Agroforestry: uniting field and forest

Apr 12, 2021 | written by:

Imagine fields of wheat as far as the eye can see and then, beyond them, hectares of dense forest. A clear boundary between agriculture and nature; an image we take for granted. 

Then imagine a land where vegetables and trees are mixed together, and to be precise, different species of trees, both fruit trees and species more typical of forests and woods. And maybe imagine that in this strange environment there are also farm animals. What you are seeing in this case is an agroforestry system. A rather unusual sight, at least for the way most of us are used to understanding agricultural environments. Yet agroforestry is a trend that is gaining momentum. A land management system that is actually not so new. In fact, it is one of the oldest forms of cultivation. 


What is agroforestry? 


It is often confused with classical forestry. How do the two disciplines differ? For a correct classification, we must first define what is meant by forestry.

This term refers to the planned action of man in a forest environment. Its purpose is to encourage the growth of trees that can have various uses, but it also includes the provision of intangible services, such as the conservation of forests, especially as a protective and recreational area. In this, forestry has similarities with agroforestry: there is a holistic view and a tendency to create complex ecosystems (it should also be remembered that trees and forests are essential for our survival). 


Agroforestry integrates the practice of "growing" trees with classic agriculture and is also open to the management of space for animal husbandry. Agroforestry is thus a multidisciplinary activity that bridges several worlds, aiming for the greatest possible sustainability, that is also capable of generating food (and potentially economic and social) resources for those establishing these systems. We imitate what nature creates spontaneously. A sustainable ecosystem made up of complementary elements. At the heart of it all: the tree. 


Why does Treedom plant trees in agroforestry systems?


Trees are what holds the agroforestry system together. They are the great unifying component of all ecological interactions. 

Treedom's mission is to make the planet greener, and trees are the key to this. However, we want to introduce more trees in a very specific way, with agroforestry systems. There are many positive effects in their application - for ecosystems, the people who plant them and, ultimately, the planet. 

To name just a few of these effects:

  • CO2 storage
  • Reforestation in threatened areas
  • Promoting and preserving biodiversity 
  • Combating soil erosion and desertification
  • Empowerment of people through active participation


But this is only the beginning. Read more about the benefits of agroforestry here.


For centuries, forestry and agriculture have been closely intertwined. We believe that it may be strategic today to recover that perspective.


https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10457-012-9560-2 

http://www.fao.org/state-of-forests/en/ 

https://www.researchgate.net/publication/322709895

https://www-treedom-net/docs/treedom_methodology

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0264837718310470

https://www.treedom.net/en/blog/post/the-benefits-of-agroforestry-for-our-planet-2266

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