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Tree Talk, July 2005

Tree Talk, July 2005

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Tree Talk is an audience-driven, locally relevant eco-newspaper produced for Ugandan adolescents by Straight Talk Foundation, a leading Health & Development Communication NGO based in Kampala, Uganda.

Launched in March 2002, Tree Talk aims to promote environmental awareness, sustainable land-use, and indigenous tree-planting and woodlot establishment in schools & communities throughout Uganda. Every copy of Tree Talk is distributed with a satchel of tree seed specific to the local environment of the recipient school community, with the objective of empowering readers to practice the lessons learned from the newspaper and begin raising seedlings of their own. Since its inception, Tree Talk has facilitated the establishment of tree nurseries and tree-planting projects at thousands of Ugandan schools at a very low cost. The paper is recognized by the Government of Uganda as a vital component of national efforts to promote tree-growing and conservation.

Though publication has varied over the years, Tree Talk is meant to be produced and distributed twice annually. Appearing in Uganda's lead national daily, _The New Vision_, and is posted to roughly 16,000 schools and 500 CBO/NGOs involved in agricultural and/or environmental activities across Uganda, Tree Talk has an audience of nearly 1 million adolescents with each issue.
Tree Talk is an audience-driven, locally relevant eco-newspaper produced for Ugandan adolescents by Straight Talk Foundation, a leading Health & Development Communication NGO based in Kampala, Uganda.

Launched in March 2002, Tree Talk aims to promote environmental awareness, sustainable land-use, and indigenous tree-planting and woodlot establishment in schools & communities throughout Uganda. Every copy of Tree Talk is distributed with a satchel of tree seed specific to the local environment of the recipient school community, with the objective of empowering readers to practice the lessons learned from the newspaper and begin raising seedlings of their own. Since its inception, Tree Talk has facilitated the establishment of tree nurseries and tree-planting projects at thousands of Ugandan schools at a very low cost. The paper is recognized by the Government of Uganda as a vital component of national efforts to promote tree-growing and conservation.

Though publication has varied over the years, Tree Talk is meant to be produced and distributed twice annually. Appearing in Uganda's lead national daily, _The New Vision_, and is posted to roughly 16,000 schools and 500 CBO/NGOs involved in agricultural and/or environmental activities across Uganda, Tree Talk has an audience of nearly 1 million adolescents with each issue.

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Published by: Straight Talk Foundation on Apr 09, 2009
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 Vo l. 4  No. 2 J u l y  2005
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In May,
Tree Talk 
came second outof 261 entries from 52 countriesto the St Andrews Prize for theEnvironmentFirst prize went to the ElephantPump (Zimbabwe).
Tree Talk 
andGlobal Coral Reef Alliance (USA) won joint second.
Tree Talk 
 won $5000 which willhelp Walaita and Amunau to startmasters degrees, Kiyingi to grow
Buy high-quality treeseed from the UgandaNational Tree SeedCentre, PO Box 23889,Kampala. Tel: 041-286049.Only 2500/= for 50g of Mahogany.
Do you run a CBO that grows trees? Are you a teacher growingschool trees? Win a 3-day trainingat Nyabyeya Forestry College.Send photos and a letter about your tree growing toTree Talk,Box 22366, Kampalaby July 31.
 win win
 A TRAINING IN 2005
trees on his land, and Watson toset up a poverty and environmentunit at Straight Talk Foundation. Also,
Tree Talk 
received funds forthree scholarships at NyabeyaForestry College, Masindi.The kind donors were RobinHarper, MP for Scotland's GreenParty, his brother Euan, and MrPeter Jones of Biffa WasteServices. Weare grateful!
 Would you like tostudy for a diplomaor certificate inforestry? If youhave passes inmaths and creditsin biologicalsciences and areserious about trees, write to
Tree Talk,
PO Box 22366,Kampala.
Tree Talk 
team: G Kiyingi, S Walaita, S Amunau and journalist C Watson placedsecond in the UK's biggestenvironment competition.
 With this
Tree Talk 
, we are sendingMusizi(
 Maesopsis
)and
 Balanites
seed to 18,000schools,churches,mosques,prisons,police posts,environmentalofficers, andCBO/NGOs.
The black and whitecasqued Hornbillbird loves to
trees for wildlife
Chimps alsolove the seedof Musizi.Tourists pay  to watchchimps inKibale forest.Biodiversity brings wealth.
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Bees from the natural forestpollinate our coffee andincrease our coffee harvest.
ecosystems help us. In Central America, they have discovered that wild bees from forests increasecoffee harvests by 20%.The farm must be within 1 kmfrom a forest fragment to benefitfrom pollination by the bees.Protecting forest fragments andplanting new indigenous trees is vital. We are sending you seed forindigenous trees. Can you growthem for your environment?
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Science lesson!
• Extinct:
dying out anddisappearing forever.
• Endangered:
animal or plantspecies with just fewmembersstill living.
• Indigenous trees:
trees thatoriginatedhere, that were not
Grow Ugandan
 All living things depend on eachother in webs called
ecosystems
.
Humans do well in many differentecosystems such as deserts andmountains.But most living creatures aredesigned to live in one ecosystemonly. They die or stop reproducing when that ecosystem is disturbed.Today as forests and trees arecut, many species of birds andanimals are becoming extinct.This is sad because all life has value. But it is also
dangerous
forus as humans. We are loosingbiodiversity.
Biodiversity 
is the variety of lifeforms in an environment. A forest that has 98 tree speciesand 104 bird species is highly biodiverse. A plantation with onetree species and six types of birdsis not.Biodiversity is a strength thatprotects us. A plantation of eucalyptus can beeasily wiped out by the arrival of 
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Tree Talk 
wins environment prize andscholarships for O and A level leavers
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introduced fromelsewhere.
•Biodiversity :
the variety of livingthingsin a place.
a new pest. But a highly-diversenatural forest can never be wipedout by one pest. Some trees willalways resist the pest.Scientists are constantly learningnew ways in which natural
eat Musiziseed. By so doing,it helps tospread the treeand createnew  forests.
 Would you like tostudy for a diplomaor certificate inforestry? If youhave passes inmaths and creditsin biologicalsciences and areserious about trees, write to
Tree Talk,
PO Box 22366,Kampala.
•Ecosystem:
the interactionbetween livingthings and theirphysicalenvironment
 
