Konstantinos Karoubas

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since Mar 20, 2012
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Recent posts by Konstantinos Karoubas

Hello Everyone...

Hope all is well...

Here is an update on this on going effort to plant trees...

In October and November 15,000 plus seeds were placed in the ground, at different locations, and now I am patiently waiting for the results and hoping for the best...

In this effort, there are so many variables, and so many obstacles to overcome, that it amazes me that any seeds survive at all !!! 

Here is a picture of a young almond tree...they are the 1st ones out of the ground, and its a delight to see them...
The almonds are great...very reliable, very strong...problem is many of them are eaten by a critters when placed in the ground  (foxes, dogs, mice...who knows)

The 2nd tree off the ground is the plum...don't know yet survival rates for the different areas...its a feisty tree, that  produces large quantities of fruit in areas that are suited for it (where it likes to grow !!!  ......no sh....t)

The 3rd picture is of the honey locust (Gleditsia triacanthos) .... this is the 1st time I try them...In the picture at the front....a frost killed the four that emerged early...
The seeds of gleditsia were scarified using hot water...water was heated close to boiling point, taken of the heat for 5 seconds then the seeds were thrown in...the seeds were left in the water overnight...the ones that became soft and increased in size were put aside (they were ready)...the ones that did not become soft were placed in hot water again...the process was repeated until most of the seeds were scarred...

It looks like it worked...will see if it survives the summer heat...Gleditsia triacanthos is a powerful tree, that can aid in restoring the land...and wildlife (including human)

I will keep you posted, when I can...

Thank You


3 days ago
You are right Steve.

Thank You very much
3 months ago
Found it growing on the island of Ikaria Greece ...grows even on stony hills...not eaten by goats...has strong root system and can sustain high winds....

If any one knows it and its uses


3 months ago
Hello Everyone...

I would like to share an interesting article on the forests of Iceland


1000 years ago all the trees were cut down...the land has become a desert, even though they get plenty of rain...the article explains the difficulties they have establishing new forests.

A lesson for all of us, on how important it is to protect what we have.

4 months ago
Hello everyone,

I apologize for the delay in responding...been away from my home base for a while...

Phil, no question about...trees grown from seed, are the best !!! in any case, we have no choice...if we are to plant billions of trees...we got to use seeds...Oaks are magnificent trees, adapted to many environments...one variety, Quercus ilex, I found it growing on the island of Ikaria, is adapted to dry conditions and rocky slopes...an amazing tree...its going to help us restore even areas that have no soil on them...bare rock!!!

Hello Adrian...the carob trees growing in the middle of your fields...were they buried because the fields were plowed, or did they just fall on the ground and covered by weeds ?
my experiment with carob seeds and the goat, produced 2 trees....I fed a goat that a friend owns, a bunch of carobs (maybe it had 250 seeds---just guessing) - we collected the manure for a few days...I shifted through the manure, and found 8 seeds that went through the goats stomach and were not digested...the seeds had tripled in size and were soft...I buried them in trench, I think in January...they all sprouted in the spring and at the end of the summer, 2 survived---someone may say...2 out 250 is very poor....but each carob tree is a victory for me, grown this way, it will become a very strong  and long lasting tree (see photo below)...we have a long way to go with carob seeds...we need to find a way to scar them, them place them in clay cubes for planting.

The weather was also difficult this year--hot summer like conditions in early spring, then rains in early summer, then very hot in the summer...most of the seeds I placed in October and November did not survive...failure is part of the process...

Doug, thanks for the update....good points on the nitrogen fixers...the mulberry trees are amazing...yes...you must bury the almonds apricots etc...try also planting apple seeds without watering...you may be surprised....plums seeds should also do very well...just buried in the ground around October or November (see our discussions here for other seeds also...they all should do well in Sacramento...keep us posted

Since I have been back, I made some clay cubes...for this year's seeding project...I am hoping the the size and mix will work out well this year and produce trees...If they work well, next year, I may use a drone to drop some clay cubes, on bare mountain tops in the hope of planting trees there, so they can disperse their seeds all around them in the years to come.

I am also very pleased that essentially we have an area that is reforested...an edible food forest has been created near the village of Petralona, Halkidiki...its about 3,000 square meters (3/4 of an acre) see

In the comments section of the video, there is a small discussion, about how the project was handled, with regards to the local elected officials, and the grazing herds that move nearby...this part has also been successful...I am grateful to the people that own the 550 goats and sheep that go by every day...not a single animal has gone on the land...the neighbors, have also adopted the trees...they understand that their children and grandchildren will enjoy the trees and fruits in the near future. After many years of failures, this victory is sweet !!!

I am hoping that the other pieces of land, I am reforesting, will also do well...given time, effort, and ab bit of cooperation from the weather...


