gift
Rocket Mass Heater podcast gob
will be released to subscribers in: soon!
  • Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic
permaculture forums growies critters building homesteading energy monies kitchen purity ungarbage community wilderness fiber arts art permaculture artisans regional education skip experiences global resources cider press projects digital market permies.com pie forums private forums all forums
this forum made possible by our volunteer staff, including ...
master stewards:
  • Carla Burke
  • John F Dean
  • Nancy Reading
  • r ranson
  • Jay Angler
  • Pearl Sutton
stewards:
  • paul wheaton
  • Leigh Tate
  • Burra Maluca
master gardeners:
  • Christopher Weeks
  • Timothy Norton
gardeners:
  • Jeremy VanGelder
  • Paul Fookes
  • Tina Wolf

Reforestation - Growing trees in arid, barren lands - by Seeds and Clay cubes (no watering)

 
pollinator
Posts: 729
140
  • Likes 19
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Greetings to all,

The 2023 season is over. We planted many seeds and tried many different things.

This is a brief summary of what we did this past season.

1. We found a better way to store acorns. We simply use damp sand and it appears that we can store acorns for one or two months. This is a major event for us. We can collect acorns and plant them when we can.

2. In the winter of 2022 we transplanted bare root cypress trees. The summer of 2023 was hot and dry; many of the cypress trees survived. It's a sign of hope that in the future the cypress trees which live a thousand years, can be part of our tree mixture in our reforestation efforts.

3. We found more holm oak trees near Thessaloniki. We will have plenty of these acorns for our projects.

The cypress trees and the storage of acorns are critical for us.

Other major parts of our reforestation efforts include:

1.   We're continuing to plant seeds in areas that burned down the last two years. These areas were covered with pine trees and we're trying to evaluate what we can grow after the fire.

2.   We continue to place acorns among pine trees near Thessaloniki. Our pine forests are dying either from fires or disease and we want to know what we can do to prepare for the future.

3.   We continued to plant seeds, bare root trees and small seeds at our community food forest project.

4.   We started planting seeds at Mount Katsika again. A large herd of goats that grazed the area, has stopped using the mountain. This is a large area, so we are planting the top ridge line.


About 700 km South from the Thessaloniki is the city of Sparta. In and around the city of Sparta we started planting seeds in order to evaluate whether the seeds we use at Thessaloniki will survive the climate this far south.

1.   We planted seeds at an elevation of 900 meters, at locations that burned down last year and the year before. It's a small piece of land that hopefully will tell us whether the almonds and the acorns and the plums and the chestnuts etc will thrive in this environment.

2.   We planted acorns among the pine trees near the city of Sparta. Here again we want to know whether the acorns will grow this far south among the pine trees.

3.   We planted mainly acorns at a site with an elevation of 400 m to see how they do. We planted holy oaks, common oaks and evergreen oaks. We used small seeds to plant along with our oak trees so we can both marked the location of the trees and to provide shade for the new trees.

We hope for the best.

We eagerly await the arrival of spring, so we can see our young trees sprout, and we dread the long hot summer that will kill many of these creatures.

October and November will tell us how we did.

A brief summary of our approach to reforestation follows.

The need

Plato observed that in ancient Greece when they cut down the trees around the city of Athens, the water springs dried up.

The Maya destroyed their civilization by cutting trees and destroying the forest around their major cities. Extended droughts were the result of the destruction of the forest.

In summary no trees - no water,  no water - no life.

Typical reforestation involves digging holes and planting trees. This also means that you need to spend the summer watering the trees so they can survive.

Simply put this is a very expensive solution and can only plant a small fraction of the trees we need.


The way

Instead of planting trees we plant the appropriate seeds and hope that the land will accept and nurture and grow trees from the seeds.

For example, at our area oak trees do very well. So it's simple - plant acorns (and other appropriate seeds). It's inexpensive and hundreds of seeds can be placed in the ground in a day. Instead of costing 5,10, 50 or 100 euros per tree, the cost to place a seed in the ground is as low as 5 or 10 cents per tree.

The most difficult part of this method is to know which seeds to place in the ground. By observing and learning, nature will tell us what it wants to grow.

In a sense we are the servants of the land.


Kostas
 
Posts: 8
Location: Lagos
2
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I wonder if this works for tropical almonds.

How long do almonds take to give fruits from planting?
 
Konstantinos Karoubas
pollinator
Posts: 729
140
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Thanks for writing Lola,

I don't have any experience with  tropical almonds...

I would just put a few in the ground next fall and see what happens.

