How to Plant Trees to Regenerate Land (Video)


Image credit: Ecofilms Australia

The other day, I posted a video on how one Australian farmer was using weeds and water to regenerate degraded land. Perusing Permaculture TV, I came across another video from Ecofilms Australia of one Aussie farmer who planted more than 1000 trees along a 2km "swale" (a water harvesting ditch) to help regenerate the land.

The care taken with each tree is a lesson to us all.

From Jesse's post on what is a swale, to greening the deserts of Jordan, we've already seen plenty of examples of using swales—essentially large ditches dug along the contour of the land—to help harvest rainwater and prevent soil erosion. By providing a more nurturing microclimate for young trees and plants, the swale gives nature a foothold in harsher environments and then lets plants, fungi and soil microbes take over and do the work.

The care taken in the panting of each tree is no accident. Matt Kilby is the founder of Global Land Repair, a company providing supplements and hardware for tree planting that, he claims, achieves as high as a 97% survival rate in commercial timber plantations, regeneration projects and nursery environments.

Besides showing the details of Matt's own planting techniques and products, this is a fantastic reminder to us all that environmentalism is not just about lessening our impact and reducing our carbon footprint. From restoring 600 square miles of ancient forest to cleaning up the Chesapeake Bay, we can't just be less bad. We have to do good too.

Disclaimer: As one commenter noted in my post about weeds and water, we must be careful when applying techniques developed for one environment to another. Key is learning how plants, land, animals, microbes and water interact in your environment before undertaking major earth works or large-scale regenerative plantings.

More on Land Restoration
Restoring 600 Square Miles of Ancient Caledonian Forest (Video)
Want to Clean Up Chesapeake Bay? Plant Forest Buffers Upstream
Using Weeds and Water to Restore Degraded Land (Video)

Tags: Australia | Biodiversity | Permaculture

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