A forest belt is a field shelterbelt consisting of at least three rows of trees or shrubs. Forest belts serve the same purpose as field shelterbelts, but create a forest environment between the rows when the tree canopy closes.
Forest belts help reduce soil erosion, trap snow, and increase crop yields better than regular shelterbelts, because they are denser and are less likely to have gaps in them.
Increase Biodiversity - Forest belts harbour insects, birds, wild flowers, mammals and mushrooms.
Reduce Carbon dioxide (CO2) - Forest belts use much more CO2 (the number 1 greenhouse gas) than regular shelterbelts.
Provide Direct Income - Forest belts give the farmer opportunity to harvest fruit products, pulp, lumber, maple syrup and much more.
Long Term Shelter - Forest belts are comprised of many species with varied lifespans. Dead trees can be removed and replaced without leaving gaps, so shelter is maintained.
A typical forest belt is designed so that taller species are in the middle and shorter species are on the outside. For easy maintenance, demonstration forest belts are planted into plastic mulch and grass is sown between the rows.
Forest belt species
Forest belts are designed to include both fast-growing and long-lived species to ensure they provide shelter benefits for the longest possible time. Some species included in forest belts are:
What species are planted in a forest belt?
|Scots pine||lumber, wildlife, crop shelter|
|White spruce||lumber, wildlife, crop shelter|
|Colorado spruce||lumber, wildlife, crop shelter|
|Siberian larch||lumber, rails, posts|
|Green ash||specialty wood, crop shelter|
|Manitoba Maple||specialty wood, maple syrup, crop shelter, nesting|
|Siberian elm||specialty wood, crop shelter, nesting|
|Hybrid poplar||lumber, pulp|
|Bur oak||specialty wood|
|Russian olive||specialty wood, wildlife|
|Caragana||specialty wood, crop shelter, wildlife|
|Choke Cherry||specialty wood, fruit, wildlife|
|Mongolian cherry||fruit, wildlife|
|High bush cranberry||fruit, wildlife|
|Pin cherry||fruit, wildlife|
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