Trees grown from seed can take anywhere from 5 to 10 years to bear fruits depending on the soil conditions and availability of water.

Kostas
 
Posts: 424
Location: Indiana
54
5
  • Likes 3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I know this forum is mostly about nut bearing trees, however, I have some deep rooted trees grown from root stock and sprouts. And these produce Elderberries!!

About 4 years ago I ordered two sets (2 ea of 2 different plants) of Elderberry Root Stock. When they arrived I was shocked as they looked totally dead. As I had already dug 4 holes in my side yard I decided to plant them any way. The holes were on a slight slope and even the highest hole had a bit of water from the rains in it. The lowest hole was 2/3 full. These were about 18" in diameter and 2 ft deep holes too. I didn't pay much attention to those roots but a couple of weeks later I thought I saw something on one of the plants and sure enough there was one small budding that had two small leaves on it. Two to three weeks later all were producing. Roots of these plants grow very deep and don't really need a lot of watering and they grow in almost any kind of soil. My soil has a LOT of clay in it.

I purchased and planted two totally different varieties the year after the first plants grew.     These things grow like weeds! This past Spring/Summer I potted and gave away at least 20 paired sets of sprouts from these trees.

This past Spring I had TWO sprouts that grew so fast that I missed them for potting. By the time I really noticed them they were just over 4 ft tall. And they kept growing so much that I marked a 2" X 4" X 8 ft at 93" in large print and propped it up to stay up. One of those sprouts grew to 90 inches and the other was 87 inches - all just in that Sp/Su time frame.

Most of these plants give good quantities of Elderberries which are useful for many different things beneficial to humans like, medical/medication uses, plus jams, jellies, wine, and other mixtures + 'magic' wands, and flutes. Check out the history and then find some already growing and ask for sprouts or root stock and in year 2 you should have an abundance of Elderberries.
 
pollinator
Posts: 194
Location: North FL, in the high sandhills
84
  • Likes 5
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
The history of burning off pine forest here in FL may give some insights.

The original natives would deliberately burn off the pine savannas long before the underbrush became dense because that encouraged open space for easier hunting and the pines seemed to do better.

Fast forward to the age of science research and same discovery, the pines love an occasional fire, some of them even need it to reseed, the pine cones not opening unless burned.

The caveat is that if they've been left to build up a lot of underbrush and litter you'll get a fire with 100 foot walls of fast travelling  fire destroying everything, mature pines and all, not to mention the danger to humans.

The natural succession if left unburnt/unattended is oak with dense scrub and lots of litter beneath and the risk of fatal large fires.

Pines are problematic  on small plots of land here (die young, lightning rods, shed lots of highly flammable parts and pieces into the under story, likely to tip over on your home in high winds  etc. etc. ) so I've always been a fan of bringing on the oaks and eliminating the flammable stuff under them via whatever route makes the most sense. The old 8 acre place I had was best/easiest burnt off regularly, even though it required permits and other hassles from ag and forestry departments.  As I've condensed to 1 acre it's manageable to keep things clear by hand and putting in more growing beds for other things. I don't get the fertilizing/ PH alkalizing benefits of burning but I make that up otherwise.

This is high sandhills here, so perhaps quite similar to the island you're working on.
Definitely major drought for months spring and fall every year.

https://duckduckgo.com/?q=history+controlled+burns+north+florida&t=opera&ia=web




 
Posts: 75
Location: Perth, Western Australia
6
  • Likes 3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Konstantinos Karoubas wrote:Hello everyone,

Trying to grow trees in arid zone/barren places is difficult and expensive, in both time and money. Both are scarce commodities. One way to establish ground cover and to create new soil is to plant closely spaced trees. I have found here in Greece that almond tree and apricot tree nuts will sprout without any care and produce trees without watering or any care.

Simply bury the nuts in the ground in late September and in late spring you will have young trees growing - they do not need to be watered - even in the sizzling heat of August the young trees survive - in the first year, the young trees shed their leaves and even the trunk dies, but in the second spring the trees come back.

To me this amazing - a person can devote an hour of his/her life and create a mini forest using almond and apricot nuts. Care of course must be taken to collect nuts from healthy and disease free trees - not to old or young, etc.

I hope others will try this in arid/barren places and report back on the results. Also if you have any experience with other trees that have the same characteristics please let us know.

We need to plant millions of trees and every bit helps.

Kostas


That's amazing. I was planning on trying that with carob and jujube to see if that would work in my Med climate. So have now added apricot and almond to that list. Just have to source reliable seed.
 
