||UVI-AES Agroforestry native tree research focuses on developing protocols for growing native trees, primarily from seeds. First we collect phenology data, such as when trees produce new leaves, flowers and fruits, for each species. When trees bear fruit, we collect them from many individual plants, bring them to the lab clean, weigh and measure them. Seeds are extracted, counted weighed and prepared for experiments.
Native Tree Species: Click here to learn more about which tree species are native to the Virgin Islands and which are introduced.
Pregerminative treatments are used to reduce germination time, increase germination rates or make groups of seeds germinate uniformly. Treatments such as soaking the seeds in water or manually scarifying the seed coats are applied to the seeds and the resulting germination rates and times are recorded. Growth rates and other data are collected as the seedlings grow. We regularly plant seedlings in demonstration plots and in reforestation projects. In these plots we obtain additional data on growth rates, time to first flowering and fruiting, pest incidences and more. For additional information on restoration, reforestation and forest enrichment projects in the Virgin Islands, click here
We give special attention to native trees that are rare, endangered or endemic to the region. In addition, our research also focuses on trees that show potential for use as ornamental plants or for use in urban forestry. These include the Virgin Islands' three native palm trees [tyre palm (Cocothrinax argentea), royal palm (Roystonia borinquena) and sabal palm (Sabal causarium)]. Results of this research are released to local nurseries and the public to help with their efficient production of native trees.
Research includes, but is not limited to the following native trees
|Tropical lily thorn
|Silk Cotton, Kapok, Ceiba
|Locust, Stinking Toe
Peeled Seeds of Mamey Apple (Mammea americana) in Germination Tray
Flower of Tropical Thorn Lilly (Catesbaea melanocarpa)
Fruit from Tropical Thorn Lily (Catesbaea melanocarpa)