Soil? Isn’t it just ground and dirt? Not at all, because in fact it is an underestimated part of ecosystems, which determines whether plants are thriving or shrinking. Besides light, soil is the most important requirement for the growth of seedlings as it is also a source for water and nutrients.
Ground textures and various types of soil also play an important role in our One Million Trees program. Simeon Max and field coordinator Gan took soil samples in the whole program area during the last weeks and explained interested smallholders the consistence and characteristics of their fields. They realized that in the Southern area of Takaras, sand and turf are the dominating soil types on which it is almost impossible for plants to grow. But this is why Sengon matters: as a pioneer tree species, Sengon is able to grow on many different types of soil, because it is binding nitrogen from the air and is therefore not dependent on the nutrient storage of the soil. As a result, Sengon is able to improve the soil in the long run as it enriches the nutritive substances with its dead branches and leaves that fall to the ground and counteracts the erosions with its roots.
The mixed timber plantings of the One Million Trees program not only support smallholders to improve their livelihoods in the short term, but also have the potential to improve the fertility of the soil in the long term.