Madeleine Innocent
Posts: 75
Location: Perth, Western Australia
6
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Konstantinos Karoubas wrote:Greetings to all,

The 2023 season is over. We planted many seeds and tried many different things.

This is a brief summary of what we did this past season.

1. We found a better way to store acorns. We simply use damp sand and it appears that we can store acorns for one or two months. This is a major event for us. We can collect acorns and plant them when we can.

2. In the winter of 2022 we transplanted bare root cypress trees. The summer of 2023 was hot and dry; many of the cypress trees survived. It's a sign of hope that in the future the cypress trees which live a thousand years, can be part of our tree mixture in our reforestation efforts.

3. We found more holm oak trees near Thessaloniki. We will have plenty of these acorns for our projects.

The cypress trees and the storage of acorns are critical for us.

Other major parts of our reforestation efforts include:

1.   We're continuing to plant seeds in areas that burned down the last two years. These areas were covered with pine trees and we're trying to evaluate what we can grow after the fire.

2.   We continue to place acorns among pine trees near Thessaloniki. Our pine forests are dying either from fires or disease and we want to know what we can do to prepare for the future.

3.   We continued to plant seeds, bare root trees and small seeds at our community food forest project.

4.   We started planting seeds at Mount Katsika again. A large herd of goats that grazed the area, has stopped using the mountain. This is a large area, so we are planting the top ridge line.


About 700 km South from the Thessaloniki is the city of Sparta. In and around the city of Sparta we started planting seeds in order to evaluate whether the seeds we use at Thessaloniki will survive the climate this far south.

1.   We planted seeds at an elevation of 900 meters, at locations that burned down last year and the year before. It's a small piece of land that hopefully will tell us whether the almonds and the acorns and the plums and the chestnuts etc will thrive in this environment.

2.   We planted acorns among the pine trees near the city of Sparta. Here again we want to know whether the acorns will grow this far south among the pine trees.

3.   We planted mainly acorns at a site with an elevation of 400 m to see how they do. We planted holy oaks, common oaks and evergreen oaks. We used small seeds to plant along with our oak trees so we can both marked the location of the trees and to provide shade for the new trees.

We hope for the best.

We eagerly await the arrival of spring, so we can see our young trees sprout, and we dread the long hot summer that will kill many of these creatures.

October and November will tell us how we did.

A brief summary of our approach to reforestation follows.

The need

Plato observed that in ancient Greece when they cut down the trees around the city of Athens, the water springs dried up.

The Maya destroyed their civilization by cutting trees and destroying the forest around their major cities. Extended droughts were the result of the destruction of the forest.

In summary no trees - no water,  no water - no life.

Typical reforestation involves digging holes and planting trees. This also means that you need to spend the summer watering the trees so they can survive.

Simply put this is a very expensive solution and can only plant a small fraction of the trees we need.


The way

Instead of planting trees we plant the appropriate seeds and hope that the land will accept and nurture and grow trees from the seeds.

For example, at our area oak trees do very well. So it's simple - plant acorns (and other appropriate seeds). It's inexpensive and hundreds of seeds can be placed in the ground in a day. Instead of costing 5,10, 50 or 100 euros per tree, the cost to place a seed in the ground is as low as 5 or 10 cents per tree.

The most difficult part of this method is to know which seeds to place in the ground. By observing and learning, nature will tell us what it wants to grow.

In a sense we are the servants of the land.


Kostas



One aspect we often ignore is that the Earth has to welcome the seed. So planting many gives her the chance to not ignore our efforts but stay true to her choices.
 
Posts: 72
Location: southwestern Wyoming
11
forest garden fungi foraging medical herbs bee greening the desert
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Ben Taylor wrote:I got sucked into this thread and feel like thus idea of a mostly hands-off food forest would be ideal for our property. Thirty years ago, before my parents bought the property in Boundary county ID, the land was clearcut. Ever since it's been dry every summer. That gets exacerbated by the extremely sandy ground we have. I would love to turn a majority of it into a moderately wild food forest. We already have a reliable plum tree and apple tree. Plus a developing cherry tree.


Whoa! You're up there by Canada - even colder than where I am in southern Wyoming. If you could get fruiting trees to grow and fruit, I suppose it might be possible here - but your area looks a lot greener and less barren than these parts. Best of luck in your endeavors.
 
Konstantinos Karoubas
pollinator
Posts: 729
140
  • Likes 5
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Hello Jesse,

Good write up on Elderberries…It sounds like your location is ideal for them. I tried to grow them on my farm, with no luck. They just didn't like the soil, micro climate etc. I have seen grow abundantly in other locations.

