Learn about Indigenous trees

But as for me, I am like a green olive tree in the house of God;

Psalm 52:8

There are three types of trees that it is important to know about: indigenous, alien and invasive.

Indigenous are always the best to grow as they are native to the soil and grow the best. Indigenous trees are trees that are native to an area. These trees are integral to the function of an area’s ecosystem, providing not only oxygen for humans and other animal species but also increasing the quality of soil and helping with climate regulation, among many other benefits.

Alien trees are not native to the area, they have been brought into the region from another. Thus, they have not naturally evolved and are simply transported from a country to another. They might have other benefits such as being a fruit tree (papaya, peach, mango etc) or they are rapid growth (such as a pine for sale of wood ) – do remember though that these trees are often water guzzlers and may deteriorate the eco- system.

Invasive trees are a serious problem as they invade areas, they often consume much more water than indigenous trees. They are land transformers, transforming eco-systems into dense stands of invasives, ultimately effecting and impacting negatively on biodiversity. In savanna and forests, they compete directly with indigenous trees and shrubs. So it is important to learn about trees in your area. For tree planting projects it is better to plant your local indigenous trees. You can do a google search (Ecosia) to find out about the best indigenous plants to grow. You can also educate your congregation about invasive trees and organise a ‘hack’ to pull them out. Thus you can improve the water levels in dams and rivers.