Agroforestry is an integrated approach of using the interactive benefits from combining trees and shrubs with crops and/or livestock. It combines agricultural and forestry technologies to create more diverse, productive, profitable, healthy and sustainable land-use systems. Source Wikipedia
The following article, “A Quiet Push to Grow Crops Under Cover of Trees” focuses on a forested hill in the mountains north of Montana’s capital. Trees are being planted under layers of cover crops like shrubs, raspberries and grapes. Wildlife like turkeys and chickens wander the two acre plot and feed on the current cover crops and leave their manure to nourish the plants and trees. For years, farmers have instituted no-till farming techniques and understand the value of cover crops and keeping nutrients in the soil.
These same techniques can be applied to planting trees. I think it is important to continue to plant trees and it makes sense to plant trees in areas where soil nutrients are plentiful.
The point I want to leave you with is that often times we don’t think about planting trees near creeks or valleys or in areas that are not currently surrounded by grass. Maybe we should look at these areas, check out the soil and see if these areas would be ideal for growing trees.