But you bring up a very good point. We should grow trees shrubs and grasses that grow like a “weed” on our land. Then farming and “reforestation” are easy.

In the role of the "master" the farmer commands the "servant" (land) what to grow...often with disastrous results.

In the role of the "servant", the farmer offers seeds and observes to see what the land wants to grow. The end result of this situation, is improved soil fertility and abundant harvests.


Kostas
 
Konstantinos Karoubas
pollinator
Posts: 729
140
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Hello Dave,

Yeah, interesting discussion on the pines and controlled burns.

I am amazed at how fertile the land becomes after a fire.

The acidic, pine polluted soil becomes fertile.

It  gives us a window of 2 to 3 years to introduce other tree species and shrubs.

Do you think oak forests also need controlled burns?

Kostas
 
Konstantinos Karoubas
pollinator
Posts: 729
140
  • Likes 3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Hello Madeleine,

I don't have any experience with jujubes.

I know the carob seeds need to be scarified to have a chance to sprout.

Also check underneath the carob tree that you are collecting seeds from. If there are baby carob trees growing…collect seeds from that tree.

And I totally agree on offering many seeds…the more the merrier.

By observing what grows naturally at the side of the road, you will get hints about what is possible.

Here, wild pears self seed and grow abundantly at the side of the roads. We also have almonds, wild figs, and oaks shrubs by the roadside.

Oak shrubs are found throughout the country.

Kostas
 
Dave Bross
pollinator
Posts: 194
Location: North FL, in the high sandhills
84
  • Likes 5
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Konstantinos,

Yes, I do think oak forests (and the humans near them)  need controlled burns if for no other reason than to not let flammable underbrush pile up.

Manual clean up is an option on small spaces but no fert/PH benefit.

The fertility and PH are a nice side benefit to a burn. Soil here is quite poor but old time farmers would let the few tough grasses that will grow easily grow in a field planned for future planting, then burn them off for the fert/PH benefit. They were too poor to afford the chemicals to do that which in hindsight was maybe a plus.

You would want to burn oak forest sooner rather than later, as the oaks won't tolerate a really hot fire without dying and, in contrast,  if the oaks get too big/thick they shade out everything else.
 
Madeleine Innocent
Posts: 75
Location: Perth, Western Australia
6
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Konstantinos Karoubas wrote:Hello Jesse,

Good write up on Elderberries…It sounds like your location is ideal for them. I tried to grow them on my farm, with no luck. They just didn't like the soil, micro climate etc. I have seen grow abundantly in other locations.

But you bring up a very good point. We should grow trees shrubs and grasses that grow like a “weed” on our land. Then farming and “reforestation” are easy.

In the role of the "master" the farmer commands the "servant" (land) what to grow...often with disastrous results.

In the role of the "servant", the farmer offers seeds and observes to see what the land wants to grow. The end result of this situation, is improved soil fertility and abundant harvests.


Kostas



Perfect. And water is yet another end result.
 
Posts: 59
15
  • Likes 5
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I've been reading this thread from Spain with interest.  We have huge drought and desertification problems across the whole country.  

I thought you'd like to see my baby carob (algarobba) forest that has sprung up around the drip line after the main tree was crown reduced a couple of years ago.

If I can successfully transplant them to pots, I'm going to do a little guerrilla gardening around and about.

Thank you for all the work you're doing!
20240226_180121.jpg
A baby carob forest at the drip line of my main, beautiful carob tree
A baby carob forest at the drip line of my main, beautiful carob tree
 
Posts: 11
3
4
  • Likes 4
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Konstantinos Karoubas wrote:Hello Dave,

Yeah, interesting discussion on the pines and controlled burns.

I am amazed at how fertile the land becomes after a fire.

The acidic, pine polluted soil becomes fertile.

It  gives us a window of 2 to 3 years to introduce other tree species and shrubs.

Do you think oak forests also need controlled burns?

Kostas



Hi Kostantinos,

Thanks for sharing this saga with us.  Please come back with periodic updates.

Fire and oak reminded me of a type of eco-systen in North America the Oak Savanna. Light periodic burns maintain the oaks as the dominant tree species and a dappled grassland.

Check out :
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oak_savanna
There is a section about Mediterranean versions.  

Also check this Dehesa link: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dehesa "a multifunctional, agrosylvopastoral system (a type of agroforestry) and cultural landscape of southern and central Spain and southern Portugal".  Think of the acorn fattened pork and truffle hunting... yum yum!

I remember, in Portugal, seeing the cork oak trees growing in wheat savannas.

