LIFE+ The Green Desert - planting trees in Spain

There is a variety of interconnected issues related to the climate change impacts - these include increasing levels of CO2 in the atmosphere, traffic related emissions, soil degradation and subsequent loss of agricultural capacity and landscape, as well as loss of bio-diversity and eco-systems. One of the most devastating consequences of climate change is the desertification of areas that have previously provided important functions in terms of carbon sequestration, food production and landscape conservation. Tree planting, like this project in Spain, can help overcome these problems and innovative planting techniques are required to properly regenerate some degraded areas.

Planting of trees in different locations in Spain

During the LIFE+ The Green Deserts project, carried out in collaboration with the European Commission Environment LIFE program, we have planted trees in Spain. In total, 63 hectares (all located in semi dry to very dry ares) was planted with trees while using the Waterboxx® plant cocoon. The trees were planted in the provinces Valladolid, Leon, Zamora, Zaragoza and Barcelona (see the map below – click on the trees and receive more information).

The objectives of the LIFE+ The Green Deserts project

The project's main objective is to demonstrate the feasibility and effectiveness of new tree planting techniques in desertified, poor and/or rocky areas. In this case, it will be the Waterboxx® plant cocoon. With the Waterboxx® plant cocoon trees will be planted to restore the sponge-function of degraded soils and reinforce soils' existing capacity for supporting plant life.

Other objectives of these projects are:

  • Demonstrate the feasibility of cultivation of Hedera with the Waterboxx® plant cocoon, to facilitate its application for the capture of CO2 and fine powder alongside highways;
  • To clarify on larger scale, with the novelties purposely developed to facilitate such scale, should clarify for which soils, trees and by which application methods the best results can be obtained for differentiated scopes like agriculture, reforestation and restoration of eco-systems;
  • To offer sufficient proof of concept to be broadly disseminated to potential target groups, in order to pave the way for broad introduction of the technology in view of combating the disastrous effects of climate change on the natural environment.

The project has to demonstrate that it can on a realistic scale, on the 5 test locations, that the following goals can be achieved on the long term with the technology:

  • Improvement of soils by stimulating the natural capacities of plants;
  • Improvement of success rates of planting in eroded and desert areas to above 95%;
  • Reconstruction of forests in desertified areas, capable of absorbing large amounts of our CO2 emissions;
  • Restoration of desertified agricultural land to economic profitability, increasing the economic opportunities in rural areas and thus combating their abandonment
  • Reduction of water and energy use, as the technology does not require any type of irrigation
  • Reduction of fine powder and CO2 emissions by traffic, by facilitating planting of the always-green Hedera alongside highways
  • Restoration of eco-systems facilitating the planting of indigenous and endangered species in desertified or otherwise damaged territories.
  • Possibly planting all year round, offering long-term employment and larger time spans for cultivation and reforestation.

Actions

In order to proof the viability of the Waterboxx® plant cocoon on a demonstration scale and to assess its results, the project foresees planting of a variety of species on a variety of soil types in lots which range from bare land to mountains to a waste dump (a total of 63 Ha, all located in areas with a moderately dry to extremely dry climate).

In order to allow for a proper assessment control groups are foreseen. About half of the saplings will be planted in the first year, the other in the second, in order to compensate for ‘unrealistic’ results caused by a particularly wet year. Particular small saplings will be used (3 cm), which have bigger possibilities for growth on poor soil.

In order to test if with the Waterboxx® plant cocoon planting of these kind of saplings would be possible all year round, a small part will be planted in July. As the device has to be placed just below the soil, requiring a small hole, in order to avoid being blown away by the wind, the large scale application of it in dry and rocky areas requires a capillary drill. A prototype of such a drill will be developed in the project, and tested in the concerned areas.

Growth will be monitored for 3-4 years: after such period, a tree has passed the most critical part of its life-time and can be considered to have survived.

Results of planting trees in Spain with the Waterboxx®

Read the results of planting trees in Spain with the Waterboxx® plant cocoon below in the multiple reports and see the pictures of the plantings in the photo albums.

Reports of the Life+ The Green Deserts Projects in Spain

Photo series and video's of the LIFE+ The Green Deserts Projects in Spain

October 2014 Flag spain Zaragossa Anti avalanches plantation of trees in ski resort San Isidro- Leon – Spain – Project “Life+ The Green Deserts”
August 2014 Flag spain Zaragossa Reforestation with the revolutionary biodegradable Groasis Greenboxx from recycled paper in Spain
June 2014 Flag spain Zaragossa EU Life+ program: Successful results of planting trees with the plastic biodegradable Groasis Waterboxx® plant cocoon
June 2014 Flag spain Zaragossa EU Life+ program: Results of the successful planting with the biodegradable Greenboxx made of recycled paper
May 2014 Flag spain 7 different places Video: Groasis Waterboxx® plant cocoon Life+ reforestation results in 7 extreme places in Spain
May 2012 Flag spain Barcelona EU Life+ program: The Green Deserts trees planted February 2012 at Sant Boi de Llobregat Barcelona Spain
May 2012 Flag spain Barcelona EU Life+ program: Los Desiertos Verdes trees that were planted in 2011 at Sant Boi de Llobregat Barcelona Spain
May 2012 Flag spain Zaragossa EU Life+ program: The Green Deserts trees that were planted in 2011 at San Mateo de Gallego Zaragossa Spain
May 2012 Flag spain Zaragossa EU Life+ program: Los Desiertos Verdes trees that survived one year after using the Groasis Waterboxx® plant cocoon at San Mateo de Gallego Zaragossa Spain
May 2012 Flag spain Valladolid EU Life+ program: Los Desiertos Verdes successful reforestation of a garbage dump at Fuensaldana Province of Valladolid Spain
May 2012 Flag spain Riofrio de Aliste EU Life+ program: Controlling the results of Riofriste de Aliste plantings in the North of Spain
May 2012 Flag spain Riofrio de Aliste EU Life+ program: The Green Deserts successful reforestation of mine dumps from Grupo Cupa at Riofriste de Aliste Spain
May 2012 Flag spain San Isidro EU Life+ program: 1600 to 2000 meter high Ski Resort San Isidro Province of Leon Espana

More information about planting trees in Spain

Do you want to plant trees with the Waterboxx® plant cocoon in Spain or somewhere else? Go to our shop and order a 10-pack Waterboxxes. Do you want to know more about this project? Go to the website of The Green Deserts!