21 Trees

Permaculture is permanent agriculture, and there is no plant that is more permanent in the landscape then trees. Trees are a foundational element of a stable and enduring Permaculture system. In the presentations below, we explore the characteristics of trees, and their typical patterns of use in Permaculture systems for the various climate zones. Explore the links below to gain a deeper insight into the many benefits of trees.


Trees are important for so many reasons that we’ve already discussed throughout the book. Trees are incorporated into Permaculture projects at all scales and in all climate zones. In the next series of videos we discuss the importance of trees and look at their use in the major climate zones.


Trees in Dryland Climates


Trees in dryland climates are tied into rainwater harvesting earthworks for their establishment. It takes extra water for a tree to get its roots down into the soil where it can survive on rainfall alone. So often times earthworks are constructed to concentrate storm runoff where trees can take advantage of excess water.


Trees in Temperate Climates


Throughout the temperate regions, there is adequate rainfall and trees can survive and thrive on their own without needing to divert excess water to them. Many temperate regions will naturally revert to forest anyway if un-managed. So forest management is a big part of designing tree systems in temperate regions.

Featured Links

Trees in Tropical Climates


Trees in the tropics are where nutrients are held, and they play a vital role in stabilizing the tropical ecosystem. The tropics are where we see the most pronounced forest layers, with tall and low canopies, and climbing vines.


Additional Resources

Browse the links below to learn more about trees and their uses in the different climate zones.










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Introduction to Permaculture Copyright © 2019 by Andrew Millison is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.