Tree planting in Hérault is well underway, despite the tough conditions!

Eudeline facing the moutain ©AFAF

Les Albières, January 2020

Tree planting in Hérault is well underway, despite the tough conditions!

Due to the difficult access to the planting site and lack of network, organising deliveries of seedlings and participatory tree planting sessions is proving particularly complicated. It takes half an hour driving along a forest track to reach the site from the nearest village.

During the spring of 2019, a first test planting took place on old agricultural terraces. The aim being to assess the pressures on wildlife, as well as land constraints and shading conditions. About 200 trees of various species were planted. Unfortunately, wild boars severely damaged the seedlings, making it necessary to rethink the management plan, replant the damaged species, and step up tree protection measures.

Seedlings ready to be planted ©AFAF

On 19 December 2019, the plan was to plant cherry and apple trees on one of the most tricky spots of the site: given the slope of the land, moving around and working on the slippery ground is difficult; much time and energy is needed to plant a tree. For a two-person team, it took up to one hour to dig a planting hole, put a seedling in the ground, and protect it from wild ungulates ! Despite all the difficulties encountered and the weather not being on our side!, the planting team remained extremely motived.

Since November, lime, cherry, apple, mulberry, elm and fig trees have been planted, bringing the total number of trees introduced to more than 600.

Eudeline with a young tree ©AFAF

The first steps for the orchard-vegetable garden are being carried out with perseverance and vigilance. Eudeline takes every care to plant the right tree at the right time in the right place. The trees are regularly monitored to check their growth and any that might be damaged are replaced.

An old decayed cottage built many years ago in the garden forest will be restored and used as a storage and processing facility. Eudeline will then be able to produce and process fruit and leaves on site by the fall of 2022.

Ruins to be restored ©AFAF

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