- December 15, 2007 at 8:15 pm #39322
One thing a lot of people might not realize is that seedlings you find in the forest are often superior to those from seed. We raise 10s of thousands of trees a year (this year planted more than 24,000 and produced more than 40,000).
The reason is that natural selection has already occurred. You get the strongest and you can hand select for good form.
If you are managing your forest, take along a small spade and a bag and if you find a seeding in an area that it won’t grow, transplant it.
Nothing wrong with helping Mother Nature out a bit.December 15, 2007 at 10:35 pm #44921goodcompanionParticipant
I have 20 acres of what we call clay plain forest, and a lot of open grass with few trees on the fencelines. I’ve been planning to do what you describe–moving forest seedlings into the open.
I’m wondering if planting hydrophilic trees around the perimeter of fields could serve to lower the water table a bit. I could use that almost all the time. Everybody’s most hated tree, weeping willow, could perhapsbecome my best friend? I wonder if anyone else has tried such a thing.December 15, 2007 at 10:41 pm #44922
Might be a good idea. The key to this is to remember all trees have their place – just need to find it. Sucession is a good thing. Start with some weed trees to get things going – and go from there.
I don’t know about up there, but we have many trees that won’t grow well without shade and competition.December 28, 2007 at 6:10 am #44920Gabe AyersKeymaster
Planting trees is so cool…anywhere we can get them to grow, but the right ones for where they grow best is a good use of science and traditional knowledge.
It is often called aforestration, but I think if it was once forested then it is reforestration. I have consulted on planting old fields back to real woods before and we called it Natural Reforestation.
But not totally, because the plow and a couple centuries of tobacco and corn remove about all traces of the real forest. So you may have to treat it like an abused piece of land, which is probably is…
So as well as digging seedlings (wildlings), and growing seedlings from seed of superior specimens collected locally, we advise that the seedlings that are dug include a healthy “plug” of forest soil. There are possibly/probably life forms there that we don’t even know about or haven’t identified yet. It speeds up the recolonization from surrounding forested ecosystems. This allows for a biological inoculation with the organisms of the actual forested ecosystem. This along with an overstocked mixed species planting that includes pioneers of the region in a mix with intermediate and climax species could be our best effort to reforest, right after a good hot prescribed burn style backfire….
The problem is that this is hand labor and it is hard to find landowner’s that can afford to pay for such a service and it is mostly practiced privately. There are government subsidies for planting trees but nothing to support something as organic as we speak of on this forum, at least not that I am aware of. Most small landowner’s don’t want the government involved at all if they can help it.
I think making the right thing pay the most in the end is the only real way to create change in what is being done conventionally. In general the short term perspective doesn’t support sustainable approaches, which is like telling the choir here to sing the chorus over again.
I have often wondered what the land and environment in CR is like at about 7000 feet, probably pretty nice? Is that to high to be sustainable beyond subsistence?
Glad you are on the site, it adds to a global view.
Jason RutledgeDecember 28, 2007 at 10:12 pm #44923
Costa Rica at 7,000 feet will have you huddling around a campfire! 😮 Cold, windy, yech!
For many, 3,000 feet seems to be just about perfect. I personally like between 400 to 1,000 feet. Usually the high is about 80, so the morning and evening is wonderful.
Very sustainable at 400 to 1,000 feet. The tropics, if you are in the right places, is wonderful, pretty much the same temperature year round.
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