With input from both local forestry staff and experts from the Oregon State University Forestry Department, MTP chose four plant species that are well-adapted for local environmental conditions.
Adapts to local soil and climate and absorbs large amounts of carbon dioxide.
Hybrid Poplars are particularly effective at sequestering carbon and do not require large amounts of water to thrive, which is important in this desertified climate.
Pinus sylvestnis var. mongolica Litv.
The Mongolian Scots Pine is an evergreen plant with strong roots and a long lifespan. A drought-, wind-, and cold-resistant plant, this pine species is perfect for fighting desertification.
Yellowhorn seeds contain twice the amount of oil as soybeans, and can be used for both cooking and industrial purposes. This species has a long history of successful growth in the region and will produce both economic and ecological benefits.
Caragana microphylla Lam
The Littleleaf Peashrub is a typical local shrub and is crucial to arid and semi-arid ecosystems. As a shrub, it strikes an excellent balance between biological restoration and economic development.
Every year, MTP volunteers travel to Tongliao for our planting trip. Volunteers learn how to plant trees and work with our on-site staff as well as with local farmers to give these saplings a new home and their best chance at survival. While the trees are in their infancy, local farmers are encouraged to interplant crops like beans, millet, or watermelons for extra income; this increases both biodiversity and the amount of available nutrients for the trees.
Our full-time forestry managers evaluate soil quality, the viability of the saplings, intercropping practices, and local community support before and after planting. Additionally, MTP also collaborates with the Department of Forest Science's Nursery Technology Cooperative at Oregon State University, USA.
Find out more about how to become a volunteer and join one of our planting trips here.
MTP carried out long-term monitoring of forest plots: volunteers can also help to prune and trim the trees, which is critical to promote strong and healthy growth; MTP also works with the Youth League of Kulun Qi to engage local students and farmers to help monitor and maintain the trees. Farmers are licensed to harvest trees that have reached maturity on the condition that they replant on the harvested plot. Forest surveys are a major component of monitoring the reforestation efforts. These are conducted by drone technology as well as by in-field investigations led by our forestry experts. Compiling reams of data year after year allows MTP to evaluate metrics of progress like survival rate, rainfall, coverage, degree of desertification, biodiversity, vegetation structure, height and diameter, and crown size of flora. From these data measurements, MTP can analyze long-term trends in forest health and growth.
Find out more about become a volunteer and how to get involved in one of these ecological investigations here.
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