The unsung heroes: Why we love shade trees

Sep 11, 2022 | written by:

We plant all our trees exclusively in agroforestry systems. The goal is to cultivate a combination of trees, shrubs and seasonal crops that positively interact with each other. What sounds difficult in theory is actually quite simple: each tree has a task. 

Agroforestry only works if we combine the right species and plant them for the right purpose. 

The basis of our projects are often trees that give fruit and provide economic security to the local communities. But these trees need one thing in addition to good care and rich soil: shade. 

This is where the shade trees come in. 

(A typical interaction from one of our projects - here grevillea and maize grow side by side). 


As you can see here, large trees with dense and rich foliage are planted between smaller, less robust species (often "productive'' trees). This is because many of our classics, such as cocoa or coffee, can’t thrive under too much sunlight. 

We want to celebrate shade trees – they are the ones that work hard so that other species can flourish. They also store a lot of CO2 because of their size, helping to fight climate change.

Our top 3 shade trees right now

Jacaranda: There is no better place for a picnic than in the shade of the beautiful blue-purple flowers of the Jacaranda. 

Leucaena: The beautiful Leucaena is one of our favorite shade trees as it is used to protect cocoa, coffee and tea from the sun.

Banana: The broad, sturdy leaves of the banana tree provide a cool place for other plants to grow. 

Shade trees protect other plants, we humans and the wildlife that live in their shade. Do you think they deserve a little more love? 

Then check out our new tree pack now.

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