UKTC Archive

Re: Whacky? a change of subject line - Miyawaki

Subject: Re: Whacky? a change of subject line - Miyawaki
From: Michael Richardson
Date: Nov 30 2021 14:52:58
Miyawaki is a fancy new name but here in Ontario Canada similar ideas have
been used for at least two decades to establish high density islands from
which flora and fauna can spread.

I have been involved in dense plantings on savannahs and prairie sites to
establish natives and outcompete the aggressive nonnatives.

On many sites in south western Ontario dense plantings have quickly become
centers of biodiversity on worn out agricultural land (much of which was
tobacco land).  From these islands the plants are spreading.  Also in this
area spreading of seed and acorns has rapidly revegetated land and forest
interior species (birds being the best known) are using the sites in 15
years.  It is amazing to think that species we associated with mature
forests are able to use 15 year old plantings with canopy height of 6-7m.

It is clear that these dense plantings are rapidly altering the site, trees
are growing in height very quickly, and roots are adding biomass to the
soil.  We are also seeing that seed is better at establishing and far
cheaper than root stock; unfortunately many funding groups will only accept
root stock on projects and results are poorer.

In the city of Toronto (example,-79.21175,3a,75y,2.47h,104.93t/data=!3m7!1e1!3m5!1susaeW6Gn6ocwQRoUfEYtFA!2e0!6shttps:%2F%2Fstreetviewpixels-!7i16384!8i8192),
and along the 401 (example,-78.970685,3a,28.1y,173.57h,90.14t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1sI7EwnlKbNAESbbpA46Gjdw!2e0!7i16384!8i8192),
we are seeing dense plantings at many intersections and at new on/off
ramps.  There has been a great effort made along the 401 at interchanges
for the new 412 to not only plant but also to water the new trees and
shrubs.  We are also seeing planting (less dense) by the Highway of Heroes
Tree Campaign (  At my off ramp from the 401
plantings were done this summer, in conjunction with construction, and many
were dead within six weeks as no watering occurred.


Michael Richardson B.Sc.F., BCMA
Ontario MTCU Qualified Arborist
Richardson Tree Care


On Tue, Nov 30, 2021 at 9:20 AM AV Arboriculture <> wrote:

I'll address the main issues raised but I would also encourage you to read
one of the many published articles on the subject to understand the
justifications for the methodology.

The plants are usually self-grown or cell-grown, plus seeds, so they are
hardly expensive.  There is an expected mortality of between 15-90%, based
on species and context.  The density increases competition and therefore
growth rates, resulting in growth stabilisation (maturity) with all
forest-layers and a rich soil fauna after around 20 years.  The aim is to
create a quasi-natural woodland, with the associated biodiversity and
carbon sequestration benefits.

The Miyawaki Method (MM)considers soil, climate and PNV species (Potential
Natural Vegetation) so the planted species are all well suited to the site
Forests can be planted for different reasons - unlike Victorian plantings,
the MM is not principally intended to be for aesthetics and human
enjoyment.  If it is felt that a MM forest is not suited to a particular
site then that's fair enough; maybe it shouldn't be planted there.
However, with some planning these forests can be designed with people and
recreation in mind (see the IVN website).

This isn't just about planting trees; it's about creating an ecosystem.
The abundance of UK priority species has decreased by 60% in the last 50
years.  This can be attributed largely to habitat loss (Biodiversity in the
UK: bloom or bust?, UK Parliament, 30th June 2021:
Since Miyawaki Forests mimic nature and achieve high biodiversity within a
short space of time, perhaps they are one of the best methods of providing
refuge to threatened woodland species and to arrest the decline of these
By the way, if anyone wants to read the many published research papers on
this method, 'Urban Forests' have collated them here:

They have also produced a summary of the research here:–-Data-concepts.pdf

Mike Charkow

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The UKTC forum is supported by Bosky Trees arboricultural consultancy and
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