Discover the native tree species that we plant in our agroforestry systems!

30 Nov , 2022 Blog

Discover the native tree species that we plant in our agroforestry systems!

Plant your Future works with a range of tree species  – all of which are native to the Peruvian Amazon. Each tree has particular benefits for the local communities we work with and for the insects, animals and birds which call the Amazon home.

Marupa (Simarouba amara) is a timber species which grows well in degraded soils. Popular choice with smallholder farmers due to fast growth and resistance to disease and robust in the face of varying climatic conditions. 

Shihuahuaco (Dipteryx odorata) is a species which is increasingly endangered locally as it has been over-harvested. We grow it to recover the species, and provide a future natural seed supply. It produces a beautiful and high value wood popular for construction and furniture making. 

Huacapu (Minquartia guianensis) is another species which is increasingly endangered due to over-harvesting. Local communities are aware of its rapid disappearance, especially in Ucayali and are keen to grow it. Local communities want to restore this tree to preserve it for future generations and have natural seed supply from it. They also value the timber it produces, which has many uses. 

Guaba (Inga edulis) is important for it’s properties of fixing nitrogen in the soils to restore fertility. We prune it and use it’s leaves and branches as mulch as a natural fertiliser to help the other trees grow and thrive in the heavily degraded soils where we work. In our upcoming silvopastoral pilot, we will be planting guaba as fodder and shade for cattle.

 Cocoa (Theobroma cacao) is native to the Peruvian Amazon and is of course the fruit tree that chocolate comes from.  Harvesting of cocoa is possible from 2 to 3 years after planting and provides families an important income as part of our agroforestry model. 

Capirona (Calycophyllum spruceanum) produces a tiny seed and grows well in wetter areas like the ‘varillal’ ecosystems – which is a rainforest which develops on periodically inundated or poorer draining soils. 

Big-leaf mahogany (Swietenia macrophylla) is a highly endangered species –  illegal logging and unsustainable export levels are threatening to render big-leaf mahogany commercially extinct. Admired for its high quality, beauty and durability, mahogany is made into luxury furniture, boats, expensive panelling, musical instruments and other wood products. Smallholders grow it to recover the species, and provide future natural seed supply. We can only plant it in low density due to pest attack at higher densities. 

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