16 Mar 2021 Uncategorized 4437 times

Jacaranda…the green choice.


In any business, it is important to put some thought behind why we do what we do, so that if necessary, we change our ways to make this world a better place for us and for the generations to come. At Pplus, we are quite aware of the of the harmful effects of senseless tree-cutting and were very deliberate in choosing a raw material that that can only regenerate by our pruning, making it very eco-friendly.

The Jacaranda tree (or Jacaranda mimosifolia as it is scientifically known) is Pplus’ main raw material.

Unknown to many, the Jacaranda tree sprouts again when pruned or cut.  For every branch cut, an average of four new twigs spring up.  This means that the more it is pruned, the more it is propagated. How I wish all trees were like this! It also grows relatively fast, and in 7 years after planting it is ready for harvesting. Harvesting can be done after every 5 years for healthy and huge trees. At Pplus, we harvest trees in rotation, ensuring a continuous supply of raw material as well as re-growth.

Jacaranda is a softwood and this makes is easy to manipulate and work with, and causes less wear and tear on machines. The fact that the tree in itself had no commercial value was one of the motivations of our choosing it. It has no value for timber or charcoal and is readily available and cheap to purchase. However, we do not downplay its importance in the environment in releasing oxygen, providing shade and ecological balance, and that is why at Pplus, our practices are geared towards propagating and preserving the species.

We source our wood is from farmers around our village, and it was delightful for the community to start earning from an unlikely source, hence encouraging them to plant more and to preserve and propagate the Jacaranda tree as it is now earning them an income. Jacaranda is the ideal tree for our type of work as it has a soft quality that causes it not to crack, nor does the bark peel off, hence reducing wastage when drying. This, coupled with the fact that it does not have a resinous sap that clogs sandpaper makes it a perfect raw material to work with.

The Jacaranda was introduced to Kenya by the British as an ornamental tree and at Pplus, we are pleased to not only put in place practices that safeguard it but also creative employment through it, and provide a source of income to the members of the community that we source from.