"The tiny forest lives atop an old landfill in the city of Cambridge, Mass.
Though it is still a baby, it’s already acting quite a bit older than its
actual age, which is just shy of 2.
Its aspens are growing at twice the speed normally expected, with fragrant
sumac and tulip trees racing to catch up. It has absorbed storm water without
washing out, suppressed many weeds and stayed lush throughout last year’s
drought. The little forest managed all this because of its enriched soil and
density, and despite its diminutive size: 1,400 native shrubs and saplings,
thriving in an area roughly the size of a basketball court.
It is part of a sweeping movement that is transforming dusty highway shoulders,
parking lots, schoolyards and junkyards worldwide. Tiny forests have been
planted across Europe, in Africa, throughout Asia and in South America, Russia
and the Middle East. India has hundreds, and Japan, where it all began, has
Now tiny forests are slowly but steadily appearing in the United States. In
recent years, they’ve been planted alongside a corrections facility on the
Yakama reservation in Washington, in Los Angeles’s Griffith Park and in
Cambridge, where the forest is one of the first of its kind in the Northeast.
“It’s just phenomenal,” said Andrew Putnam, superintendent of urban forestry
and landscapes for the city of Cambridge, on a recent visit to the forest,
which was planted in the fall of 2021 in Danehy Park, a green space built atop
the former city landfill. As dragonflies and white butterflies floated about,
Mr. Putnam noted that within a few years, many of the now 14-foot saplings
would be as tall as telephone poles and the forest would be self-sufficient.
Healthy woodlands absorb carbon dioxide, clean the air and provide for
wildlife. But these tiny forests promise even more.
They can grow as quickly as ten times the speed of conventional tree
plantations, enabling them to support more birds, animals and insects, and to
sequester more carbon, while requiring no weeding or watering after the first
three years, their creators said."
Via Future Crunch
*** Xanni ***
Chief Scientist, Xanadu
Partner, Glass Wings
Manager, Serious Cybernetics