3 million trees and still planting
As we start to work in the UK, Andy Steele reflects on our Framework Species Approach to tree planting in Thailand.
Today, we have passed our landmark of creating forests where over 3million trees are combatting the effects of climate change, and our story has only just begun.
At the outset Dr. Stephen Elliot of FORRU, Chiang Mai University in Thailand, significantly influenced our work in Asia. He introduced us to the concept of framework species restoration. FORRU have undertaken a number of trials on species performance in the nursery and the field to select appropriate species
Due to forest degradation and loss, the use of ecological restoration techniques has become of particular interest in recent years. One such method is the Framework Species Approach (FSA), which was developed in Queensland, Australia. The Framework Species Approach involves a single planting (approximately 30 species) of both early and late successional species.
Species planted must survive in the harsh conditions of an open site as well as fulfilling the functions of; (a) fast growth of a broad dense canopy to shade out weeds and reduce the chance of forest fire, (b) early production of flowers or fleshy fruits to attract seed dispersers and kick start animal-mediated seed distribution to the degraded site.
The Framework Species Approach has been used by PATT on all of our projects in Asia and one significant element that has to be factored into our tree calculations is the studies on FORRU projects that had shown that after 6 years the projects demonstrated an increase in species diversity from 30 species to 90, a three fold increase in trees.