Friday, February 22, 2013

Natural Regeneration of Trees

My usual advice to some young or new environmentalists who are so gung ho in "regreening" denuded mountains is that they do not have to plant so many trees in these areas. Trees being part of nature, are capable of growing and regenerating by themselves even without human intervention and "massive tree planting".

So the first thing they should do actually is to clear cogonal uplands and remove the vines on young or medium size naturally regenerating trees in the area. Then if there is wide space between or among these naturally regenerating trees, that is where they can plant a few seedlings. This process is called assisted natural regeneration (ANR).

In our farm, we actually stopped planting in the area near my treehouse for more than a decade now. And yet the trees keep expanding, the young trees grow by the thousands, they're like grasses. The bigger trees keep producing seeds, the wind blow them away and new seedlings will just grow nearby.

These young trees are dense, average distance of half-meter or less from each other, they just grew naturally and were not planted.

We clear and remove these small and new seedlings from time to time as high density of trees is also not good for them due to intense competition for soil nutrients and sunlight. Besides, many mosquitoes hide in these dense areas.

But few months after such clearing, new young trees appear. They're like grasses that just grow out of nowhere.

An area where new young trees were recently cleared. 

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