How a 100-Year Forest Is Grown in Just 10 Years
Have you ever wished you could have a forrest in your backyard? Well, it turns out you can, and it doesn’t even take that long to grow. If done correctly, in about 10 years you’ll have a fully self-sustainable forest capable of regenerating itself indefinitely. However, you’ll be able to start enjoying your forest much sooner than that. It takes 10 years for the forest to no longer require watering or weeding, but in less than a year you’ll already have an impressively lush landscape wherever you plant it.
The method was developed by industrial engineer, Shubhendu Sharma. He uses a process that emulates how a forest would grow without the presence of humans. He starts by choosing a location – size and region do not matter – and analyzing the soil to determine what nutrients it’s lacking. He then adds biomass and microorganisms to the soil to reconstitute it. Unlike other fertilization methods, the microorganisms create a living ecosystem within the soil that continuously provides the soil with nutrients.
The next step is choosing the right plants. Sharma does research to find out what trees were native to the area before humans lived there. Then he decides which type of forrest he would like to grow: a fruit forest, flower forest, or an evergreen forest. Once the forest type and trees have been selected, Sharma begins sewing the seeds in a tight grouping, being careful to keep two of the same tree species apart from each other. The planted seeds are covered with a thick layer of mulch to retain moisture and protect the plants from frost, and then it’s just a matter of waiting.
At first, it won’t look like much is happening, but underground a vast root system is developing. Once the roots have taken hold and formed a tight weave throughout the soil, the trees will begin growing rapidly. In just one year or less, some trees will grow taller than an average person.
The fully mature forests do not need to be watered or weeded. At this point, the vegetation is so dense, almost no moisture can escape by evaporating, and the tall canopy trees block the sunlight weeds need to grow. As tree leaves fall to the forest floor, they immediately begin decomposing, adding nutrients to the soil. You can tell the forest floor is healthy when mushrooms sprout from it.
The forests also attract a diverse array of other organisms, such as birds, bees, and snails, to name a few.
Sharma and his company, Afforestt, have planted forests all over the world, and are capable of growing a 300-tree forest in a space the size of six parking spots. If you’d like to find out more about the work they do, visit their website, Afforestt.com.