Sustainable Agriculture: The Benefits of Biochar for New Tree Growth

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Petey Peterson
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Is Biochar Beneficial for New Tree Growth?

For more than 36 months, Locoal had the opportunity to work with Davey Tree, a leading provider of tree care services in the United States, on a study that explored the potential benefits of using biochar as a soil amendment for new tree growth. The study showed incredible results and highlighted the potential for biochar to improve soil health, reduce nutrient inputs, increase tree growth, and reduce the carbon footprint of the tree care industry.

Traditionally, tree planting involves digging a hole and filling it with soil, which can be lacking in nutrients and organic matter. Biochar, on the other hand, is a highly porous material that can enhance soil structure, water retention, and nutrient availability. Biochar has also been shown to increase microbial activity in soil, which can lead to much healthier trees.

In the study conducted by Davey Tree regarding the Red Maple tree, our company provided biochar as a soil amendment, while another group was given traditional soil. The results showed that the trees that were planted in biochar-amended soil had significantly higher growth rates and survival rates than those planted in the control soil. The biochar-amended soil had improved soil structure, aeration, beneficial bacteria production, water retention, and nutrient availability, indicating that biochar can enhance soil health and continues to benefit the environment for longer term impact.

In general, trees are the largest contributor to ongoing carbon sequestration. A carbon-negative material like biochar is well suited for amending soil on tree farms due to it’s durability and the ability to source it from the agricultural waste.

Our collaboration with Davey Tree on the biochar study for new tree growth is an excellent example of how sustainable solutions can benefit both the industry and the environment. At Locoal, we believe in the power of biochar to transform the way we think about waste and create valuable products that bring compounding benefit to society. We are excited to continue working with industry partners to explore the applications of biochar and bring sustainable solutions to a larger group of sectors. If you are interested in learning more about Rainmaker and how it can benefit your business or community, contact us today.