State telecom company also happens to be in the tree business

The Instituto Costarricense de Electricidad, the government-owned telecommunications and electricity provider, offers residents an opportunity to get native tree species for reforestation and plantation purposes.

An application is necessary to obtain the trees along with a valid cédula, the reason for the request and proof of land ownership.

The application process is from January to December so new requests will be accepted in a few days. If the application is approved, a second visit to pick up trees at the proper planting time will be necessary.

Each new year brings an opportunity to receive new trees, according to the firm known as ICE. There is no limit on the amount of trees that can be requested as long as the land can support the same amount of trees at their full growth potential. There is no guarantee that all applications will be approved. The earliest requests will be handled first, the company says.

ICE has viveros or nurseries in four different provinces in which applications can be made in person. The viveros are in Cachi in Cartago, Freehold in Siquirres, Limon, La Garita in Alajuela and Tronadora in Guanacaste. No appointment is necessary.

ICE’s vivero program is all inclusive from the seed collection, germination and transplanting to potting bags.

Most tree species are available including native tropical hardwoods such as manu negro and gavilan and plantation favorites, pine and cypress. The availability of the saplings is species dependent.

The final document is a promise to plant, not sell, all the saplings that are being taken.

ICE said that in 2011 the company delivered more than two million trees of different native species.

The program began 40 years ago, and now is part of the country’s campaign for carbon neutrality by 2021.

From 2007 to 2011, the company itself reforested 262 hectares (647 acres) with an annual goal of 50 hectares (123 acres).

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