Today I took a trip back up to the farm again, working to make the best use of each hour and every day.
Here you can see a row of planted trees, beneath the shade of other native trees and bushes. Basically the idea is to clean out the grasses and herbs, ferns and vines from the understory, to give the next generation of trees a straight shot to the top. Generally trees are very good at competing with each other, and competition applied in the right way make trees grow tall and straight.
While cleaning up around the edges, I am keeping my eye out for one native tree in specific: Viburnum Cornifolium. I'm not 100% sure if we have the right species, but the genus is correct, take a look:
I keep a look out for these because they have proven very hard to grow from seed, but appear around the farm beneath other trees and bushes where birds perch. They love the tiny berries from this tree! And their digestive process perfectly prepares the seed to take hold in the soil and leaf litter below trees in the forest.
The local name for this tree translates something like 'axe handle tree', and I have set a goal to multiply and cultivate this tree all over the farm and within other crops. I propose to grow axe handles. Also posts, this tree responds very vigorously to copsing and resprouts multiple heads each time.
Here are some leaves and the trunk of our largest specimen currently:
So I am working with two guys, and I am training them to keep their eyes out for these small sprouts. Even after I am content with 500 or 1000 of these trees, I think it will be smart to keep up the habit, and raise small trees in a nursury, to sell to others. Currently it is becoming more popular lately to buy different, useful, native and interesting species of trees. But Viburnum Cornifolium is very hard to come by.
So I keep 'rescuing' and replanting the sprouts, on contour, interspersed with other species of trees and bushes, such as nitrogen fixers.
I met a man with a 2 meter lathe, so this could be a business over the next couple years.
It is just one of the promising species we are focusing on, and one that can be quite tricky to germinate.