Here in southern Ontario, Canada, we have a few remnants of prarrie grasslands and oak savannas and lush Carolinian forest.  What gets expressed will depend on the soil, water, fire history and human histiry.

Our farm is largely sand based.  A prior owner established a couple of pine/oak blocks 20 years ago; already becoming a deer pasture and enjoyable walk.  A tree advisor suggested that it is time to start thinning the pine to open the canopy even more for the oaks.   I doubt that we will consider fire in our tool box because it is surrounded on three sides by Carolinian forest, but continual gradual thinning of the pine is planned.

Always keep learning and sharing; that is part of our human nature.

 
Posts: 3
  • Likes 3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I am currently growing mimosas from seeds as I have had success with this in the past. They are fast growing, beautiful and graceful. They are hardy in drought and the leaves are small so when they drop, they just blow away.
 
Konstantinos Karoubas
pollinator
Posts: 729
140
  • Likes 3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Hello Helen,

What a beautiful picture, full of life !!!

The carob is an amazing tree. Drought tolerant, it lives to 1000 years, with very useful edible fruits. Each of these young trees can be productive for hundreds of years.

It would be great if you can transplant them.

I hope you keep the mother tree. As far as I know, few of the carob trees produce seeds that germinate easily.

Keep us posted on that.

We have been reading about the drought in Spain and the desertification…we are not far behind, especially in the south and in some of the islands. We are paying the price of the mechanized chemical agriculture of the last 75 years, and our way of life.

To lower the soil and air temperature, besides planting trees, we need to keep the farmland covered with a green cover - plants and grasses - year round. Without using precious groundwater.

It's not easy, but it's doable.

Kostas
 
Konstantinos Karoubas
pollinator
Posts: 729
140
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Hello Gordon,

Very interesting on the oak savannas and the controlled fires to keep the ecosystem in check - I learned a lot - thank you.

In order for this to work, it requires for us to be good stewards of nature…greed, love of excessive material possessions and egoism have no place in this endeavor.

In order for us to survive on this planet, the best of us, the best of our nature, needs to come out and act accordingly.

I wonder how the land in Canada is recovering after the huge summer fires.

I have relatives in Montreal, who are in their 90’s and they tell me, this was their first winter without snow during the holidays !!!

Kostas
 
Konstantinos Karoubas
pollinator
Posts: 729
140
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Hello Joanne,

Thank you for sharing the info on the mimosa's.

How do you grow the mimosa's from seed? Do you need to scarify them in any way?

Kostas
 
Dave Bross
pollinator
Posts: 194
Location: North FL, in the high sandhills
84
  • Likes 3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
From my notes copied from here and there:

these grow quite well with no inputs here in N FL.

Hardy Silk Tree Mimosa

Other common names
Pink siris, Lenkoran acacia, Bastard tamarind. Iranian: Shabkhosb. Nepali: Rato siris

Listed as hardy from zone 6-10.  In it's natural range temperatures of -13F in the winter are common.  We are testing this species here in Zone 4a.  We are very tuned into the temperature changes  and believe testing warmer zone plants is appropriate.

The tree's flower heads have been used for a wide range of digestive, sedative and tonic medicinal purposes. The bark is used to cure bruises and as a vermicide for intestinal worms. The seeds are used as a food for livestock. The sweetly-scented flowers are a good nectar source for honeybees. The timber is used for furniture making.

The stem bark has been used as a sedative for hundreds of years as recorded in the Pharmacopeia of the People's Republic of China, and as an anti-inflammatory agent for swelling and pain in the lungs and to treat skin ulcers, wounds, bruises, abscesses, boils, hemorrhoids, and fractures, as well as to remove carbuncles. The dried stem bark is used as a tonic in China and Japan. Indigenous people living in the southern mountainous region of Korea prepare the root as an infusion for bone diseases. In India, a chloroform and methanol seed extract has been used to treat bronchitis, asthma, leprosy, and glands infected by tuberculous.A bark extract to treat insomnia, diuresis, asthenia, and confusion has been used in Asia. The plant's flowers have been used to treat symptoms associated with palpitations, anxiety, depression, and insomnia.


