Young Living, through its philanthropic organization The D. Gary Young, Young Living Foundation, planted nearly 700 palo santo trees during a recent service trip to Loja, Ecuador. The seeds for the trees were purchased from the Diaz family, who are also one of Young Living’s sources for palo santo, and germinated at Young Living’s Finca Botanica Farm and Distillery.
“We take land preservation and reforestation very seriously at Young Living, and we have conservation projects across the globe,” said Chris Packer, Young Living Senior Director of Farm Labs and New Botanicals. “The Finca Botanica Farm and Distillery team members, along with the Diaz family, go above and beyond to ensure the proper methods are used to increase the palo santo population such as testing soil composition and nutrition, innovating regenerative agricultural approaches, and documenting the health and quality of our plants. We are impressed by the team’s dedication to sustainability.”
These trees are expected to grow for approximately 50 to 60 years, and upon their natural demise, will remain untouched for another three to five years. After this period of waiting, the Diaz family plans to sustainably harvest the wood that has fallen from the tree, and it will be steam distilled to create Palo Santo essential oil.
“By introducing these younger trees to the land, we’re protecting the future of the forest,” Packer said. “Palo santo seeds are known for being difficult to germinate. But in a healthy forest, such as the one the Diaz family farm sits on, the trees enjoy the help of the local birds who eat and disperse the seeds, which assists in germinating naturally.”