6 months ago
Video Updates on seeding Projects

Almond trees by Roadside near Thessaloniki
A short video …poor sound quality due to traffic…trees planted in October 2012 (I think), have grown to be 50 cm to 1 meter high…trees were planted every 1 to 2 meters…each year for 3 to 4 years I visited the site and planted additional almonds where the trees from the previous years had died. For about 1 kilometer, on each side of the road, trees have been planted, they have survived the long summers and are healthy and strong. In a few years, in the spring the public will be treated to almond trees blooming…there must be 1000 to 1500 trees, if not more !!!


10 months ago
Some important lessons learned (or re learned this Year)

***Seeds should be placed in the ground in October or November…the weather is unpredictable, and seeds placed in the ground in early January this year, did not germinate…not enough cold and wet days.

***Small clay cubes (3 cm or less) did not sprout at all…they survived the rainstorms intact, but the seeds inside them failed to sprout. Rains followed by warm weather or wind dried the clay cubes…5 or 6 cm (2 to 2.5 inch) is more appropriate… we had success with this sizes before on a small scale…we will make more of them this year, and see how they do. When plums or other seeds in the ground germinate, and next to them the same seeds in clay, do not, there is something wrong with the recipe for the clay cubes, that needs correcting.

*** There is nothing that can be done about the ever changing weather…it’s the end of April, and the high winds and lack of rain have dried out the soil, consequently trees that sprouted this year, are showing signs of stress already…if May comes and goes with little or no rain, we can expect most of these young trees to perish…we need to accept this fact of life and keep trying again and again until the desired forests/food forests are established…PERSISTENCE is the key word, and optimism that it will get done.

***The carob seeds that were fed to a goat, sprouted…some of them !!! we fed a friends goat with carobs…she digested most of them, but we collected about 10, that were soft and doubled in size…they buried in the ground, and they all sprouted…this is a start, on the road to using this magnificent trees for reforestation purposes.

***The wild olives we collected, were placed in the ground late…so they did not germinate…will try again this year, and hopefully we will have good results…I collected about a kilo of them, so I will also be putting them in clay cubes.

***The are four pieces of land near Thessaloniki and two pieces of land 1/2 hour South of Thessaloniki, that I decided to concentrate to reforest. A piece of land in Crete that a friend owns will also be seeded.  Here is a brief update/description on each. I have not visited the seeding area, around Sparta, so I cannot provide updates.

Crete: We seeded in mid January, about 1000 to 1500 square meter parcel of land…the land has already olive trees, spaced far apart, but the owner is excited about creating a food forest. It was a mistake to place seeds in the ground that late, we will revisit the area in October or November this Year and try again…Crete is much more difficult than Thessaloniki

Some general comments…there are wild pigs in the area, and some stray dogs…they are digging up the soil and causing some damage..It's important to note that we do not have a problem here with the "pest" digging up and eating the almond seeds like we have in the Petra seeding areas (1/2 hour South of Thessaloniki). The wild rabbits in the area, in the past have been eating the young trees, but it appears the trees re grow and survive the rabbits.

EK-1  Approximately 250 square meters…the soil appears to be rich, and all round there are pine trees, so the land is protected somewhat from the scorching sun. Last year we had placed around 10 almonds seeds here, and they sprouted. This year, we seeded 500 almonds, 300 apricots, 500 plums, 100 crataegus 125 apples, and "some" wild pears…will provide a video of the area soon…there are signs of distress on the young trees due to the lack of rain.

EK-2 Approximately 2000 square meters…the soil appears to be rich..the area was burned about 20 years ago. The new trees are growing fast, some almonds have reached 15 to 20 cm height…some are showing signs of stress due the rain situation. This is the 1st time we seed in this area…it looks like an ideal place for a food forest…I hope we succeed. This year, we seeded 500 almonds, 700 apricots, 500 plums, 400 crataegus 250 apples, and "some" wild pears.

TR-1 Approximately 1500 square meters…the land is partially covered by pines (about 60%), and has steep south facing slope…the land has a thin layer of rich soil, and it appears the subsoil is clay. We have placed seeds in the ground in the last 2 - 3 years, and many trees have survived and are growing. This year, we seeded 1000 almonds, ? apricots, 250 plums, 400 crataegus 250 apples, and "some" wild pears. It will be interesting to see how these trees will do next to the pine trees…this may guide us towards reforesting pine forests that get damaged by insect infestation or are burned.

MK-1 Approximately 5,000 to 6,000 square meters…this is a good size piece of land, with decent soil, and south facing slope, the top is partially covered by pine trees. Most of the area was burned 20 years ago. We placed some seeds in the ground in the last 3 years, so we have some trees growing…now we will try to place many more, so we will develop a dense forest. This year, we seeded 1000 almonds, 1000 apricots, 1500 plums, 750 crataegus 500 apples, and "some" wild pears.

We also have 2 areas, that we concentrate on, in the Petra area (about 1/2 hour south of Thessaloniki)…will provide info on this soon.

10 months ago
Thank You Thekla...bread baking is going to be challenge...but I am sure we will find a way...any help will be appreciated.

10 months ago
Thanks Jason...will look into it

10 months ago