How to Grow a 100-Year Forest in 10 Years

By Bruce Firestone | Uncategorized

Dec 26

I worked hard in the subdivisions I was involved with over the years to save trees. 

I’d ask my colleagues, “How long does it take to grow a 100-year old tree?”

They’d dutifully reply, “One hundred years,” so if we could move a road or a home to save a stand of trees, we would.

When I built a family home in Kanata Lakes in the late 1980s, I came on site one day to find a guy (in what would later become our backyard) with a chainsaw starting to cut down about 30 mature trees there.

“What are you doing?” I asked him.

“The contractor told me to come by and take down all the trees.”

“You’ll do no such thing,” I said and he left, but not before he muttered something about reporting me to the builder… not realizing the builder worked for not the other way round.

Sure enough, I got a call the next day from my home-builder saying they “had” to take the trees down because when you put in a road with underground urban services (gas, water, sewer, storm and other utilities), the local water table tends to drop. According to him that meant all the trees would die.

His concern?

After, he hands over the keys to my new home, a year or two later, I’ll be calling him to complain that the trees on my property had all died, and were posing a danger both to my house and my kids. So he’d have to come back and take them down anyway when it be far more costly and difficult to do, that is, after the house is built rather than before.

I told him I would sign a legal waiver and release absolving him of all responsibility but “the trees stay.”

You see forests have been around on this planet for about a billion years, and have found ways to survive amazing climate shifts as well as changes in water table and availability. Trees can send out tap roots (tiny things really) tens and tens of meters in a single season to search for new sources of H2O.

Bottom line–out of my 30 trees, 90% of them lived.

But now I find out (after listening to Shubhendu Sharma’s How to grow a forest in your backyard) that you can grow a 100-year forest in just 10 years.


@ profbruce @ quantum_entity

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About the Author

Bruce is an entrepreneur/real estate broker/developer/coach/urban guru/keynote speaker/Sens founder/novelist/columnist/peerless husband/dad.