NTCF's Supporting Nature & Storing Carbon group invites you to learn about the Nelson Whakatu Biochar Microforest, believed to be the first biochar microforest in New Zealand. It's modelled on methods developed by Prof Akira Miyawaki in Japan.
DATE: This event has been rescheduled and will now take place on Sunday 1 August
VENUE: 5 Francois Way/Heights, Enner Glynn, Nelson
HOST: Colin Davis
TOPIC: Microforestry: What is it, benefits to the climate and beyond, and how to establish your own microforest.
By planting large numbers of mixed native tree species in a small area (minimum 30 sq metres) the theory is that growth rate is enhanced along with carbon sequestration which is claimed to be 30 times that of a plantation forest.
The key feature of our forest, where we have planted almost 300 trees in 100 sq metres, has been the advance treatment of the soil to produce good drainage as well as water retention and long term sharing of soil enhancement benefits. These are supported by drilling 200+ holes in the forest area through the clay subsoil and filling the holes with biochar and compost, allowing them to interact together. We produce the biochar on site by burning wood from cut down trees and producing a high temperature to allow pyrolysis to take place. One drum of burnt timber thus produces about 25 kilos of biochar.
We planted 25 species of native trees and shrubs, appropriate to the area, on 5th April and they are already growing well.
According to the Miyawaki Method, we planted them roughly 60cms apart and must now mulch the forest to a depth of 10-11cms. We must also weed and water for 3 years as necessary, after which the forest should be completely self-supporting.