Mini Forests

Why is Brookline planting Mini-Forests?

Communities around the globe are planting pockets of native trees, called Mini-Forests, to manage the effects of climate change. Based on research conducted by Japanese botanist Akira Miyawaki, dense plantings of native tree and shrub seedlings can be as small as two parking spaces and still provide large benefits.

  • cools and filters air
  • stores carbon
  • increases biodiversity
  • reduces flooding & erosion
  • grows fast

Watching the Forest Grow

Two adult figures stand beside shrubs and saplings that come to knee-heightYear 1: Native seedlings are densely planted in de-compacted and enriched soil. During the first 3 years, some weeding and watering is needed to ensure the establishment of native species.

Two adults and a child stand beside shrubs and saplings that come to adult head-heightYear 3: The seedlings mature, growing up to 3 feet per year, 10x faster than normal, due to cooperation with surrounding plants and soil. As sun-tolerant species shade out weeds, the environment fosters the growth of long-lived trees.

Two adults stand near a forest that towers well above their headsYear 20: The multi-layered structure of perennials, shrubs, under- and overstory trees of our native forest emerges, providing habitat and climate resiliency without requiring maintenance. The densely planted mini-forest is 20 times more biodiverse than a conventional forest and stores 40 times more carbon than a tree plantation.

For updates and information, including volunteering, please join our mailing list.