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Advice on regenerating tropical woodland

 
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Hello, I'm involved in a new project in north Vietnam.  I'm part of a group which has bought around 2 hectares of land to start a lay Buddhist community. A very important aim is to try and regenerate our natural environment.

Most of the land is steep hillsides which were planted with fast-growing commercial timber two years ago. The trees are closely spaced. There is little undergrowth and the soil is loose, especially on the steeper slopes. We would like to plant mixed species under the timber until it is ready to cut in 5 years' time. Our aims are: to increase biodiversity and beauty; to stabilise the soil; and to produce medicinal herbs for processing and sale.

Can anyone give us some advice about what species to use? The climate is 4-season wet tropical, with winter frost in some years.

We have a lot of other projects we need help with, but this is one of the bigger and more urgent ones.

 
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This short video could be a good place to start:



Could you possibly arrange to visit this place and learn more about the native and useful plants?
 
Michael Heyman
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That is quite astonishing, thank you! It didn't give an exact location but I will try and contact the YouTube poster to find out. I had no idea these technologies had ever existed in Vietnam. I fear they are now quite rare. The people in our village are completely indoctrinated into chemical monoculture. Unfortunately, they are currently advising the few people working on our project (I'm in town earning money to feed them) so I need some specific information as soon as possible and this looks like an excellent place to start.
 
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There is a guy named Pete Kanaris in Florida that has some great videos on tropical permaculture that might give you some ideas.

Green Dreams Youtubes here.
 
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