18 CEPLAS young researchers were visiting guests in the headquarters of the company WeGrow GmbH in Tönisvorst on October 16, 2017. WeGrow develops and implements Kiri cultivation projects for sustainable timber production. The Kiri tree is considered to be the strongest growing tree of the world that can grow 5 meters in a year under ideal growth conditions. The founder and technical manager of WeGrow, Mr. Peter Diessenbacher, personally welcomed the visiting CEPLAS young scientists. He was enthusiastic and open while telling about the founding history of WeGrow that arose in year 2009 as a spin-off company from a research project at the University of Bonn. In an active exchange with Mr. Diessenbacher the CEPLAS visitors received first-hand information about the Kiri cultivation, the application of Kiri timber as well as the experience and challenges of a company foundation. On a tour through the company the CEPLAS scientists visited the WeGrow laboratories, green houses and the Kiri plantation and had the opportunity to see Kiri plants in different growing phases, as fragile plants growing on medium in plastic dishes or as trees on plantations in nature. At the end of the visit everyone got a souvenir Kiri plant in a test tube.
We thank WeGrow for the warm welcome and the interesting insights in the world of Kiri tree production as well as the history of WeGrow’s foundation.