Private Planting

About the Private Planting Programme

The potential of private landowners to contribute to national reforestation is recognised in the Forest Act, 1996 which mandates the Forestry Department to “promote the development of forests on private lands”.  The relevance of this mandate is supported by a land use assessment carried out by the Agency which showed that of the 69,000 hectares identified with reforestation potential, some 67,000 hectares are privately owned. This clearly underscores the need to involve private land owners in reforestation.

In 1998 the Forestry Department formalized the private planting programme, which brought together its tree seedling distribution activities, particularly as they pertained to farmers and other landowners, into a structured programme.

Programme’s Success

The growth of the PPP has been gaining momentum since its rejuvenation in 1998. Existing private planters and new recruits to the programme have displayed great interest and enthusiasm in maintaining existing plantations and establishing new ones. Up to the end of 2004, over 650 persons have been registered in the programme, with over 370,000 tree seedlings distributed, representing the equivalent of 570 hectares of plantation establishment.

Programme Goal

The aim of the Private Planting Programme is to encourage private landowners and other entities to plant trees on parcels of land not currently under productive use for commercial wood production and for soil conservation.

Who is it for?

The range of individuals/entities who are eligible to participate in the Private Planting Programme include:

  • smallholder farmers
  • large estate farms
  • absentee land owners whose lands are not presently in productive use
  • bauxite companies with land for restoration public land holding entities

Farmers with small to medium-size holdings have been the main beneficiaries of the programme to date, however, an ever increasing number of large estate owners are planting portions of their lands with timber trees for commercial production. The Forestry Department also actively recruits landowners whose lands may not be under productive use at present and whose main income is not derived from their lands.

What is offered

Free timber tree seedlings and technical advice are provided by the Forestry Department to participants in the Private Planting Programme  (PPP). The type of technical advice given includes topics such as:

  • species selection
  • site preparation
  • tree/plantation maintenance
  • thinning and pruning
  • growth and yield determination

Participants are responsible for all costs relating to tree establishment and maintenance as well as transportation of tree seedlings to their planting site from the Forestry Department nursery.

The timber tree species available include:

  • Honduras mahogany (Swietenia macrophylla )
  • Jamaica mahogany (Swietenia mahagoni )
  • Caribbean pine (Pinus caribaea )
  • Blue mahoe (Hibiscus elatus )
  • Spanish elm (Cordia geracanthus)
  • Bitter damsel (Simarouba glauca)
  • West Indian cedar (Cedrela odorata )
  • Santa maria (Calophyllum calaba )
  • Teak (Tectona grandis)

How does it work?

To apply to the Private Planting Programme, simply download (click here) and complete the form and forward it to any of our offices. You may also collect forms from any of our offices across the island.

Once the application has been received and reviewed, a Forestry Department officer will make arrangements with the applicant to visit the proposed planting site. Decisions are then taken regarding:

  • suitability of the land for timber tree production
  • selection of appropriate tree species
  • quantity of seedlings required
  • schedule for provision of seedlings

Tree seedlings will be made available as scheduled and the Agency personnel will assist the landowner to monitor the growth of the planted seedlings. Measurement of the young trees, eg, for height, girth, etc. may be done intermittently for research purposes.

If there is a big demand for certain tree seedlings, the Agency may have to reschedule availability times. Participants will be advised at the earliest.