WHY IS REFORESTATION IMPORTANT FOR THE ENVIRONMENT?
Every year as our nation continues to grow and expand into rural areas, we clear our forests to make way for new homes, businesses, and roadways. With more and more forests stripped of their valuable resources, reforestation is needed to help restore our ecosystems. Reforestation is the replanting of trees in forests and woodlands that have been depleted. Many states like, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, and Virginia have tree improvement programs that help to provide the best genetic quality seed for use in forest reforestation.
How Is Reforestation Done? Tilling and soil preparation are desirable to give the trees a good start. Adding soil amenities to the tilling process is also beneficial to the initial planting, as well incorporating mycorrhizal fungi as an added boost to getting the trees a good growth spurt. Finally, a heavy application of mulch is used to help preserve moisture for the trees and deter weed growth. In high traffic areas, barriers such as low fencing, roping and stakes or other blockades may be installed to deter vandalism and compaction to soil by the public. This may pertain more to parks, especially near playgrounds and sports fields, than to commercial or residential sites.
Why Is Reforestation Used? When a site is being developed, the usable areas may not align in a way to promote tree growth. When that occurs, smaller areas of trees that get cut off can be replanted through reforestation techniques to correct such deficits and aid in the survivability of existing mature trees. Landscape architects are often tasked with allocating areas of reforestation plantings for many different reasons.
What Are The Ideal Applications For Reforestation? Landscape areas adjacent to parking lots, or even landscape areas through parking, are ideal for reforestation because it provides shade for cars and pedestrians. Steep hillsides are another prime area for reforestation. Traditional landscaping on a 2:1 or 3:1 slope adds greatly to maintenance requirements due to effort. Also, on slope greater than 3:1, lawn cannot be mowed, and more plant material is required to cover this area of the site, which means more costs upfront and from a maintenance standpoint. Reforestation paired with disking and tilling also greatly reduces erosion during and after construction. The rill created during construction with disking on slopes helps to trap and hold water – another benefit of reforestation. Buffers between sites, adjacent wetlands or streams are also ideal locations for reforestation.
Foresite Group has completed a number of reforestation projects ranging from public parks to commercial, industrial and residential developments. Please contact Jason Weckerly below to learn more.
About Jason Weckerly
Jason Weckerly leads Foresite Group’s Landscape Architecture Practice Area nationwide. As a Landscape Architect, Jason has always been interested in how an existing site can cohesively blend with the proposed program. He has a Bachelor’s degree in Environmental Design from Arizona State University and has been with Foresite Group since 2011. With more than 25 years of experience, Jason has a special interest in in the sustainability of projects well after the contractor has left the site, as well an aesthetic approach of less is more.