Trees and shrubs grow on rocks - Technology

Trees and shrubs grow on rocks

Let’s see what happens in nature:

  • If you look at a rock with a microscope, you will see many cracks from very small to clearly visible.
  • If you drill a well in rocks, you will find ground water - many times only 5 to 10 meters below the surface.
  • This ground water goes up, via the cracks, due to the capillary principles of nature.
  • This is why many mountains (e..g. the Rocky (!) Mountains, the Alps) are covered with trees. There’s already enough water.
  • Let’s look at how it works in moderate climates: the top of the crack is dry, but in these climates, trees produce their seeds in autumn, exactly when rain starts.
  • These seeds fall on the rocks which get humid (rain and/or snow) from October to March.
  • The seeds above a crack push their first small root – the radicle - inside the crack and quickly search for water.  Within 1 day, one can already see new roots.
  • The radicle is capable of developing a pressure of over 50 bar (725 psi).
  • The roots develop in winter, and the leaves don’t; the plant is absorbing water to build up strength in the seed, for the leaf to develop in April when it gets warmer.
  • In April, the temperature rises and the seeds germinate.
  • Because the roots are already at the capillary water, the leaf develops; and once it gets dry in summer, the plant has water to evaporate and keep itself cool.
  • Look how beautiful Nature has done this: first, cold period = development of root system, and no evaporation.
  • Then a warm period to develop a small (but not too much evaporation) plant in order to start photosynthesis and produce leaves and wood.
  • Now the plant survives its first winter. Root development goes on because deep down in the rocks, the temperature is stable at + 8° C (46° F). Next year its growth will explode.

The Groasis Waterboxx plantcocoon® mimics this ‘Autumn principle’ of moderate climates and brings it into practice in hot climates:

  • Take a tree as small as possible (little evaporation).
  • First let the roots develop.
  • Do not disturb the capillary soil structure (and water).  Capillary action is the ability of soil and rocks to transport water from the top to the groundwater below when it rains, and from the groundwater up to the top when there is a dry period.
  • When we want to plant on rocks, we look for cracks.
  • Below the Groasis Waterboxx plantcocoon®, the temperature stays relatively cool and stable.

Do all rocks contain water?

  • Almost everywhere in the world there is ground water.
  • Between the cracks there’s always higher humidity; so even if it is only a little, the roots do find some water.
  • Consequently, the root system develops a symbiosis with fungi (mycorrhiza) and bacteria.  This symbiosis results in a humus system that is able to stay humid.
  • Plants are also able, together with the humidity, bacteria and fungi, to extract the required minerals (nutrient fertilizer) from rocks in the root zone.
  • The whole of roots, bacteria, fungi, humus and humidity, create a system in which the tree starts growing.  In subsequent years, these trees will form and maintain their own optimal environment.

The Groasis Waterboxx plantcocoon® works because it mimics the principles of nature.