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Is there anywhere in the USA that would greatly benefit from a forest-planting project?  RSS feed

 
William Jack
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In particular, I was thinking of using Grow Boxes to help plant them in the desert. http://www.groasis.com/en

Goal: capture carbon, provide more biomass to areas lacking it, inject some homes for creatures what might want them, slow the rate of climate change.

I'm based out of Boston, and, honestly, there's nowhere near me to plant trees anyway, but I just wonder if this is something of a manpower issue that I could help solve.
 
Tracy Kuykendall
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Not to be a smart---, ok yea I'm being a smart---! If you've never been from Odessa, Tx. to Tombstone Az. just pick a spot anywhere between those two points and you've found a good spot.
 
William Jack
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Texas? No, I said *inside* the USA.

Okay, so I know there's plenty of desert there, but is it a good candidate for foresting? Are there native trees that can survive there if just given a boost? Will they find water if they send their taproot down far enough?
 
Tracy Kuykendall
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There quite a few actually, we have native mesquite which is a legume and also proces an edible seed pod, hackberry, and our native pecans do well with a little stablishment help. Jujube (variety unknown) and fruiting mulberry have established themselves and gone feral in limited areas. Depending on area you can find usable water from as shallow as 100' sometimes less in watershed drainages.
 
Jennifer Richardson
Posts: 176
Location: Columbus, Texas, USA (Colorado County). Zone 8b, verging on Zone 9. Humid subtropical, drought prone
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Just wanted to note that we have a native red mulberry (Morus rubra) in TX that will grow quite weedily, in addition to the white mulberry which has naturalized throughout the state. Our native mesquite is the honey mesquite, and loves deserts.

Here's a link to my personal Google doc of useful (usually edible) natives in Texas, several of which are from drier parts of the state.

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1ACVDAL7mY2-HFn1HPqlO-Dmn7m1YtJ0mRL2dmAJmU-o/edit?usp=sharing
 
Jennifer Richardson
Posts: 176
Location: Columbus, Texas, USA (Colorado County). Zone 8b, verging on Zone 9. Humid subtropical, drought prone
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The Texas live oak, Quercus fusiformis, is an evergreen oak which favors dry conditions (as opposed to the Southern live oak, Q. virginiana, also found all over Texas, which likes moister conditions). Most people I know in Texas don't distinguish between them, just calling them all "live oaks" (as do I), but the Q. fusiformus would probably be your best bet for a desert live oak (at least to my knowledge). For deciduous oaks, the Graves oak (Q. gravesii) is native to the mountains around Big Bend in West Texas, so might be suited for desert conditions. Mexican blue oak (Q. oblongifolia) is another one from the West TX mountains--small, almost a shrub, common to mesas and canyons. And bur oak (Q. macrocarpa) is quite drought tolerant too, I think.
 
Tracy Kuykendall
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Wow! Jennifer that's quite list, I learn something everyday (if I hear /read it enough). I didn't know red mulberry was a native, I'm going to refer to your list on my future habitat enhancement projects, thanks!
 
Jennifer Richardson
Posts: 176
Location: Columbus, Texas, USA (Colorado County). Zone 8b, verging on Zone 9. Humid subtropical, drought prone
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You're welcome, Tracy! I've lived in Texas all my life, and I had no idea we had so many edible natives until recently. Talking to my dad and other older people around here, it seems that a lot of the edible fruit trees used to grow wild here, but have become less and less common, I guess maybe from spraying and shredding of pastures. A lot of people preserve the big trees like oak and pecan as shade for cattle or just for aesthetics, but the crabapples and wild plum and mulberries and other smaller fruit trees seem to have been mostly wiped out where I am, although you can still find them in thickets and along creeks sometimes.
 
Jennifer Richardson
Posts: 176
Location: Columbus, Texas, USA (Colorado County). Zone 8b, verging on Zone 9. Humid subtropical, drought prone
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Oh, another bonus for the honey mesquite--in addition to being edible and adapted to the desert, it's been found to fix nitrogen. Hurrah for honey mesquite!
 
Neal Spackman
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Location: Makkah, Saudi Arabia
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There's work underway to get a massive afforestation project on the navajo reservations in the 4 corners region. They're averaging 8 inches of rain a year.
 
James Everett
Posts: 94
Location: Gaines County, Texas South of Seminole, Tx zone 7b
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dog greening the desert trees
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I live up in Gaines county north of Odessa about an hour and have 30 acres of which a portion of it is down in the Seminole Draw here that I want to help transform and green up. I just got out of the military and getting home to start working on it last here I had bought 100 lbs of clover and rye grass mixes and each time rain comes in I have been throwing in seed in the bare spots to get it cover grasses to fill in the bare spots for now due to not having the equipment to move any earth yet. Here is a link to my Face book of some recent pictures I took of different points.

My 30 acres.

My plans in the long run is a nice Pond to fish in with several smaller Swells and habitat plots for wildlife to strive.
 
Dillon Nichols
pollinator
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Location: Victoria BC
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If anyone hasn't seen it, this geoff lawton video is an amazing example of the impact of swaling in the Arizona desert.

http://www.geofflawton.com/fe/73485-an-oasis-in-the-american-desert?r=y
 
gary reif
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Is there a way to download the videos? I would love watch them while on flights ... travel too much for work
 
James Everett
Posts: 94
Location: Gaines County, Texas South of Seminole, Tx zone 7b
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dog greening the desert trees
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William Jack wrote:Texas? No, I said *inside* the USA.

Okay, so I know there's plenty of desert there, but is it a good candidate for foresting? Are there native trees that can survive there if just given a boost? Will they find water if they send their taproot down far enough?


just to answer your question about surviving as far as I know for at least 20 year on my land that I one here with no irrigation here are some of the trees that on on it.
 photo IMAG0255_zps8ld4ik5o.jpg/></a> photo IMAG0236_zpssotwow8r.jpg/></a>
the top picture is growing up out of the draw and the bottom is down in the draw where waters came from as far as New Mexico during the spring and Snow melt. Also the top picture is growing in soils/rock like below.
 photo received_10206071258713967_zpsszpcsdo9.jpeg/></a>
Other then that in my time off from work just slowly adding more organic life as I can. though wouldn't mind help from others wanting to help recharge a watershed.
 
Cristo Balete
Posts: 428
Location: In the woods, West Coast USA
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I'm not sure where the notion came from that a desert is a bad thing, or it's a waste of space, or that a desert is "dead." It very much alive. It is the only place for everything that survives in it. There are national parks in deserts trying to save the plants that grow there from livestock trampling. Getting rid of deserts would change the planet, and not in a good way.

Some deserts heat up the air and create the right conditions to cause rain in the zone next to them which grow huge forests. If those types of deserts were eliminated, those forests would disappear.

Our whole planet is an ecosystem, and it lives and breathes in ways that are much bigger than we are. Isn't the whole fundamental principle of Permaculture to see how Nature does it, and do it that way? Nature has deserts and forests living side by side. They are getting something from each other. They function together as an ecosystem, along with mountain ranges and certain distances from the ocean.

But that said, trying to live on the edge of one of these deserts wouldn't cause that much of a problem. There are three types of deserts, subtropical, cold winter and cool coastal. Trying to plant out our own little territory requires our knowing what kind of desert we are dealing with, and what kind of geology exists there, namely salt deposits, especially if it used to be underwater.
 
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