Tree Talk, July 2005
 2
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Germinating Musizi seed
Reaping benefits: Teachers and students of NamutumbaCentral SS, Iganga read
Tree Talk 
under a Musizi tree
If you grow a plantation:
Carry out spot weeding once ortwice every month.Carry out first thinning afterthree years for trees spaced at6x6 meters (277 trees/ha).Thin for the second time at six years. During first and secondthinning, half of the trees shouldbe removed: only 69 treesshould remain per hectare. Usetrees removed by thinning forfirewood or poles.No thinning is needed for treesplanted at 12x12 meters. Justreplace dead or poorly growingtrees.Soak dry seeds in cold waterfor 3 days. Change the waterdaily!Plant seed in a well-preparedseedbed or directly into pots.Planting directly in pots is best. You do not have to prick themout or transfer them from theseedbed to pots later.Use a polyethene bag like a usedmilk sachet. Fill it with soilmade up of top soil, sand andorganic manure in the ratio of 7:2:1Place two seeds just below thesoil surface as shown in thediagram. When the two seedsgerminate, remove the weakerone or transplant it into a newpot.If you place seeds vertically,they will not germinate!• Place the pots with seed under anicely prepared shade.Cover them with grass to reduceevaporation and water twice aday.
Musizi seed takes 4 to 14 weeksto germinate but the most vigorous seedlings germinatebetween 6 and 8 weeks
Caring for seedlings
The seedlings are delicate when young. Give maximum care!Keep them in the nursery for 3 -5 months after germination.Water morning and eveningApply organic fertilizer every two weeks after two months fromgermination.
Protect them from animals andexcessive heat.Remove shade gradually. Threemonths after gemination,completely remove the shade.Lift the pots twice a month toavoid roots growing into theground.
Transplanting seedlings
Prepare the planting site beforethe start of the rainy season.Make planting holes measuring25 deep and 25cm wide (seefigure) at a distance of 6x6meters or 12x12 meters.Fill half the hole with organicsoil. NB: For the first few yearsafter planting, you can growplants in the plantation.
Pupils of St Francisco PS,Hoima, prepare pots forseedlingsBig Musizi trees in a school in Rakai. Musizi
(also called
Maesopsis eminii 
)
can reach this size in eight years!Information in this
Tree Talk 
on Musizi was kindly provided by Unique and the World Agroforestry Centre.
Musizi inplantations
MUSIZI
for quick timber
branches. You can also pick seedfrom the ground but avoid seed thathas stayed on the ground for a longtime. It may have a fungal infection.Do not beat seed from the branches.It may be immature and lead to lowgermination rates.Pick ripe big fruits that have turnedpurple-black in colour. Green fruitsand small fruits have germinationand growth problems.
Processing seed
Collect and sow more than enoughseed since not all will germinate.Remove the pulp of fruit and dry theseed for 2-3 days in sunshine toreduce chances of fungal infection.
Good seedBad seedGood fruitBad fruit
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Purple-blackGreenSmallBig, dark-brownLight-brownSmall
Musizi is a Ugandan tree thathas been growing here formillions of years.It is widely distributed in Africa. It is a colonisingspecies. That means it is oneof the first trees to startgrowing in a new forest. At 10-12 years, Musizi can beharvested for timber.Musizi is important for soil fertility improvement, fodderand treating gonnorrhoea.
Collect seed...
Pick ripe fruits hanging on the
 
