earth.
Good afternoon Arzu,
Thank you for your comment. Nice to see you again.
Everything is related. Fauna, flora and the human race should live in harmony with each other. Our survival depends on that. Imagine earth which is like a desert, how awful that would be.
I find this planting acorn movement very positive and hope that over time more people will join.
I did not know that acorns could be grown in fire-affected areas to encourage growth. That picture looks like they do an amazing job at it too. Do you think that acorns are simple or difficult to grow and how do you think that acorns have encouraged growth at your home or otherwise?
Good afternoon Jonathan,
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I read this story in a Spanish newspaper and that inspired me to write a post for my website. I like to be able to report on positive things in our world. When people take the initiative to do something good for the environment that makes me happy.
Personally I have not planted acorns in my garden but many other species. Acorns are a good seed to plant as they are strong so the outcome will probably be positive. Obviously, when planted in a big area it is difficult to take individual care of each little tree and that is why you have to plant so many seeds to start with. On a smaller scale, it will be a success when each tree can be helped in its first years like giving it water and care.
The article piqued my interest just based on the title, and there was so much more than what I was expecting once I started reading through the information. Planting acorns after a fire most certainly will help protect the land from desertification and the organizations that you have mentioned are doing a very important job.
Such organizations can really be a force for replanting burned areas in ways that Governments just are not able to do. It does make sense to work with the local Governments however so you do not plant trees in places that will be built on later. I liked the many examples that you provided outside of Spain where entities are working together to plant trees.
I do think that planting trees is something everyone can and should do more than once in their lives. It does not take that much effort and can be helpful in so many ways to the environment, to the community, and to the people that are taking action. Thanks for this inspiring post!
Good afternoon Dave,
Thank you for visiting again and for leaving a comment.
I was also happy to come across this story. It is nice to be able to write about something positive. Mother Earth is needing our help as natural catastrophes and human ignorance cause a lot of damage to her.
Here on my farm in the south of Spain, I am blessed as normally what I put into the ground grows. As the climate is getting hotter it is nice that the house is surrounded by big trees that give shade.
That’s a great thing being done with the Acorn nuts. Here where I live, you cannot cut down a tree in your yard without a permit. The city then decides if the tree can be cut down or not. I know that has nothing to do with forests, but it is a way to keep trees from needlessly being cut down.
Good afternoon Leahrae,
I also like this idea of planting acorn nuts. It is easy, everybody can contribute and even small children can have fun planting. Hopefully many of these seeds will grow into big trees adding to the beauty of the landscape and bringing protection and food for animals.
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Thanks for sharing this amazing article. I was just having a read through just now and thought it was absolutely brilliant. Unfortunately, this is a topic that doesn’t get covered anywhere near enough so it’s always great to see articles like these. I think that our planet’s trees are vastly underestimated and the more awareness of these issues, the better for us all.
Good afternoon Kev,
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Trees are of utmost importance in our life and also for the planet. That is a fact, but too many people do not realize this. I love to hear about those big planting actions worldwide and hope there will be many more in the future.
Good afternoon Taetske,
Thank you for your thoughtful blog post. Trees indeed play an indispensable role in our ecosystem by providing oxygen and habitats for countless species. The fires in Australia were indeed devastating, affecting both flora and fauna significantly.
I couldn’t agree more that acorns truly are a testament to how something so small can grow into something as majestic and vital as an oak tree.
Your appreciation towards the volunteers is touching. It is indeed a selfless act to contribute to the well-being of Mother Nature, and every effort matters. Each seed that is planted today will hopefully stand tall as a tree in the future, providing essential services to our ecosystem.
Let’s continue to spread awareness about the importance of trees and the role each one of us can play in this fight against climate change. Thank you again, for the interesting post.
Good afternoon Makhsud,
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I am always happy to read about positive things happening in our world. Lately the news is rather negative so finding out about people who care for Mother Earth is very uplifting. I try to bring my small sand corn with my organic farm and over the years I have seen an increase of insects and small mammals. Just recently I discovered a mama hedgehog with 6 babies.
The planting of trees is of utmost importance for the planet and all living things, us included. Many people still do not realize that without trees the whole system colapses.
Nice to hear you liked my post. I hope you will come back for another visit.