In his speech at Davos Economic Summit President Donald Trump iterated that the United States would join the 1 Trillion Trees Initiative.
The US will be a part of the 1 Trillion Tree Project
Clearly, the cheapest way to grow trees is through seedlings. TexaSun® Tree Farms currently has 15,000 tree seeds of various varieties being refrigerated (stratified) for the 2020 spring germination season.
We plan to grow our farms exponentially and rapidly to keep up with such bold initiatives. Currently the United States alone is in need of 103 million trees according to research. (Link: NATGEO). Urban forests (city planning) can add millions more trees.
Fires are the largest concern worldwide for damaging forests. Crops and grasses also constitute carbon sequestration methods so simply replacing a forest does offer some sequestration if those forests are replanted in other crops or grasses, etc. However, trees can sequester large loads of carbon in their trunks so rapid tree reforestation is an important element of the ecosystem. Some tree varieties (especially pines) fair well in fires because fires can also provide stratification for their seeds. Stratification is a scarring process that allows the elements to reach inside of the live seed. All seeds are living organisms that require gas exchange. Most seeds either require stratification (a period of winter cold) and/or scarification. Walnuts, for example require scarification (such as when a squirrel eats part of a seed and allows the rest to germinate). Pines can undergo scarification through wild fires.
TexaSun® this year acquired much of the commercially available seeds for the Spanish Fir (Abies pinsapo) and they are undergoing stratification in Texas at this time for germination in May. Seeds do best when they are freshly gathered from available harvest. TexaSun® Tree Farms only buys seeds that are less than 6 months old for this reason. Again seeds are living organism even if they look dry. They should never be stored in airtight plastic containers but rather their natural breathing environment (i.e. paper).
Abies pinsapo is an endangered Fir tree native to a small part of southern Spain and Morocco. It is hard to say how well they will fare at our tree farm in USDA Zone 9 in East Texas. They are native to Zone 7. We are looking for more property in a US Zone 7 to nursery more trees that are native to the higher altitudes. Most of the US is actually composed of trees and grasses.
Christmas tree farms are an excellent way to both sequester carbon as well as add organic matter back to land fills and soil production and they smell good for the holidays. In 2020, TexaSun® will be planting 2000 Pinus virginiana Improved, Virginia pines which is the Texas version of the Christmas Tree.
TexaSun® has obtained USDA clearance letters in 2020 to import 1000 date palm seeds that are coming from Medinah, Saudi Arabia that will be firsts for the United States. Almost all date palms in the US originated in 1920 from 7 trees imported from Morocco. We are hoping this genetic material from Medinah fares well in Texas and includes Sufawi, Sefri, Ajwa and Sukari varieties.
One tree that we are focusing on this year is the Texas Walnut (Juglans microcarpa) which is native to Texas and Northern Mexico and is a cousin of the Eastern Black Walnut. These trees do not make the best commercial nut trees as does the Black Walnut but we are talking about Landscaping trees here rather than fruit production. Fruit production should come from clones so you are sure what you are getting. In 2021 we will be introducing cloned Pecan trees to our inventory. Pecan is actually a native tree to the United States and has excellent qualities.
A trillion trees is a global effort indeed. It is an opportunity for growers in every part of the world to both make a profit and correct eco-system problems.
So who will grow the trees? TexaSun® will be growing some of them on our East Texas tree farms.