Tree-planting in Pefkohori, N. Skioni in Kassandra peninsula
Following our successful collaboration with “Friends of Green” Thessaloniki in Dion Archaeological Park and Ancient Aiges, a tree-planting project was organized in an area affected by the destructive fire in Kassandra peninsula. On December 6th 2009, in the “Metohiko” or “Metohaki” region, located at the Southeastern part of Kassandra peninsula, 3.000 seedlings were planted. The tree planting was carried out under the consideration of basic reforestation principles and chiefly the ecological principle. According to this principle, it is best to plant indigenous species that naturally grow in the wider region. The species selected to be planted in the area are the following:
- Aleppo Pine: 1500 Seedlings.
A coniferous tree, naturally growing in the region, the Aleppo Pine covers almost the entire Kassandra peninsula and the majority of Greek beaches. So long as the tree has matured, the Aleppo Pine can be regenerated with seeds after a fire. Kassandra owes this species, the fine aesthetics of its landscape. It will be the main species planted, just as it occurs in the region.
- Downy Oak: 500 Seedlings
A deciduous tree with wide-shaped leaves that can sporadically be found in the area, the Downy Oak existed in much greater quantities during the past. It is impressively long-lived tree, which can be regenerated after a fire trough layering. This is a process through which a new individual plant is formed from a branch or stem that has rooted into the ground.
- Judas Tree: 500 Seedlings.
Preceding the yearly leaf development, this small deciduous tree boasts spectacular spring flowering. The Judas tree can be sporadically found in the region and can be naturally regenerated after a fire through layering.
- Cypress evergreen: 100 Seedlings.
The Cypress evergreen tree is a distinct trait of Mediterranean landscape. Long-lived and relatively resistant to forest fires, this tree can be also naturally regenerated after fires, as long as mature trees have survived nearby. The Cypress evergreen is not, however, particularly widespread in the area.
- Honeyberry tree (Celtis Australis): 100 seedlings.
A deciduous tree that is resistant to drained soil, the Honeyberry tree sporadically grows in the greater region. The tree can be regenerated through layering after a fire.
- Bay Laurel: 100 Seedlings.
The small Bay Laurel is an evergreen tree growing in the broader region that, after a fire, can also be regenerated naturally through layering.
- Oleander: 100 Seedlings
Evergreen shrub, with impressive summer flowering in a variety of colors, including white, pink and red, the Oleander can be regenerated by layering, after a fire.
- Smoke tree (Cotinus coggygria): 100 Seedlings
The Smoke tree is a deciduous shrub with impressive flowering and equally spectacular golden fall leaves. The process of layering can be used to regenerate the species after a fire.
An appropriate combined planting of the aforementioned species, in small groups and in accordance with the basic aesthetic features of the landscape (i.e. contrast, succession, axis, convergence, coexistence, framing, balance), will result in harmonious settings. The planting was carried out with the help of volunteers from the “Friends of Green” Association and Schools in the region. All the participants were presented with the basic planting rules: (a) vertical seedling placement, (b) good quality soil coverage around the roots, (c) filling of pits with soil, (d) the exercise of pressure on the soil (e) and the , construction of pits to facilitate watering during dry periods, etc. During the first two years, the planted seedlings will require watering, tending and weeding. The study for the tree-planting in “Metohiko” or “Metohaki”, Kassandra, Chalkidiki, was prepared by Dr. Theoharis Zagas, Forestry Expert and Associate Professor at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki (AUTH).