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Test growing trees outside original location?

 
Tomas Jefferson
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If you were interested in farming of a new species outside of its origin country what would you do to confirm compatibility of grow locations?

Assumptions:
1: The species has never been farmed and no scientific documentation on its likes and or dislikes exists.
2: Fully legal export and import procedures from origin & destination countries are in place.
3: You have access to the jungles where this species grows in abundance.

I’m specifically interested to hear what types of testing (soil, water, etc) you would focus on at the natural origin of the trees, and what types of testing you would do while locating suitable donor land to farm the trees on in another country.

Any suggestions you can provide are greatly appreciated.
 
Landon Sunrich
pollinator
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Location: Western Washington
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That is an excellent question even though I don't know where to begin (?)

Probably with the legal documents. I would presume the federal and state governments of the United States and other nations have rules regarding the importation of many species. I would imagine having spent some time on the ground repeatedly during several seasons at your desired host location would probably be another which would help you determine if the location is compatible.

Someone here must have most experience than me in this particular regard.

 
Tomas Jefferson
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Thanks Landon,

The legal aspects are fairly black and white and reasonable to comply with. Not much art or science required with the documentation side of things.

The soil side is where I remain stuck. The science & art (or magic) of farming remains daunting for me. I need to learn, but am not sure where to start.

Appreciate your reply!
 
Landon Sunrich
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Thomas,

Soil isn't actually magic. But for all practical purpasses it is.

A few simple things you can do to start coming to terms with dirt.

1) Dig it! Go get a trowel or digging knife and scope some up! I cant explain it - but get a good tactile sense of it. use your nose. use your eyes. You can probably rock out on headphones and not miss to much about what goes on underground...

There are three main components in soil other than Organic Matter (OM). Sand, silt, and Clay. They fall into a pretty triangle.

http://www.oneplan.org/Water/soil-triangle.asp

Get it wet. Make some balls. Play with it. Stretch it out. When you first break it open look and see how many 'aggregates' there are. Little balls of soils. Chunkyness.

2) Put a scope of soil into a couple cups of water (like a mason jar) shake it up and let it settle. This will stratify your soil and let you see whats what. I leave in roots - that's organic matter just waiting to integrate into your soil.

3) Do a field capacity test. All you need is a watch, a shovel, some water, and a sheet of plastic wrap. Dig a whole. saturate your soil. Put in the plasic wrap. fill hole. start watch. remove plastic. Wait to drain.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Field_capacity

4) there are instruments out their called 'penetrometers' (insert joke here) used to measure compaction. It will give you a pretty number. If you're cheep just use a piece of rebar and get all subjective with it.

So there's a few things you should be able to walk out of your door and door at you're leisure
 
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