Quirino-based group steps up to multiply dwindling population of native trees

Published May 19, 2022, 12:51 PM

by Dhel Nazario

A team from the Quirino State University (QSU) made a significant move to address the shrinking population and the continued threat to native trees by rapidly multiplying high-quality planting stocks of native tree species in the region.

For. Benabise and his team in one of Quirino’s native forest, showing PCAARRD M&E team where selected tree seedlings are transplanted. (Photo courtesy of DOST-PCAARRD / MANILA BULLETIN)

Funded by the Philippine Council for Agriculture, Aquatic and Natural Resources Research and Development of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST-PCAARRD), QSU implemented the project, “Development of Clonal Propagation Protocols for Native Forest and Fruit-Bearing Tree Species of Quirino and Nearby Provinces.” Spearheaded by For. Edgar Benabise, this endeavor is part of their effort to also preserve the native tree species facing sharp decline brought about by destructive and extractive human activities.

The project aims to develop macro-clonal propagation protocols for native forest trees and native fruit-bearing trees using stem cuttings and assess their early growth performance in the field.

The 10m x 21m hardening nursery (left) and For. Benabise showing the different seedlings inside (right). (Photo courtesy of DOST-PCAARRD / MANILA BULLETIN)

According to Benabise, vegetative propagation technique by stem cutting has also been recognized as an effective method of mass propagating exact copies of desirable plants for clonal plantation, reforestation, and commercial purposes.

The project team was able to develop a 10m x 21m hardening nursery and ramet garden with seedlings of selected native tree species: ‘bignai,’ ‘balobo,’ ‘anonas,’ ‘katmon,’ ‘kamagong,’ ‘kapulasan,’ ‘bani,’ ‘bolong-eta,’ ‘lipote,’ ‘anabiong,’ and ‘lubeg.’

Other notable accomplishments from the project are the various IEC materials developed from it for dissemination.