Tree Talk, July 2005
3
Fruits for hot dry areas
Money for tree seed
Demand for tree seed is high. TheNational Tree Seed Center needsgood seed for agroforestry trees.It pays 20,000-30,000/= for a kiloof 
Calliandra, Musizi, Balanites
and
 Eucalyptus
seed, depending onpurity and quality of the seed.Can you try this work? Form anassociation.Look for members with some
Do the elders in your village say that theseasons have changed?Is your district hotterand drier than it used tobe?Do you get hard, violentand short rains when there used to be long,steady and usefulrains?
This is climate change. Allover the world people are
Loss of forestPollution
These boys from Nebbiearn school fees by collecting tree seedand sellingit to theNationalTree SeedCentre.Do you havegood treesin yourarea?
forestry knowledge, like anagricultural teacher. Or ask anextension officer to advise.Collect seed only from healthy andnice looking mother trees.If you cannot sell seed to theNational Tree Seed Centre, start your own tree nursery.Seedlings of species like
 Balinites
have value.
Climate change
cutting down trees withoutreplanting.Cars, factories,refridgerators and othermachines also cause cli-mate change when they produce smoke and gas. You can do something tostop climate change. If your family cooks with wood/ charcoal, plant at least 20 trees a year. If your family owns a car, plant at leasteight. Grow trees tostabilise your climate.
Useful!
The leaves, fruit andseedlings are eaten by livestock. Its wood ishard and resiststermites. It is used forhand tools, oxen yoke,mortar pestle andfencing.The tree is medicinal.Its leaves are used forde-worming goatsand cows. Plant partscan be used as soap.Extracts of fruit and bark are used for controllingsnails that causebilharzia and waterfleasthat carry Guinea worm.
 When you get your
 Balanites
seeds:
• Soak them for 24 hoursin water at roomtemperatureSow in pots. Place theseed vertically with the stalk 
To the hot and dry areas of  West Nile, the North andKaramoja,
Tree Talk 
issending seed for a tree thatproduces fruit in very dry seasons.In Acholi this tree is called
T
. In Lugbara it is called
Loba.
This indigenous orlocal tree has many uses.It is very appreciated by people living in areas likeButiaba in Masindi whereother tree types struggle togrow.The fruit is delicious andcan be eaten dry or fresh. Itis rich in Vitamin C.Grow this tree for shade, fruit and biodiversity. It isuseful!The fruits have value and aresold in marketsin Karamojaand other dry areas.
end facing down ward.Germination takes 1-4 weeks. Keepseedlings for about 12 weeks beforetransplanting. Plant 8 metres apartand protect from goats and cows.
Collecting your own fruit
Pick fruit when it is yellow, soft andsweet. You get fruits several times a year. Enjoy! To get fruit, put a bigcloth under the tree. Shake thebranches. Ready fruits will fall.
Preparing your own seed
Put fruits in a container. Squeeze thefruits using hands to remove thefleshy part from the seed. Pour clean water into the mixture and stir forsome time. Remove seeds from themixture and put them undersunshine to drain. Fresh seeds needno pre-treatment.
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The National Tree Seed Centrerecommends plantingseedlings of this great tree ateight metre intervals alongschool paths.
Its scientificname is
Balinites aegyptica.
It tolerates extreme heat!
The National Tree Seed Centrerecommends plantingseedlings of this great tree ateight metre intervals alongschool paths.
Its scientificname is
Balinites aegyptica.
It tolerates extreme heat!

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