Pine trees and other conifers, under 1,000 meters elevation, are projected to die from disease or fire soon.
In the meantime, here in Greece, the experts, who planted only pine trees the last 70 years, recommend, that after the fires, we should either:
1. Do nothing, and hope the pine forests recover, or
2. Plant millions, of ....you guessed it ...pine trees.
At the moment the future of the homosapiens is not very bright...
But, we hope for the best; nature recovers amazingly quickly if left alone and helped a bit in the right direction.
Another season for planting seeds and trees is approaching here...hoping for good weather and favorable conditions over the next spring and summer.
The case of Japan's tragic reforestation mistake After WWII, Japan cut down half of its ancient broadleaf forests and replaced them with Japanese cypress and cedar trees to provide for its construction and industrial needs.
They wanted to make the land "useful" and "productive" - they deemed the beech, oak and maple trees and all the other creatures that lived there as "useless" and not "productive".
More than 15 million acres of broadleaf trees were cut.
44 percent of forest cover was replaced with cypress and cedar trees.
A once healthy forest that cleaned the water and air and provided abundant food for animals like bears and deer, now became a source of pollution.
-the soil became acidic,
-no understory or plant life,
-life in the water streams was killed,
-food for the bears, deer etc was eliminated,
-so were these animals,
-cypress and cedar trees have shallow roots and don't transfer water well to the subsoil.
In a sense, a green, toxic desert was created.
75 years, later, the cedar trees have matured, and produce an abundance of cedar pollen. In Tokyo the pollen at its peak is so thick, it looks like fog, or fire smoke coming towards the city.
One in ten Japanese suffer from allergies, resulting in lost productivity and sick days.
The Japanese have started to plant broadleaf trees and are examining ways to restore their ancient forests. It will take time. The bear population is making a comeback.
The October rains came and fully soaked the ground.
As mentioned previously, many of the oak trees we planted turned brown over the summer.
The summer was a "difficult" one, so its not surprising.
Our experience, planting oak trees is limited, so I am trying to understand how they behave and react to severe conditions.
As can be seen in the video, I dug down around evergreen and deciduous oaks to see the condition of the acorns and the root system.
I suspect, the acorns, provide nutrition and moisture for the young trees to survive the 1st year. The young trees essentially feed and drink from the acorns. When the summer is over some of these acorns are close to disappearing.
Foe the young oak trees that did not survive the summer, the acorns have turned to dust...they had nothing more to give.
I am optimistic that most of the young oak trees have survived...this coming spring will verify this.
Considering how important this tree is, even 1 tree can have a significant impact for the next 1,000 years.
A forest fire burned a small part of the pine forest we have nearby.
The heavy fall rains have washed away part of the topsoil and probably some of the seeds.
We scattered some seeds that we know sprout easily when scattered on the surface. They include arugula, Mediterranean hartwort, vetch, alfalfa and others.
There are many questions about the condition that the fire has created...how toxic is the soil now? will the seeds we scattered grow and improve and hold the soil? will the oaks and almonds grow in this area?
If the seeds we scattered do well, we should consider using this in a wider area to help protect the soil after fires.
First of all thank you all for the valuable inputs, I have been reading parts of the thread now and then. I like the idea of playing around with seeds clay balls or cubes, although never tried it myself.
I am based in Portugal and in the mountains' barren lands (commonly owned) there is not variety of species (pine, brooms and not much else). I have access to very very cheap seeds from the public forestry institute and I am thinking about reuniting a bunch of volunteers, make a lot of seed balls and drop them on our way down after a hike to the mountain top. I am thinking of some 30 species of bushes and trees that are native to the country and compatible with the climate. I am looking for your inputs on the following:
- Best method for batch production of seedballs (I would say 10000 seeds) - links are welcome. Please note the nature of the project, this is not for vegetable or wild flower mixes.
- One seed per ball or many?
- Best way to spread seeds? i.e. choose a small area vs spread them as much as possible? Or put in another way, how many seeds per square meter?
- Any tips on micrositing? i.e. just throw them around, or is there something we can do to increase germination chances?
- Mix species as much as possible, or not?
- I was thinking of starting next to the top of the mountain so eventually if some succeed, seeds would come down each year. But there are so fewer trees and bushes as we approach the top of the mountain: do you think this increases chances of germination because they will lack competiton, or probably this means conditions are harsh and it will likely not work for the seeds?
This process is intriguing to me as for small-medium acreage (Hypothetically 20ish acres near Grand Junction, CO) it could be a good and inexpensive project that may be able to have good long term returns for developing a micro-climate, or at least adding some wind break and shade.
Most of the references in the thread seem to be in warmer climate zones. I am interested in what would be possible for zone 5b for desert species. There are lots of pinyon pines and brush nearby, but other than that I am unfamiliar with trees that would natively grow (although grand junction is known for peaches and wine).
I don't know the first thing about permaculture, but am interested in getting started on projects that take a long time to establish, so that in 20+ years I will be able to see some effect. It would be great to be able to get a few trees going in the background while I experiment more with establishing a more intentional area of solid and food production.
Are there any companion plants that would help this process along?
Update Reforestation at a difficult site Oct 22 21 update plant wild pear seeds
Checking today this site, I was pleasantly surprised to see that many of the young trees are apparently alive.
It looks like we have many oak trees that made it through this tough summer, and many of the almond/apricots.
Spring will tell us for sure, but the young tree trunks are flexible-they don't break when bending them, and they have strong root systems - they don't become loose when pulling them.
while there I collected 10 wild pears and buried whole...the soil is soft from all the rains we are having and i dug a small hole with my foot.
The wild pear tree is small one, growing at the site. If 5 trees grow from this...its a perfect example of doing minimal work and getting great returns...a minutes worth of work and we get 5 trees thst czn live to 100 years old or more.