How to grow:

Soak seed 24 hours in hot water and sow in a warm area.  Seeds prefer 66°F so an indoor late winter or early spring location is ideal.  Keep soil moist but not drenched. Germinates in 2 - 3 months(can be much sooner). Scarification helps speed this process.  Before soaking, take seed and rub between a folded sheet of medium sandpaper.  Do not rub through the seed coat.  You just want to roughen the exterior seed shell. Expect about 25 - 33% germination. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots of fairly rich soil when they are large enough to handle and grow them in a protected area the first year.   Plant out in late spring or early summer and consider giving them some protection from the cold for their first winter or two outdoors

Some folks don't like them:

https://www.treehugger.com/reconsider-planting-mimosa-1343527

https://www.hgtv.com/outdoors/flowers-and-plants/trees-and-shrubs/mimosa-tree

https://www.environmentbuddy.com/plants-and-trees/growing-mimosa-trees-facts-pros-and-cons/#google_vignette

Like a legume, they fix nitrogen in the soil, so they can grow in some pretty devastated areas.

I like them a lot.
 
Konstantinos Karoubas
pollinator
Posts: 729
140
  • Likes 3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Hello Dave,

Good write up on the silk tree. I am glad you mentioned the many common names. Around here, mimosa refers to the wattle acacia tree.

I appreciate the instructions on the scarification and the very thorough description of it's uses.

The whole legume family of trees is amazing.

I know of a fellow in India, who unfortunately passed away a few years ago; his name was Raju Titus. He followed the principles of Natural Farming of Masanobu Fukuoka, San. He used an acacia tree he called Subabul, and I think it was the Leucaena leucocephala. He used this tree as ground cover, and to supply nitrogen and fertility for his soil. Just like Fukuoka used white clover to grow his wheat and rice. Raju grew wheat and vegetables with the aid of this tree; he also fed his goats and sold the surplus wood they produced !!!

Raju had a beautiful farm and was totally independent and self-sufficient without any outside inputs (fertilizers etc).

So I am glad to see you looking into the silk tree for your area, and I hope it works out and grows everywhere like a weed.

For our farm, the golden rain tree, Koelreuteria paniculata, also a nitrogen fixer, wants to grow everywhere and I am delighted to see it.

Kostas
 
Dave Bross
pollinator
Posts: 194
Location: North FL, in the high sandhills
84
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Thanks Konstantinos,

I never knew there were a lot of different Mimosas.

The one you mention seems a bit too invasive for my tastes. I'm trying to set up my little plot to keep on putting out food long after I'm gone and I suspect that one would take over and wipe out a lot of other things. I have some things considered invasive like every kind of Eleagnus I can find (Goumi, Goji berries) but the harsh weather here seems to keep them in check, if not flat out kill them when little. Probably the only danger of spread might be via birds but I have a fleet of cats that seem quite good at keeping all the birds away.
I've caught flak from people for having invasives, but I think the right ones and some different strategies may be a critical link to avoiding the food problems coming down the pike from weather and the like.

I would HIGHLY recommend this book, as it opened my eyes to a lot of what's going on currently with failed attempts to bring land back to original species and some of the really horribly wrong tactics employed...like nuking everything with Roundup initially.
It also got me thinking thinking about which invasives may be critical to our future as conditions change.

The book:
Beyond the War on Invasive Species by Tao Orion

Found some interesting links on that mimosa:

https://www.microfarmguide.com/leucaena-leucocephala/

https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/agricultural-and-biological-sciences/leucaena-leucocephala

Something else interesting that I hadn't heard about caught my eye on the micro farm guide site:

https://www.microfarmguide.com/syntropic-agroforestry/

Definitely agree on the Golden Rain tree. we have some older ones nearby and they are just gorgeous.

 
Konstantinos Karoubas
pollinator
Posts: 729
140
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Dave,

Your statement below caught my attention - that's a worthwhile and a very challenging goal.

"I'm trying to set up my little plot to keep on putting out food long after I'm gone"

From time to time keep us posted.

Kostas
 
Konstantinos Karoubas
pollinator
Posts: 729
140
  • Likes 6
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Good morning everyone,

This is a brief update on the community food forest project.

Today we transplanted Mediterranean Hartwort plants and a few white clover plants to our food forest land.

Our objective is to cover the land as soon as possible and to create soil fertility so our trees can thrive.

The Mediterranean Hartwort covers our entire farm; in the spring the land is covered with a white blanket. The bees in the area love it. It self seeds and comes back year after year (I love these kind of plants).

I am hoping the same will happen at the food forest.

Kostas

 
Joanne Sliva
Posts: 3
  • Likes 7
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
To prep the seeds of the mimosa for planting they should be soaked in very warm water overnight. I then planted them in starter pellets three weeks ago and they are nearly four inches tall.
 
Konstantinos Karoubas
pollinator
Posts: 729
140
  • Likes 6
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Good morning,

We are at our farm near Thessaloniki. We have a few olive trees (less than 30), among many others.

We are experimenting, trying to find natural ways to help our trees produce as much as possible, and to stay healthy. We want to do this without the use of chemical fertilizers or pesticides.

We also don't want to haul manure, compost or other organic matter (a bit lazy).

As a first try experiment, we have planted a laburnum and a golden rain tree next to our olive trees. They are both nitrogen fixers, and they both thrive around here.

We are looking to help our olive trees by pulling nitrogen out of the air and placing it deep down in our soil, and we are hoping that the laburnum smell will discourage harmful insects.

So , we have two major and very important objectives. Feed our trees and keep them disease free.
Every year around harvest time, we plan on cutting these young trees down to the soil, so we can harvest the olives.

Time will tell if this will be beneficial or harmful to our olive trees. If the leaves become dry or discolored, then we will know there is a problem.

The objective, whether it's olive, almond, orange or banana trees, is to find companion plants, trees, or shrubs, that will improve the health and productivity of the main crop producing trees.

This is the 1st try, and it will take years of observations to determine if we are successful, or if we are harming our trees.

I hope researchers and universities will take up this issue.

We simply cannot continue to use chemical sprays and fertilizers.

We need better, smarter and simpler ways to farm.

I am hoping others will try this and we can share information on its progress.

If any one has experience or knowledge in this field…please let me know.

Kostas



Laburnum-and-Golden-Rain-Tree.jpg
2
2
Olive-Tree-with-Laburnum-and-Golden-Rain-Tree-at-the-bottom.jpg
2
2
 
Dave Bross
pollinator
Posts: 194
Location: North FL, in the high sandhills
84
  • Likes 5
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
The eleagnus family might work for you.  Goumi, goji, Autumn olive etc. Nitrogen fixing + fruit

I'm trying a number of them and the only ones that have done really well are the Autumn Olive.
Goumis are struggling, the only surviving Goji is growing out of a compost pile, and the Silverberries/Eleagnus Ebbingi I planted as a hedge are struggling.

Autumn Olive has been outlawed in some states north of me because they do a little too well in a more temperate climate.

Way back when they were seed bombed by the local governments in some states to pretty up  the tailing piles and other mess left behind after strip mining. They were more than equal to the task.

In spite of the many bans, some US nurseries have some cultivars that were developed for improved flavor.
No telling how long that will be available.

One more that is quite bulletproof here, Loquats.

They stay evergreen all year, grow in some marginal places, and I really like the fruit. Mine are fruiting as we speak.

Loquats make a great hedge, which I'm in the process of doing all around my place. About a 3' spacing seems to work well for that.

They only grow from seed, cuttings don't work, but seeds sprout easily.

I spit them into a 1 gallon nursery container of soil, cover them a bit with the soil, and away they go.
 
Madeleine Innocent
Posts: 75
Location: Perth, Western Australia
6
  • Likes 5
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Konstantinos Karoubas wrote:Hello everyone,

Trying to grow trees in arid zone/barren places is difficult and expensive, in both time and money. Both are scarce commodities. One way to establish ground cover and to create new soil is to plant closely spaced trees. I have found here in Greece that almond tree and apricot tree nuts will sprout without any care and produce trees without watering or any care.

Simply bury the nuts in the ground in late September and in late spring you will have young trees growing - they do not need to be watered - even in the sizzling heat of August the young trees survive - in the first year, the young trees shed their leaves and even the trunk dies, but in the second spring the trees come back.

To me this amazing - a person can devote an hour of his/her life and create a mini forest using almond and apricot nuts. Care of course must be taken to collect nuts from healthy and disease free trees - not to old or young, etc.

I hope others will try this in arid/barren places and report back on the results. Also if you have any experience with other trees that have the same characteristics please let us know.

We need to plant millions of trees and every bit helps.

Kostas



Thanks to you, I'm been buying up lots of seeds that I know will work in my Mediterranean climate. Not before time, as a fire just went through and burned the understory, leaving what little top soil I have exposed to the last of the hot summer/autumn sun. Still, the ash will be a good fertiliser when the rains come.
 
Konstantinos Karoubas
pollinator
Posts: 729
140
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Good luck Madeleine,
Sorry to hear about the fire...
Keep us posted.
If you have clay soil make some Fukuoka San style seed balls and scatter them.
Kostas
 
Madeleine Innocent
Posts: 75
Location: Perth, Western Australia
6
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Konstantinos Karoubas wrote:Good luck Madeleine,
Sorry to hear about the fire...
Keep us posted.
If you have clay soil make some Fukuoka San style seed balls and scatter them.
Kostas


It's sandy. Would that still work?
 
Konstantinos Karoubas
pollinator
Posts: 729
140
  • Likes 4
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Hello Dave,

Thank you for the thoughtful reply.

It still continues to amaze me how the local climate and microclimate influences the growth, survival and growth rates of plants, trees and shrubs.

A few years back, a friend strongly suggested that I plant loquat seeds on the ground. He said they sprout everywhere and don't need any watering.

I looked at him in disbelief…but didn't say anything to contradict him; I have a 15 year old loquat tree on my farm (I don't water it) - it has only produced fruits one year.

When I visited his farm I saw how he came about to form his opinion on the loquat tree.
He had a huge loquat tree, and underneath it there were hundreds of young trees growing !!! No wonder he suggested I try it.

The golden rain tree, grows like this at our place.

He also had a large autumn olive shrub that was very productive; I planted 4 of them at our farm. They have gotten to 3 feet in height, stayed there, and hardly produce any berries.

Underneath my thin topsoil is a very hard chalky layer, hard like stone, but powdery if pounded by an ax.

Once the autumn olive shrub is able to get past this…they may start producing…who knows.

I agree, both the loquat and eleagnus family should be part of any reforestation or food forest project…they should be given a chance to see how they adapt to the local conditions.

Kostas
 
Konstantinos Karoubas
pollinator
Posts: 729
140
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Hey Madeleine,

No sandy soil won't work.

It needs to be clay, red clay is preferred.

You may find some by the side of the road nearby...if not buy some from a pottery maker.

Kostas
 
Madeleine Innocent
Posts: 75
Location: Perth, Western Australia
6
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Konstantinos Karoubas wrote:Hey Madeleine,

No sandy soil won't work.

It needs to be clay, red clay is preferred.

You may find some by the side of the road nearby...if not buy some from a pottery maker.

Kostas



Sorry. I know the seed has to be wrapped in clay, but what I meant was would that work if thrown onto sandy soil. Especially with no summer rain.
 
Konstantinos Karoubas
pollinator
Posts: 729
140
  • Likes 4
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Sorry I misunderstood Madeleine,

Yes it should work on sandy and any kind of soil.

Give it a try and see how it goes.

Kostas
 
Konstantinos Karoubas
pollinator
Posts: 729
140
  • Likes 4
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
For anyone interested,

I also put the issue of companion trees for olive trees, in a video format.

I hope it makes the issue clearer.

Kostas

 
Dave Bross
pollinator
Posts: 194
Location: North FL, in the high sandhills
84
  • Likes 5
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I should have mentioned that both loquat and eleagnus here took about 5 years to start producing any fruit.

The loquats here have been without fruit for a few years due to serious freezes timed perfectly to destroy the flowers.
This year the loquats are making up for it.  heavy fruit set.
The autumn olive are flowering for the first time so fruit set remains to be seen...or not.

I have a layer of dense tightly packed sand about where your layer of limerock is.
Not much can push roots through it, or at least not quickly.
Even those big tillage radishes just push up out of the ground.

Fortunately, I'm not fighting what's probably a PH issue with your limerock layer.
My girlfriend has a similar limerock underlying her place and so far citrus trees and loquats have been the only things that seem to be able to break through it...or get around or above it somehow.
Apparently the PH of the limerock isn't an issue for them.

One more thought.....

How about mulberries? You can stick cuttings directly  in the ground here and if you keep them wet you get a tree.

maybe not within the parameters of what you're trying to do because even that is too much maintenance?



 
Konstantinos Karoubas
pollinator
Posts: 729
140
  • Likes 4
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Hello everyone,

Continuing a bit the discussion on the issue of companion trees for our olive trees and the other main fruit or nut  producing trees.

It's a long long term project, but worth the effort.



Kostas
 
Konstantinos Karoubas
pollinator
Posts: 729
140
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Greetings to all,




As mentioned previously, we are now able to store acorns for weeks and months in damp sand which is great.

The question that arises, is how late can we plant them? Will they sprout; will they survive the long hot summer?

We are running a small experiment. We planted acorns from mid January to late March.

Nothing is coming up yet, so I decided to do a bit of exploration.

The results...

This young oak tree was about to emerge; it was not visible.

It's root system is most impressive.

No wonder they are survivors.
A1-.jpg
Young Oak Tree Getting ready to emerge
Young Oak Tree Getting ready to emerge
 
Royal Flush Bitches! Pay up tiny ad:
Carbon Negative Mass Heaters - Alan Booker Webinar Recording and Slides
https://permies.com/w/carbon-negative-mass-heaters
reply
    Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic