Port Moresby Nature Park, while being the main supplier of trees for Governor Parkop’s ‘One million Trees’ campaign through its Trees4life initiative, has sown its first batch of Kwila seedlings, adding to the variety of trees already available for planting for this urban project.
Scientifically named Intsia bijuga or ‘Kwila’ as commonly known, is a tree variety that is common in most lowland parts of Papua New Guinea, especially East and West Sepik Provinces. It takes about 20 – 40 years for a Kwila tree to reach full maturity when it can be harvested for use in furniture, general house building and/or carving as it is very durable and is naturally a termite-resistant wood.
It had taken the nursery team here at Port Moresby Nature Park nearly a month to witness this milestone of growing its first batch of 250 Kwila seedlings. A special process called scarification was followed carefully before finally sowing the seeds, which successfully germinated, producing cotyledons (embryonic leaves). These will then develop into ‘true leaves’ after about 4-6 weeks, signalling that the Kwila seedling is ready for transplanting into the natural environment, where it will grow into a tree.
“Our small team is very proud of this achievement as this goes to prove the continuous growth in skill and knowledge shared amongst the team in ensuring the Park is a leader is conservation through its various projects such as the Trees4Life initiative which we greatly focus on”, said Junior Muli, Port Moresby Nature Park’s Nursery Team Leader.
The 250 Kwila seedlings are now growing steadily under the watchful eyes of, Mr Junior Muli and his team. All nursery team members now anxiously await to see the seedlings thrive and be ready to face natural conditions once transplanted as Kwila seeds are difficult to germinate in normal conditions.
The ‘Trees for Life’ initiative is supported by the global NGO Cities 4Forests and One Tree Planted, the Sir Brian Bell Foundation, the British High Commission, Rotary Club of Port Moresby and Skal Port Moresby.
With continuous environmental issues affecting many societies today, the work of Port Moresby Nature Park will be even more important as we advocate, protect and conserve PNG’s Wildlife and Natural Environment.