Forest Habitat Restoration - Tree PlantingKinabatangan, Sabah, Malaysian BorneoThe MESCOT Initiative has planted more than 100,000 trees. The vast majority are fast growing pioneer species, such as Mytrogynasp, and Nauclea spp, which also double with leaves, flowers and fruit that wildlife eat. The idea behind growing a fast growing species is to establish a new forest canopy and structure as soon as possible to shade out the weed vines. The important closed canopy structure supports the other seed-bearing birds and animals, which aids with the regeneration of a climax forest. Apart from the fast growing pioneer species, the initiative targets specific trees that provide fruit for special wildlife such as orang-utan and hornbills. Wild fruit-bearing rainforest trees planted that are favourites with the orang-utan include Dracontomelon sp, Artocarpussp, Garcinia sp, Diospyros sp, Canarium sp, and Ficus sp. To date more than 23 species of trees have been trialed and are planted on a large scale within the forest habitat restoration efforts. Tree planting is no easy task. All planting material is propagated in the MESCOT Nursery from seed collected by the MESCOT team in the surrounding rainforest. Trees are nurtured in the nursery from 4-6 months before being transported in the forest sites for planting. Site preparation includes de-vining and weeding the planting sites, sometimes up to three rounds before planting. The young trees are hand-carried in special baskets up to 4km into the planting sites after which they are planted. The trees are maintained monthly for the first 12 months after which maintenance is reduced to 3 monthly intervals.