How to Grow a Forest Really, Really Fast

“A forest planted by humans, then left to nature’s own devices, typically takes at least 100 years to mature. But what if we could make the process happen ten times faster? In this short talk, eco-entrepreneur (and TED Fellow) Shubhendu Sharma explains how to create a mini-forest ecosystem anywhere.”

More at the source:
Thanks to Abe for this tip.

10 thoughts on “How to Grow a Forest Really, Really Fast”

  1. Growing stuff like crazy isnt that hard,If you have water. And the climate that supports growth. Sounds like a greenhouse.

    • There are lots of ways to collect water and grow plants in dry climates. Watch for an upcoming blog post on this topic soon.

  2. Sadly, as intriguing as this video is and as possible as it is, it has the taste of snake oil. He talks open source. Yet go to the website and there is little there that you would see that provide information to make such an effort open source. It has all the marks of a marketing effort. Nothing wrong about that, but it lacks transparency in its aim.

    • They’re just getting started. The open source stuff is supposed to come later when it’s ready. Let’s hope because I’d love to try this out. If possible, I’d like to try their method and a method I’m working on and compare the two. I plan to explain my method in an upcoming blog post. Stay tuned.

      • Do some research on the Miyawaki method, his stuff is documented in a lot more places, and there are details for replicating it. The company in the video is based on the Miyawaki techniques.

  3. I really like this method and strategy, and I will definitely be testing it out on my property. I think some things have to be done differently in desert climates and especially our clay hills, but I do think it is possible.

    • I wonder why they plant the trees so close together? I would plant fewer trees along with small, temporary food producing plants. Also, add mulch and soil building ground covers right away. What I’m describing is very similar to a forest garden except with less complexity. Plus, I question the need to till and fertilize the soil so deeply. This goes against what I’m reading elsewhere.

      Reforesting dry, rocky, clay, juniper covered hills (= BLM land) like yours would be tricky to say the least. Someone with the skills to do this could make millions reforesting the countless ranches with these conditions. Once people become aware this is possible then the demand would be unlimited.

      • From what I can tell, planting close together does a few things. First, it encourages fast growth, because of competition. Second, it quickly creates micro climates to protect the trees from winds and harsh weather.

        I don’t think the fertilization so deep is necessary, a good top dressing and heavy mulch would do much better.

        I completely agree about the food species, there’s no reason this can’t be primarily food species.

        I am slowly working on reforesting here, with a special focus on native local/food species. Mesquite, honey locust, pomegranates, mulberry, palo verde, oaks, almonds, prickly pear, leamonade berry, grapes and a number of shrubs and herb species do well and show a lot of promise here. I do improve the soil with wood (a lot of juniper prunings) and organic matter as we have it available.

        The key is to build a support structure, like water harvesting and infiltration methods (swales, hugelkultur, terraces, etc) to get good growth. Combined with adapted species, it is completely possible to reforest this land.

        • Is it scalable for large ranches? Or is it too labor intensive? If it’s cost effective, then it would be wise to buy more land and convert it into highly productive land before this catches on and land prices shoot up.

          • It depends on the resources of the ranch. I don’t know how scalable it is, as I am still experimenting and developing it. Scaling to the size of a big ranch would require a lot of planning and capital, but the production would be enormous. Even 1 acre done like this would exceed the production of a several hundred acre ranch in my area.

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