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Timber! Why the rich are buying trees
That’s according to Dennis Moon, head of Specialty Asset Management at U.S. Trust, a division of Bank of America ( ), whose job it is to find, manage, and log plots of trees for the firm’s well-healed clients.
Ever since the financial crisis, business is booming, as rich families have worked tirelessly to diversify their investments beyond traditional stocks and bonds.
Here’s why the 1% are loving lumber, and all the green that comes with it.
‘Steady eddie’ investment: After seeing their portfolios pummeled during the recession, many wealthy people have flocked to asset classes that don’t rise and fall with the stock markets. That’s where timber comes in.
They say a picture is worth a thousand words…so I think this image is easily worth more.
They waited (not so patiently I imagine) 2 hours for the tractor to come out to them in order to pull them out of their mud bath.
As I write this, Ken tells me they are just seeing the tail end of another 10 hour rain storm. Tomorrow maybe Hugo will plan on doing his rounds in the tractor to reduce the chances of being stuck in the mud this time!
Rest assured that both your hardwood and coconuts trees are loving this time and will be well prepared for ongoing great growth even when the rains eventually slow down.
Between Mother Nature and Ken’s team, all our investments are in good hands.
In November, a discussion arose over tree planting as a viable method to offsets carbon emissions. A new study, which used computer modeling to calculate the impact of forests on climate change, concludes that yes, trees can help… if they’re planted in the right places. According to a BBC article,
Dr [Govindasamy] Bala [of Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory] and colleague Ken Caldeira, from the Carnegie Institution of Washington, used a computer model to determine the impact which forests in different parts of the planet would have on temperature.Their analysis indicates that three key factors are involved:
India Plants 50 Million Trees in One Day, Smashing World Record
Although the feat has yet to be certified by Guinness World Records, Indian officials have reported that volunteers planted a whopping 49.3 million tree saplings on July 11, blowing past the previous record for most trees planted in a single day.
That record, a mere 847,275 trees, was set by Pakistan in 2013.
A reported 800,000 volunteers from Uttar Pradesh worked for 24 hours planting 80 different species of trees along roads, railways, and on public land. The saplings were raised on local nurseries.
Wood pulp exports increased through April
Brazilian timber industry revenue was up 7.3% from January through April this year to USD 2.6 billion. The top-selling product was pulp.
São Paulo – Timber industry revenue was up 7.3% in Brazil year-to-date through April from a year ago, industry association Indústria Brasileira de Árvores (Ibá) reported this Monday (30th). Revenue was up 11% for pulp, which accounts for the bulk of industry exports.
Click here for the full story.
Activities performed on our timber plantations during
the months of Jan, Feb & Mar 2016
We are expecting 2016 to provide us with even more positive results than experienced in 2015. This year, we have begun many activities which have been planned in order to obtain these improved results. Among the activities we’re already implementing across our different plantations are: carrying out the clearing of the fence lanes in order to avoid fires, continuous vigilance from our security guards acting like park rangers, attention to our nurseries so the number of young plants continues growing for ongoing planting, increased irrigation infrastructure, introduction of drinking troughs & food deposits for monkeys that have been affected by the drought.
Please review the following descriptions of the activities carried out month by month.
Activities in January:
Among the activities carried out were:
- Irrigation of Paulownia plants.
- Cleaning the fence line to avoid fires.
- Measuring the height of Paulownia plants.
- Soil extraction for filling nursery bags.
1. Irrigation of Paulownia plants.
Once the dry season starts its time to begin the manual application of water, supplying 2 liters of water per plant every 8 days till the winter rains arrive.
2. Cleaning of the fence line around the farm.
3. Measuring the height of Paulownia plants.
In 2015 we replanted the Paulownia plantation of 2013, planting a total of 19 lots. The replanting was started in the month of September 2015. Currently, plants show an age of 4 months since they were established in the field with sizes as follows:
- On lots 141 through 150, the size is an average height of 1.2 meters.
- On lots 151 through 156, the size is an average height of 1 meter.
- On lots 156 through 158, the size is an average height of 1.7 meters.
- On lots 161 through 162, the size is an average height of 1 meter.
4. Soil extraction for filling of nursery bags.
This year we began bagging soil in which to grow over 130,000 new pochote and mahogany seedlings. Some of these seedlings are planned to replace any losses due to the lack of water in 2015 while the majority will be for new trees.
The first activity that has been underway is the preparation of the substrate where the seeds will be established. This begins with the selection of the right soil and lots and lots of hand labor. The substrate used for filling the bags is made up of soil taken from our own volcanic land and has been filtered of any contaminants and then mixed with rice husks.
Activities in February:
Activities performed were:
- Cleaning of the well and fixing of the drinking trough.
- Irrigation of the 2013 Paulownias.
- Samples of pests and measurement of height in Paulownia plants.
- Current state of the 2013 Paulownias.
- Setting up the seed nursery.
- Deliniation of lots.
1.Cleaning of the well and fixing of the drinking trough.
Due to the impact of the recent drought in this area, water sources have been reduced and in some places is even harder to find; the water is found deeper than in past years.
There are many wells across our plantations and, due to the drought, the water level in some of them was lower than last year. For this reason, we performed excavations and cleanings of those few wells in order to once again have access to our source of water.
Filling repaired trough. White-faced monkey drinking water from a bucket.
So that we would not have the problem of a lack of drinking water for the animals, we enacted a simple plan to place water filled buckets at key points where animals, like white-faced and howler monkeys, most often roam. As you can see in the pictures, they readily gather at these buckets and, since this plan began, we have noticed a greater presence of howler monkeys, white faced monkeys even ocelots frequenting the reliable water sources.
2. Irrigation of the 2013 Paulownias.
One of the main activities carried out was the irrigation of the Paulownia trees which are at an age where a consistent water supply is essential for continued growth.
3. Samples of pests and measurement of height in Paulownia plants.
IPM (Integrated Pest Management) is another plan which is implemented on the plantations. IPM consists of utilizing a suitable pest control in the field that controls pests while maintaining safe environmental levels. This control comes from using biological and botanical products to protect the plantations and reducing the use of chemical products as well.
Currently we are performing a sampling of our Paulownias every 8 days writing down the number of insects found on them, the type of damage caused and monitoring the growth of the plants.
Among the insects most frequently found, we have the Black Ant. At the beginning we thought that this insect was the responsible for defoliating the plants. But after some observations, we noticed that this small insect actually works symbiotically with the plant. This symbiosis consists of the Paulownia plants releasing a substance which feeds the ant and in return the ant protects the plant from other more dangerous insects.
4. Current state of Paulownia plants in 2013 plantation.
Even with regular watering it is not unusual for younger trees (including our Paulownia and teak) to drop most of their leaves during the dry season. Due to the recent drought this occurred and we noticed that most of Paulownia plants have dropped many of their leaves and only the stems remain. This is a means of protection that prevents water loss by transpiration through the leaves and allows the roots to focus on maintaining their health with the water supplies available to them. This doesn’t show itself much with our other species that are more used to the local environment and the cyclical nature of the weather.
We initiated a small test on one of the corporately held lots Pauwlonias in order to observe their behavior in a prolonged period of continuous access to water. It is too soon to have noticed any results yet, but we intend to continue with this test for at least several more months looking for any changes.
We took our parcel of 40 Paulownia trees and divided them into 4 patches. In the first patch we apply water every day with 2 liters per plant and organically fertilize each using a concentration of 46% urea. In the second patch we do the same, but only twice a week. In the third patch, we apply water daily and no organic fertilizer. In the fourth patch we water twice a week with no organic fertilizer used.
5. Setting up the seed nursery.
Rows of pochote and mahogany seeds ready for germination. Once all seeds germinate, we will plant them into their respective bags of prepared soil. The preparation of the nursery was the main activity carried out his month. The objective is to plant between 38,000 to 40,000 plants between pochote and mahogany, with many more to come in future months across other plantations.
6. Deliniation of lots.
In the first weeks of March we began set out the limits of every lot and placing landmarks (stakes) with the respective lot number. Every landmark was painted and numbered so everyone can see a clear location for each lot and the yellow stakes ensure a greater visibility even amongst vegetation.
Activities in March:
Activities performed were:
- Continued refilling of troughs for watering monkeys.
- Continued irrigation of the Paulownias in the test parcel.
- Continued lot delineation.
- Continued preparations in nursery.
- Creating feeding stations for animals.
1-3. Continued as before.
4. Continued preparations in nursery.
5. Creating feeding stations for animals.
As a socially responsible company with a focus on the conservation and preservation of the natural resources and wildlife under their control, Precious Timber has implemented a care and protection plan. It basically consist of installing water and food containers all around the farms; not only monkeys benefit from this, but also birds, ocelot, reptiles and all the local wildlife.
This supplemental diet really improves their health which becomes heavily compromised if access to the leaves and fruits they require is not readily available. We set out a variety of very inexpensive options to hold food and water which are easily filled every couple of days as the plantation workers go about their day.
As you see on the pictures we feed them with mangos, bananas and papaya that are all inexpensive and readily available to us. Our employees have really taken to this effort and are proud and excited any time an animal is seen enjoying the fruits (pun intended) of their labor.
Since we started this conservation plan we have seen a greater presence of monkeys and now you can hear them howling again from far away. They have returned to beautify the tree summits.
Businesses Invest in Water
María Silva – Del Sur News – 18 Feb. 2016
The first meeting of the year of the #72 Water Basin Committee was held on February 8th, 2016. Eng. TFabiola Padilla of the Environmental Unit of the Government of the Municipality of San Juan del Sur and business owners renewed their cooperation agreement signed in a public-private joint venture to develop the project; Protection, Conservation and Sustainable Use of Water Resources in the Sub Basin of the Río San Juan del Sur (where the estuary is located) by producers (farmers) and users in the Municipality of San Juan del Sur. This is under the master plan; Integrated Management of Water Resources which is being implemented with the assistance of the German Development Cooperation (GIZ).
