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Greenbreak - /ɡrēnˌbrāk/ - noun

August 7th, 2019

Definition: A wide strip of densely-planted trees that are specifically chosen for their high moisture content and lack of flammable biomass. When mature, the dense canopy of a greenbreak will help to minimize fire-prone undergrowth while the trees’ fire-resistant leaves and trunks will deter spreading flames. Succulent, shade-tolerant crops like banana, papaya, and root crops can also be planted under greenbreaks to create a barrier that will further suppress impending fires.

In the Forest Garden: The width of fuelbreaks varies broadly depending on the fire risk conditions, slope, and amount of flammable vegetation. Generally, the width of fuelbreaks should be between 12 and 35 meters; the greater the fire risk conditions, the greater the width. Three to four rows of densely planted fire-retardant trees and crops is generally a good amount. An easy to establish canopy that retains succulent, green foliage throughout the year without dropping flammable leaves is key.

Recommended Greenbreak Species:

  • Anacardium occidentale

  • Ficus elastica

  • Mangifera indica 

Learn more about greenbreaks in Module 8 of the Forest Garden Training Manual.