How to Plant Trees and Forests on the Rocks and other Places

By Liliaa Usvat


Plating forests on the Rocks in temperate climate

Here is one type of the process.

  1. Pioneer species: First to grow on the bare rocks are the lichensthen mosses, -Lichen are actually a relationship between two organisms – a fungus and an alga – living together as one. The fungus acts as a house or umbrella for the alga –protecting it from the weather. The alga acts as the cook – because it can photosynthesize, it can create its own food and nourish the fungus as well. This relationship is known as symbiotic – a mutually beneficial arrangement. The fungus also produces acidic enzymes that help to break down the rock. The decaying of the lichen and the broken down rock particles create soil which the mosses use to establish themselves, further creating soil as they decompose.
  2. Intermediate species: ferns, grasses, shrubs (e.g. juniper and sumac) small shrubs like junipers and blueberries,The build-up of decomposed materials from plants and animals causes soil to form so that larger plants like shrubs can take hold. Finally, there is enough soil that trees are able to grow. This is known as primary succession.
  3. First trees: aspen poplar, white birch
  4. Climax species: white pine, sugar maple 
  • These processes take time.
  • How much time take to cut a forest?
  • What happen if the forest has been lost for a time and the soil has been vanished?
  • Is it time to consider cutting a live forest illegal. Some small countries have done that. It is time that more to do it.


For the first time, researchers at the University of California, Davis, have demonstrated that forest trees have the ability to tap into nitrogen found in rocks, boosting the trees’ growth and their ability to pull more carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.

Given that carbon dioxide is the most important climate-change gas, the nitrogen in rocks could significantly affect how rapidly the Earth will warm in the future, the researchers say. They report their findings in the Sept. 1 issue of the scientific journal Nature.

If trees can access more nitrogen than previously thought, that could lead to more storage of carbon on land and less carbon remaining in the atmosphere.


Nitrogen, found in such vital molecules as DNA and protein, is necessary for all life and is used worldwide as a fertilizer for food crops. It is the nutrient that most often limits plant growth in natural ecosystems.


It was previously believed that nitrogen could only enter ecosystems from the atmosphere either dissolved in rainwater or biologically “fixed” or assimilated by specialized groups of plants and other organisms. Because the amount of nitrogen in these atmospheric pathways is rather limited, it was thought that most ecosystems could not get enough of this vital nutrient to facilitate plant growth at maximum rates.

Following this line of thought, it was estimated that the nitrogen contribution from rocks in Northern California was on the same order as atmospheric nitrogen sources, made available through fixation and deposited via rainwater.

Here is another Solution to the question How does ecological succession turn a bare rock into a forest?


  1.  A bare rock area exists
  2. Soil,can be brought by human labor and fixed with a mash and cemented in different points
  3. Lichen or moss grows on clean surface.
  4. Plant seeds take roots in mosses and soil deposit
  5. Trees grow.
  6. Other trees grow and a forest is taken place

Let’s consider few positive points from Forestry Comision in England.

Dame Sylvia Crowe was appointed as the Commission’s first Landscape Consultant. Following the advice of Dame Sylvia Crowe, landscaping began to be considered on a far wider scale, resulting in woods which were aesthetically pleasing as well as productive. Forests were identified as important wildlife reserves, and conservation became a special responsibility of Commission staff.

Facilities for recreation developed steadily, especially after a consultants’ report highlighted the suitability of many sites for holiday accommodation. A Forest Cabins Branch was formed and new cabins built.

In May 2011 the provisional results of analysis of high-tech aerial photography, satellite imagery and other sources were published today as part of the Nationa Forest Inventory. They showed that there were 2,982,000 hectares of woodland across England, Scotland and Wales, representing 13 per cent of Britain’s land area. I consider it too small.

Here more info about planting a tree in different areas

Planting a Tree

The best time to plant new trees is in the winter.  This causes the least harm to the tree and is the best time to give your tree a chance at really growing.

Mark out a planting area 2 to 5 times wider than the root ball diameter (The wider the better).  Loosen this area to about an 8″ depth.  This will enable your tree to extend a dense mat of tiny roots well out into the soil in the first one to ten weeks in the ground. Often, early root growth is limited by the width of the hole and loosened soil perimeter.

In the center of the planting area, dig a hold at least twice the diameter of the root ball and no deeper than the depth of soil in the root ball.  The bottom of the ball should rest on solid, undisturbed earth.  When finished you want the soil at the as of the tree to be at the same level on the trunk as it was in the container.  If part of the trunk gets below ground, its bark may rot.

Make sure the sides of the hole are rough and uneven.  In very hard soils, a rough edge to the hole may help force new roots to grow out into the surrounding soil.

Place the tree in the hole.  If the tree is in a container, putt the container away from the root ball.  Don’t pull the tree out by its trunk. Place the root ball in the center of the hole and adjust the tree so it is straight and at the proper level.  Pulling the tree out by its trunk can damage the small roots within the ball.  The tree needs these roots to help its survive the transplant..

For balled and burlapped trees, rest the root ball in the center of the hole and reshape the hole so the tree will be straight and at the proper level.  After adjusting the tree pull the burlap and any other material away from the sides and top of the root ball.  Don’t try to get the burlap material out of the hole, just let it rest beneath the root ball of the tree.  Exposing the sides of the root ball to the soil will enable the trees root to grow in the most important directions.  If you adjust or lift the tree after its ball has been unwrapped, chances are that the root ball will be damaged.

Backfill with original soil.  Mixing fertilizer, compost, or other material with the original soil is not recommended.  If the backfill soil around the root ball is improved, the tree may slow in developing a good widespread root system.

Fill until the hold is half full.  Flood the hole with a slow hose or tamp gently with your foot to firm the soil.  Repeat until the hole is full.  Do not press too firmly, only firm enough to hold the tree upright.  The best soil for root growth has for both air and water; however large air pockets can cause problems.  This method of backfilling with soil and water or gently tamping will remove these large air pockets.

Construct a small dam or berm three feet in diameter around the tree, this dam will help hold water until it soaks into the soil, instead of letting it run off across the surface.

Cover the entire loosened area of soil with 3 to 4 inches of mulch.  Mulch will slow water loss and reduce competition from weeds and grasses, will moderate soil temperature and will provide a small amount of “nutrients.”

Blog 48-365

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