Mario Rocha stated: “The businesses; Forestal Boca de la Montaña, Precious Timber, Finca Las Victorias, Club Rotario, Restaurante El Timón as well as the Government of the Municipality of San Juan del Sur, GIZ and some small and medium businesses in SJdS signed a renewable cooperation agreement last year and contributed the amount of US $27,589.
Read the rest of the story by clicking here.
Activities performed for the period of April through June, 2015
The main activities in the second quarter of the year were: Irrigation, fire prevention,
chain saw work, top-soil preparation, staking for 2015 plantation
saplings, nursery maintenance and 2015 planting (Pochote, Caoba and Paulownias).
Activities performed in the month
of April, 2015
- Irrigation: irrigation was routed to 15,000 Plants constantly in order to keep the moisture in the This month we had only one inch of rainfall.
- Shade Trimming: About 5 acres were cleared providing the new saplings the best conditions for strong
- Chain Saw work: 60 acres had some overhead clearing done so the planting process was made
- Nursery Maintenance and Repique: 180,000 saplings where grown by our nursery Watering, cleaning, fertilizing the plants, and Repique (Spanish word describing the putting of 3 seeds in one bag and once all the seeds germinate they are transferred into individual bags ultimately producing 3 saplings from one bag.
- Fire Prevention: A perimeter of about 15,000 linear meters was cleared along the exterior fence line and no threat or expectation of fire was
|Activities Performed||Man Days of Work||Acres /Linear Meters/ days||Rain||Number of plants|
|Inches of rain||1 Day||One inch|
|Shade Trimming||30||5 acres|
|Chain Saw work||45||60 acres|
|Fire Prevention rounds||66||15,000 lineal meter|
Activities performed in the month
of May, 2015
- Irrigation: Irrigation was routed to 11,435 plants, requiring 250 man hours of There were no threats of pests reported. There were 2.3 inches of rain in 3 days.
- Land clearing to create nursery space: We protected about 130,000 saplings by clearing the immediate areas reducing
chance of pest problems.
- Chain Saw: 4 acres we prepared for more 2015 19 man days of work were needed for this.
- Shade Trimming: This was performed on 5 acres allowing plants to have the full sunlight
- Bag Filling: Around 137,000 bags were filled with soil ready for seeds to be
- Sapling Movement: 120,000 saplings were taken from the nursery to be planted…50% Pochote and 50% of
- Top-Soil: 24M³ were made containing rice hulls, fertilizer and black
- Nursery Maintenance: Maintenance was performed on all saplings in the nursery six days a
- Bio-Green and Refreshing: Fertilizer & water spraying was applied to about 120,000 plants to ensure they keep moist and
|Activities Performed||Man Days of Work||Acres/ Linear Meter/ Days||Rain||Number of Plants||Bags on Nursery|
|Inches of rain||3 days||2.3
|Shade Trimming||34||3.5 acre|
|Nursery 2015 and top soils||136||180,000||136,322|
|Land clearing to create nursery space||203||127,750
|Chain Saw Work||19||4 acre|
|Bio Green and Refreshing||43||118,163|
|Total||995||52 acres/ 127,750mtrL||2.3
Activities performed in the month
of June, 2015
- Irrigation: This month we irrigated about 30,000 saplings investing 30 man-days of work. We received about to inches of rain.
- Land clearing to create nursery space: Cleared space was made for about 190,000 linear
- Maintenance and Cleaning: The main activities on the farm were cleaning and Repiqueto (see e
xplanation in April above) for about 132,000 saplings.
- Paulownias: 3,000 Paulownias were also planted this
|Activities Performed||Man Days of Work||Acres/ Linear meter / Day||Rain||Number of plants||Saplings|
|Inches of Rain||13 Days||10
|Land clearing to create nursery space||233||183,910
|Pochote and Caoba Plantation||160||2,7113|
|Pro Germinate irrigation||31,922|
Wood is the world’s most renewable raw material. For this reason, forests, and the wood they provide are vital in the fight against climate change. As the effects of climate change impact our environment, the use of renewable and sustainable building materials has never been more important.
The various stages of the wood story – planting and renewal, growth, harvesting and use are part of a renewable cycle that takes and stores carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, making wood a truly carbon-neutral building material.
No matter what position you take on climate change, we each need to look for ways in which we can contribute to keeping the planet protected. Using wood is something we can all do to help the environment. By demanding and using more wood, we can ensure that more trees will be planted and more carbon dioxide will be absorbed from the atmosphere. The result is a better world for ourselves, our families and future generations.
Protecting old growth trees isn’t enough. The best way to absorb more carbon dioxide is to use more wood and plant more trees. It’s that simple… and we intend to make a difference.
Here’s a great video to explain this concept quickly and clearly…click here.