What Gets Planted

The dry forest ecosystem of Bonaire is home to numerous rare plant and animal species. Unfortunately, with just a few mature trees left on the island and several species that are almost extinct, Bonaire’s forests are currently dominated by only three to five tree species.

Trees produce oxygen, clean the air, filter airborne pollutants, provide habitat and food sources for hundreds of species, enrich the soil and have a positive impact on the climate.

The My Bonaire Tree program seeks to re-establish these unique native trees to restore the island of Bonaire to its original splendor for future generations to come.

Here are some of the more vital yet common species that are currently being planted...


With Your Help

Trees that are symbolically adopted through My Bonaire Tree have been or will be planted into the established reforestation areas. Reforestation sites have been carefully selected to ensure that the trees you help us plant will have the greatest chance to survive and thrive. Your adoption helps us nourish seeds of hope in our native plant nurseries and to care for them as they sprout and grow into trees of change. Once planted into reforestation areas, these trees will be carefully managed and monitored to ensure their success. This includes supplemental watering and protective measures as needed. This work is being carried out by the qualified volunteers of Echo’s team. Each tree will be revisited to monitor its progress over time. For more on the process visit our Planting Cycle page.

More About the Nursery

Part of these initiatives has included the establishment of a native plant nursery for seedling propagation. The trees of Bonaire can be propagated in multiple ways. In Echo’s nurseries, the main method of propagation is germinating seeds. Seeds are collected from various areas of the island at all times of the year. Many of the seeds collected must be prepared in some way for planting. Once the seeds are prepared, they are planted into seeding soil that is mixed on site. In a few weeks to a few months, depending on the tree species, the small seedling can be planted out into a larger pot that is full of nutrient rich soil, also mixed on site. Trees on Bonaire tend to grow long, deep roots so this must also be considered when planting seedlings into pots. In Echo’s nurseries, deep pots are used whenever possible and no pots are kept directly on the ground, so that the roots of the tree cannot grow into the ground and make it impossible to move the plant without damaging the roots.

If there is a tree species that tends to not grow well from seeds, other propagation methods can be used. Some trees on the island can be grown from cuttings, which involves taking a section of a branch and planting it directly into a pot. If it is kept moist, the section of branch will sprout roots and leaves, creating a genetic clone of the tree it was collected from. Echo’s nurseries include a mist house with a timed sprinkler to ensure that these cuttings receive enough water and stay wet enough to survive. Another method of propagation is digging up and collecting small seedlings that are found naturally growing on the island. This method is only practiced in areas where it is fairly certain that goats or other herbivores will eat the seedling, and that the protection of the nursery is its greatest chance of survival. No matter what method of propagation is used, the plants will receive daily water for 6 months to a year, until they are ready to be planted out into one of Echo’s reforestation areas.