WE GROW THE TREES
Each spring new seedlings are propagated at Hacienda La Cruz. Pine
cones are collected from the overwintering areas and dried. Seeds
are extracted from the cones and sown into sprouting beds. After
the seeds sprout, they are transplanted into small plastic containers
and nurtured for twelve to fifteen months. The trees are strong
and healthy because they are planted where they are exposed to the
elements, yet protected by taller trees sown a few years earlier.
In order to prepare 300,000 seedlings, we sow 400,000 and allow
the hardiest to survive and thrive. When the seedlings have reached
12 to 15 inches in height, they are ready to be transported to the
Monarch Overwintering Sites, a distance of 150 miles from the nursery
at Santa Clara de Cobre. Planting is done by the recipients of the
trees. The whole process from raising to planting the seedlings
takes about fifteen months.
This cost for the propagation, transportation, and planting of each
seedling remains only $.50. This includes the gathering of the pine
cones, preparing the seed, planting and transplanting, care of the
seedlings for 12 to 15 months, and transportation to the planting
sites. We have been able to maintain this low cost by keeping our
administration costs to a minimum and by the support and labor of
the local people.