IITA School plants tree to commemorate 40th anniversary

Celebrations to mark the 40th anniversary of the IITA International School on 27 April 2012 began with planting an iroko tree.  Every child participated by putting soil into the planting hole and singing happy birthday to their school.  The iroko tree was donated by the Forest Project, represented at the event by Deni Bown, Coordinator, and Kunle Olusapo, Nursery Manager.  Kunle spoke to the children and school staff about how the young tree was grown from seed collected by the Forest Project from IITA’s magnificent irokos and how important the iroko tree is in Yoruba culture.  The iroko (Milicia excelsa) is one of the Forest Project’s “flagship species” as IITA is the last stronghold of this magnificent tree, which elsewhere has mostly been felled for its valuable timber.

IITA School plants iroko


African whitewood (Triplochiton scleroxylon)

The African whitewood (Triplochiton scleroxylon), known as arere in Yoruba and obeche in Bini, is a large fast-growing tree, reaching 65 m (213 ft), usually with a straight trunk and buttresses up to about 8 m (26 ft) high. It belongs to the family Sterculiaceae and is common in semi-deciduous rainforests from Sierra Leone to Gabon and Congo, including secondary forests where it may fill gaps as a pioneer species.

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