Friday, January 16, 2015

Dense Mini-Forests Absorb More Stormwater

Expanding the tree canopy is one component of controlling combined sewer overflows (CSOs).

An engineer in India has developed a process to increase the density of small reforestation projects, thereby enhancing stormwater absorption. Shubhendu Sharma, a disciple of Akira Miyawaki, plants mini-forests which he says are far more dense and grow much faster than typical reforestation efforts.

His method:

  • Determine nutritional deficiencies in the soil.
  • Select best tree species, depending on soil composition, climate and the plot’s purpose.
  • Supplement the site to a depth of one meter with nearby biomass like manure or other agricultural waste.
  • Plant three to five saplings (around 80 cm or 2.5 feet high) per square meter in a plot at least 100 square meters (33 ft. x 33 ft.).
  • Water and weed for two or three years.
  • Then disturb as little as possible.

This grows into a forest so dense that after eight months, sunlight can’t reach the ground. At this point, every drop of rain that falls is conserved, and every leaf that falls is converted into humus.”

“The methodology has already been used to in [sic] massive reforestation schemes in Thailand, Japan and India…”

“Using multi-layering, these forests grow 10 times faster, have 100% more biodiversity and are 30 times more dense than a typical forest.”

We need to do a lot more tree planting for CSO control in southeast Michigan. Sharma’s ideas deserve serious consideration.

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