Not so! Thanks to this 100% biodegradable “tree incubator” the driest areas on earth are turned into forests.
We must and can restore our planet within our lifetime
With the COCOON planting technology, makers Land Life Company say they have a low-cost, sustainable and scalable solution to plant trees in arid soils. Together, they say, we can revitalise ecosystems and communities for this generation and the next.
The innovative planting technology enables trees and plants to grow in arid conditions, revitalising ecosystems and communities.
- Low-cost – 10 x cheaper than traditional tree planting
- 100% biodegradable – COCOON dissolves into organic substrate for the plant
- Low maintenance – after planting, NO follow up irrigation or maintenance
How the Cocoon works
The Water Reservoir:
Mycorrhizal fungi are added to the soil surrounding the roots of the plant. They increase the surface absorbing area of roots 100 to a 1,000 times. This improves access to soil moisture as well to the soil’s nutrients. Mycorrhizal fungi also release enzymes into the soil that dissolve hard-to-capture nutrients, such as organic nitrogen, phosphorus and, iron commonly fixed on to the soil complex. These fungi are present in 90% of natural forests and woodlands and form a critical, symbiotic relationship with the roots.
Benefits of the Cocoon
The COCOON saves water, is low-cost and biodegradable. It can be used at scale to ameliorate degraded land and it offers a "no hassle" solution, inherent to its design.
The COCOON requires 1-10% of the water used by traditional tree irrigation systems. This approach results in a more responsible, sustainable use of water. The approach also reduces the exposure to increasing water prices, water use legislation or water disputes. Restoring top soil with the COCOON improves rainwater infiltration, allowing the tree to make better use of rainfall.
The COCOON costs 3 to 10 times less than alternatives such as drip irrigation (e.g. the initial investment and running costs). It is also cheaper than planting without a support tool and coming back with a watering truck 3-5 times in the first summer to manually water all plants (a method often applied). The low cost base makes planting feasible where existing irrigation techniques had previously made planting cost prohibitive.
The COCOON biodegrades after half a year and becomes substrate to the soil, making it both an eco-friendly solution and a no-hassle solution. There are no maintenance or removal costs associated with the COCOON.
The COCOON is a scalable approach in space and time. Since no local water or electricity connection is required, it can be used to plant large number of trees in flat zones and on slopes. It can be used to plant in each season, including the hot and dry summer period, which is of great (cost) value to any restoration project.
Survival and Resilience:
Experiments have shown that native trees planted with the COCOON can reach survival rates of 80 up to 95% in areas where trees planted without support show survival rates of 0 to 40%. Through the years, trees planted with the COCOON and mycorrhizae show higher growth rates and increased resilience against drought. These results do depend on species, climatic and soil conditions.
Impact of nature restoration and landscaping:
Inspiration and pride for the local and international community
Bringing back nature is an inspiration to local communities and visitors. People take pride in restoring their land and building their national heritage. Especially in hot and dry climates, people value the presence of trees and nature in general.
Re-greening the land and adding trees will increase the value of the land over time. Degraded land can typically be acquired at a low cost, while the value of surrounding fertile, vegetated lands is 5-10 times higher. Using the COCOON, degraded land can be turned into valuable land with more potential.
Reducing stress on resources
Increasingly we are becoming aware of the challenges to sustain and improve the quality of our lives in a world of increasing demand and depleting resources. As the production and usage of resources is interlinked (food, water, energy, soils, CO2), integrated solutions must be developed and deployed. Restoring nature by planting trees on degraded land is the most water efficient way of addressing this challenge and has a positive impact on the long-term availability of resources.Trees are the earth’s natural way to capture CO2. A full-grown forest may absorb between 1 and 10 t/ha of CO2. A healthy mycorrhizae system may increase the CO2 uptake by a factor of 2 to 3. If the full cost for re-greening is to be carried by CO2 credits, a price of 5-10 euros per ton would suffice to break even.
Quality of the ecosystem
Planting native trees is a starter for ecosystem revitalisation. As trees grow, they have multiple positive effects on the ecosystem:
- The trees’ roots improve the water catchment in the soil and decrease water losses due to erosion;
- Soil erosion is reduced, as the tree canopy acts as a buffer for intense rainfall;
- Newly grown trees create shade and humus for shrubs and other vegetation to grow in the tree surroundings;
- Soil quality and soil life will increase. Over time the soil around the tree will turn darker and more humid
Benefits to health and society
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