Free native plants workshop this Saturday

University of Guam Extension Agent Joseph Tuquero demonstrates for a class the proper way to trim a tree to ensure continued vibrant growth. Tuquero will lead a workshop on native plants this Saturday. (Photo courtesy of University of Guam)

Guam residents interested in knowing more about Guam’s native plants will have an opportunity this Saturday in the second part of a series of free native plant workshops being offered by Cooperative Extension & Outreach at the University of Guam and the Guam Department of Agriculture’s Forestry Division.

This workshop will focus specifically on the ifit (Intsia bijuga), dukduk (Artocarpus mariannensis), and sophora (Sophora tomentosa) trees. Participants will learn the plants’ common and scientific names, how to identify and propagate them, and their common uses from Joseph Tuquero, an extension agent and instructor at UOG, and Justin Santos, a forester with the Guam Department of Agriculture.

Native plants are important to the ecosystems of Guam as food sources and wildlife habitats. They also help reduce runoff that contaminates reefs, improve water quality in rivers and aquifers, and influence soil in ways non-native plants cannot. Guam’s native plants are being researched in regard to their medicinal properties, food production, and environmental enhancement as well as for cultural resources. In some cases, native Guam plants are not found anywhere else in the world.

The workshop will be held from 9 a.m. to noon this Saturday, Feb. 8, at the Guam Department of Agriculture in Mangilao. Registration is necessary, as the workshop is limited to 30 people. To register, call 735-2080 or 735-2021.