Old 02-05-2011, 12:31 PM
tallrick tallrick is offline
LawnSite Senior Member
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: South Florida
Posts: 682
Pineland restoration

About 20 years ago I was involved with a project to restore a 2.5 acre lot that was originally pineland but had been cleared in the 40's and used as part of a vegetable farm till the 80's. then abandoned to brazillian pepper. The homeowner, a family friend wanted to restore the lot to take advantage of a property tax break for "native forest communities". Problem is that others wo had tried the same had failed, including schools. My theory was that there was something missing in the soil to re-establish a pineland. What I noticed was that sites cleared could regrow but areas compacted or planted with grass killed existing pines. After digging around an established pineland I had the theory that soil fungus growing on pine roots helped buffer it from the alkaline limestone and the reason that pines could not be transplanted was due to the loss of this fungal network. We therefore some pines in clear plastic pots and used soil from an existing pineland to infect the seedlings. Large amounts of collected pine needles and mulched pine branches were spread on the soil surface. Palmetto seedlings were grown the same way and everything planted in early 1991.

Today the lot looks almost as it would have before development. A similar project at a local school and at Miami-Dade college has failed, with all the pines gone. I am convinced that the mycorrhizal fungi transferred from the nearby lot, as well as mulch did the trick. Has anyone else tried such a project and had good results?
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