- One needs to have a good source of seeds. Seeds with bad genetics or seeds taken from the wrong climate will often not grow or produce poor results and gimped trees.
- Good soil preparation is extremely important. We plough the soil to a depth of 75 cm and sometimes as deep as 90 cm, depending on the species. That is because tropical trees set deep roots in the soil. Good soil preparation allows the trees to grow faster, because then they are not struggling to break through compacted soil. Deep roots prevent losses due to high winds or wet swampy soil.
- Most tropical soils are infertile, which means we need to provide the trees with proper nutrition if we want fast and good results. At La Pedregoza we use a special mix of forestry fertilizer that contains nothing but elements, no chemicals and no inert matter. This allows the trees to grow quickly, after which they become self-sufficient using photo-synthesis, carbon capture and recycling to grow. Virtually all rain forest trees are perfect recycling systems, which is why soils in Amazon deforestation areas are often poor after the trees are removed.
- Our fertilizer mix also contains calcium or lime. The tree doesn't need the lime directly, but it is required in order to balance the PH levels of tropical soils, which are often acidic due to thousands of years of pounding tropical rains, that leach the soil, leaving it acidic. The lime also softens the soil, which might otherwise bake into a cement-like hardness, allowing the roots of the seedling to quickly spread in the soil. Most tropical trees prefer a balanced PH soil.
- We establish good fire breaks all around and throughout the plantation. This prevents grass fires and forest fires from damaging the new trees or from spreading. Once the trees become more than 3 years of age most of them act as natural fire breaks against grass fires, because hardwood trees do not burn as easily as softwood trees.
Tuesday, March 29, 2011
Some people think that planting trees simply involves sticking them in the ground and they will grow, without more. Many are astonished to learn that it costs approximately $1 million dollars to plant 1,000 hectares (2,470 acres) of tropical trees properly. The reality is that there are a lot of steps that need to be taken for success. This article sets out 10 of the early steps we take at Amazonia Reforestation: