13 cool new trees

In November 2020 we planted our first 13 trees in our new agroforestry system.  We have prepared this field over the last year with swales, fencing, cover crops and a pond and now they have 13 cool new trees! This field will have a forest planted that will offset carbon, create habitat for wildlife and provide food, medicine, timber, firewood and hay for animals.

Just at the most difficult financial time for us due to covid, Thierry Lustenberger helped us fund this project early this year. However, we decided to not paint the trees until now so we have the summer to plan, prepare, design and plant the trees at the idea time.

If you want to know more about this project jump to the bottom of pst after the photos of the trees:

Sumac tree

Sumac tree portugal
Sumac tree. donated by Thierry. Bought last year and grown in the greenhouse until it was bigger. Cultivated for the spice Sumac for Persian recipes.

Blackcurrent tree

blackcurrant tree portugal
Blackcurrant tree. Propagated from a friends tree by cutting. no idea what it is called but it is a tree with blackcurrants that you can eat.

Flames of the forest tree

Flames of the forest tree portugal
Flames of the forest tree. Also unsure of the name of this tree. a plant was given to us and it grew and produced seeds and we grew this from those seeds. it grows fast, is a nitrogen fixer and has a lovely red flower. Our yoga teacher Sudhir Rishi from India who visited said it as called flames of the forest.

Black Fig Tree

black fig tree portugal
black fig tree Portugal. Donated to us by Michael Bibi

Service Tree

Service Tree Portugal
Service Tree Portugal. Donated by Thierry, bought a year ago and grow bigger in the greenhouse. It has an edible fruit but you probably won’t like it. ‘For the birds’ or can be made into booze.

Paulownia Tree

Paulownia flowing tree portugal
Paulownia flowing the, I grew this one from seed

Hackberry Tree

Hackberry Tree Portugal
Hackberry Tree Portugal. Donates by Thierry. Bought from an Israeli guy called ‘Guy’ A native Portuguese tree that guy grew from seed. Apparently processes an edible, nutritious berry.

River Tamarind Tree

Leucaena leucocephala tree portugal
River tamarind tree, I grew this one from seed. fast-growing and good fodder for sheep. proved by our pet lamb who ate the leaves from all of them in our nursery, preventing me from being able to sell them as planned.

Pecan Tree

Pecan tree portugal
Pecan tree bought by our guest Andy. Bought from our friend Guy who grew it from a seed he got in Israel.

Thornless Honey Locust

Thornless Honey Locust tree I grew from a seed I bought from Heirloom and perennial

Magnolia Tree

Magnolia tree bought by Guest Lucy, we will prune this to a big decorative tree.

Paulownia Tree

paulownia for timber I grew from seed

Neem Tree

neem tree portugal
neem tree I grew from seed, leaves got damaged during planting. seeds collected from our friend in Monsanto

In the last year, we have prepared the field by:

  1. Fencing the field to protect it from sheep, we have run irrigation pipes to the field
  2. We have used pigs to seal the pond that we dug in that field to harvest clay for building
  3. Dug 4 swales on contour across the field
  4. Planted cover crops
  5. Used the pigs to plough the field
  6. Planted cover crops in the freshly ploughed field

On the 13th of November, we have planted the first row of trees. This is a diverse row of trees, most which grow big to put shade onto the adjacent road that we often walk along. This is to try and make it more comfortable walking around in the summer.

If they all make it they will need to be thinned out for firewood, timber or coppiced to make a hedge. if they don’t all grow then they will be the right amount of trees.

Next steps in this new agroforestry system

  • Plant out 5 rows of fruit trees along the swales
  • Plant some nitrogen-fixing and nurse trees.
  • Plant a windbreak with an understory hedge
  • Plant trees around the pond
  • Plant cover crops to be used to hay as ally crops. Thank you to our pig for tilling this soil so we can do this
  • Plant grape vines along the swales between the trees
  • Plant perennial vegetables and herbs next to each tree to make use of the drip lines
  • Pant pumpkin seeds by each tree, this is so we can grow pumpkins but also the pumpkin leaves will tell us how wet or dry the soil is around the trees
  • Finish installing the irrigation

If you want to learn about agroforestry then please do join us as an intern or take a look at our other agroforestry blogs.

Please help us please help by donating to our reforestation program.

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