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Innovative new “Impulse for Reforestation in Reserva Faia Brava”

In November we planted trees in 4 small plots (0,25ha) with state-of-the-art materials and techniques. We hope to establish biodiverse groves of trees that rapidly become living seed banks, also aiming to create a mosaic landscape.  

Since its creation in 2000 reforestation actions have been caried out in Faia Brava, as part of the objective of habitat restauration. However, we were confronted with major problems; like  a poor soil quality, drought, animal damage and disturbance. The overall success of tree plantations in Faia Brava was only around 10% of tree survival after the first year. To increase the tree survival rate we  decided to apply a new method of tree planting.

The new model of plantation was suggested by Ronald Buiting, a known ecological reforestry Dutch expert. The composition and the distribution of the new trees in the plot is a key principle to mimic the structure of a mature forest. This should visually integrate the plantation plot in the surrounding landscape and promote a faster maturation of some trees. We plant native species in monospecific subgroups (eco-units), use natural shapes for the eco-units and a designed variation of densities of trees in different eco-units.

The reduction of water stress in the long hot summer is achieved either by direct watering or by the use of bio degradable cocoons; individual water containers or waterboxes provided by the Land Life Company. The landlife company plants more than million trees a year and uses modern IT technologies.

The holes for the trees were dug with a mechanical drill that creates space for root development. This helps to regulate the temperature for the young trees. It also creates a space for mixing mature manure in the soil, prior to plantation.

The final contribution for a higher success rate was the inoculation of a mycorrhiza mix to the roots of all Oak trees and the other broad-leafed trees. We used a commercial mix from Ecovit (with fungus  native species) that ensures low mortality in the plantation, better nutrition and water in-take abilities and an overall protection against environmental stress.

This experimental work will be monitored over the next few years and we will generate more knowledge and capabilities to create a more resilient forest.

If you are interested in knowing more about this project, you can request a visit to the plot.

planting trees

 

   drill and tractor

 

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News

Innovative new “Impulse for Reforestation in Reserva Fa…

In November we planted trees in 4 small plots (0,25ha) with state-of-the-art materials and techniques. We hope to establish biodiverse groves of trees that rapidly become living seed banks, also aimin...

read more

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