Establishing of groves via seeding belongs to the most complex and challenging procedures in bioengineering, which BENDER has specialized in. Provided that competent knowledge in site properties and species is applied, grove seeding results in natural tree and bush populations of great value concerning aesthetics, ecology and erosion control. Together with other additive aggregates, grove seeds are applied via hydroseeding (technical procedure see section “Hydroseeding”.
Apart from the spray recipe to be applied, the soil texture, i.e. the grain size distribution, is of particular importance for successful grove seeding. It is vital that the raw soils are as coarse as possible and incohesive (rocky, gravelly, sandy/pebbly, craggy/fissured soils). Grove seeding on cohesive raw soils and top soils mostly has little prospect of success, as on such soils germ buds and seedlings are choked by fierce rival, herbaceous natural cover. Thus, top soil coverings are neither expedient nor necessary. This makes grove seeding an interesting and cost-efficient alternative for raw soil sites.
Wherever available, the use of tree and shrub seeds from the respective local area is to be strongly recommended. This ensures optimal adjustment to the corresponding site and avoids an alienation of the regional grove flora.
Grove seeding offers a cost-efficient and expedient alternative for plantations in the fields of road and waterway construction and landscaping as well as for the reclamation of dumps, post-mining landscapes, quarries, sand and gravel pits.
Advantages of Grove Seeding over Plantation
- No plantation shock
- Low loss rates (contrary to plantations with often extremely severe losses
due to adaptation difficulties)
- Germinating and sprouting young groves can attune to the respective site conditions right from the start
- Hardly any growth and developing depressions, better vitality
- Development of deep rootage adapted to the site, no “flower pot” effect, thus optimal utilization of water and nutrient ressources
- Sowed groves mature to natural, stable grove populations
- Unproblematic generation of especially species-rich populations with a high proportion of groves (valuable concerning nature conservation!)
- Blending with pioneer groves is reasonable and possible without any problems
- Cost-efficient procedure with special, well proven spray recipes after the BENDER method
Which Species are suited for grove seeding?
Generally, only plants of local origin are to be initiated – if available. If possible, you should even do without exotic species permitted in forestry.
Willow (Salix spec.) and poplar (Populus spec.) seeds are unavailable as those are not suitable for storing. (Mind: Often pictures of projects with reportedly sown willows or poplars are shown. But those plants throughout have grown spontaneously!)
For technical reasons, big, heavy seeds (e.g. acorns, hazelnuts, etc.) often cannot be applied via hydroseeding and if so, they roll to the slope bottom. Such seeds therefore should better be stuck by hand.
What is to be adhered to at all costs!
Apart from site aspects, there are numerous factors which, however, can be controlled by the spray recipe, that affect the success of grove seeding. Sort and amount of mother crop seeds, nutrient supply, mulch cover and soil conditioners are important components and require careful and well directed selection and determination.
There is also a significant difference between maintaining grove seed areas and maintaining planted or green spaces. For example, you must not mow grove seed areas until the groves have reached a corresponding minimum height and can be recognized as such without any problems. Due to long germination and growing times, the success of grove seedings often can be evaluated conclusively only after several vegetation periods.