Fallen trees are now part of the urban and rural landscapes demolished by hurricanes Irma and María in Puerto Rico. The environmental organization Para la Naturaleza has taken on the challenge and responsibility of rescuing valuable wood that will be reused in future projects.
Para la Naturaleza visited the urbanization Colinas de Fair View, in Trujillo Alto and rescued a piece of Honduran Mahogany that weighed approximately 1,500 pounds.
“We tried to coordinate with artisans or people who cut trees but maybe they didn’t want to assume the task of working with such a large piece of wood or wanted to charge lots of money for the job. We asked the DRNA (Department of Natural and Environmental Resources) for permission because it broke a concrete fence, was close to the house and more than 60 feet tall”, said Bolívar Rosado, a resident at Colinas de Fair View whose patio was the site of the Mahogany rescue.
To handle this task, a group of 5 arborists specialized in wood rescue have visited different places near the metropolitan area. This piece is an addition to the 30,000 board feet (square feet) that the organization has already rescued. They will continue their work throughout the geography of Puerto Rico.
“We have already rescued 30,000 board feet of very valuable wood. Thanks to the generosity of people, families and institutions that open their doors to us, we have been able to do this work that requires as much effort as it does attention to detail and movement”, explained Manuel Mercado, security coordinator for Para la Naturaleza and also a certified arborist.
Among the trees rescued, we note the Manilkara bidentata (ausubo) as a native tree and introduced species like Pterocarpus, Talipariti elatum (mahoe), Swietenia macrophylla (honduran mahogany), Prunus dulcis (almond) and Pinus (pine).
In addition to the rescue effort in Trujillo Alto, the Para la Naturaleza team has collaborated on wood rescues with Hospital del Niño, Fundación Luis Muñoz Marín, as well as other families and individuals.
“We want people to help us rescue the wood of fallen trees. If you know of a tree with valuable wood, send us its approximate size and location. We want to extend the service the tree has given us by using it to restore historic structures that we protect in Puerto Rico”, added Mercado.
Owners of properties that have fallen trees and are interested in donating the wood should make sure the trunk has a diameter greater than 12 inches and length greater than 8 feet.
This information should be sent to Para la Naturaleza by calling 787-722-5834. You may also email the information with an attached photo, address or Google Map pin to: firstname.lastname@example.org.