Dispersed Planting -/dəˈspərs’d, planting/ – verb

April 29, 2020

Definition: The strategic distribution of multipurpose agroforestry trees over a large area of land that lacks trees. Open or empty spaces can benefit from the increased nitrogen and green fertilizer that these agroforestry trees provide.

Forest Garden Fact: While the Forest Garden Approach emphasizes the importance of increasing tree cover and soil fertility through the establishment of living fences, windbreaks, and alley cropping systems, there are many regions of the world where there are likely to be large areas of land without trees. In these open spaces, we encourage farmers to disperse trees throughout the space to provide nutrients and fertilizer to the land. By establishing trees in these sparse areas, farmers give themselves an opportunity to plant more trees in that space in the future.

How to Disperse Trees: Spacing between dispersed trees varies considerably, depending on the amount of ‘open’ space after alleys and living fences have been planted. A good rule of thumb is to have a dispersed tree for every 50 to 100 square meters, so spaced in a grid-like pattern about every seven to ten meters. Management practices of dispersed trees are similar to those of the trees in alley cropping systems – the thicker branches can be coppiced at the beginning of the cropping season and used for fuelwood and poles, while the leaves, stems, and branchlets can by ‘chopped and dropped’ as green fertilizer throughout the cropping season.

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