France – Beauce region, agroforestry on arable land

Yves' farm in the Beauce © AFAF

Background & challenges

Yves is an arable farmer in the Beauce region of France. He works in organic and conservation agriculture and is keen to expand this approach to include more sustainable crop systems by planting trees on his land. He is a member of the GIEE (economic and environmental interest group) Terres vivantes, through which five farmers exploring agroforestry.

For several years now, Yves has noticed a significant loss of soil (wind erosion) and drop in fertility on his plots of land, as well as an extremelylow level of biodiversity. In response, he wishes to plant trees to counteract these effects.

Yves’ main objective is to introduce a sustainable farming system to his farm, ideal for the installation of young market gardeners and landless farmers. He is interested in sheep farming, growing fruit, nuts and and maybe even hops.

He wishes to use his farm as a pilot for trials and demonstrations of good practices in the Beauce region, an area where trees are few and far between. Last but not least, Yves wants to support biodiversity while growing resources (fruit, foliage, wood) to support the local economy and attractiveness of the area.

The project involves planting 6,579 trees of about 50 different species. Yves wants to introduce timber and fruit trees on his land, as well as dense hedges of coppice and trognes.

Yves will also involve schools in the region through participatory planting with the students. He will also be welcoming the media and other farmers to his farm to highlight this initiative and show that it is indeed ‘possible’, even in the Beauce region, to reintroduce trees to the land and gain many benefits in return.

Over the long term, introducing of 6,579 trees of about 50 different species on Yves’ land will deliver the following benefits:

  • improve the organic matter content, limit soil drying, and reduce soil erosion to boost fertility to the plots.
  • Enrich biodiversity thanks to a wide range of species. The trees will provide shelter and food for passing wildlife
  • Create a microclimate on plots of land, a pleasant for both the farmers and farmers and future grazing stock.

Project type

Agroforestry

Beneficiaries

Yves, farmer in the Beauce region of France

Number of trees

8,224 trees planted, of which 6,579 long lasting

Species planted

About 50 different species

Partner

French Agroforestry Association (AFAF)

Plots H1, H2 & H3:

  • Walnut regia – Juglans regia 29 – 6.6%
  • Flat maple – Acer platanoides 29 – 6.6
  • Small-leaf lime – Tilia cordata 28 – 6.6%
  • Wild pear – Pyrus pyraster 28 – 6.6%
  • Cormier – Sorbus domestica 28 – 6.6%
  • Cherry – Prunus avium 28 – 6.6%
  • Field maple – Acer campestris 42 – 10%
  • Chestnut – Sobrus torminalis 42 – 10%
  • Domestic plum – Prunus domestica 43 – 10%
  • Wild apple – Malus sylvestris 43 – 10%
  • Cranberry – Cydonia oblongata 43 – 10%
  • Quince – Cydonia oblonga 43 – 10%
  • Hornbeam – Carpinus betulus 43 – 10%
  • Black Elder – Sambuscus nigra 102 – 6%
  • Woodland Privet – Ligustrum vulgare 102 – 6%
  • Cornelder – Cornus sanguinea 153 – 9%
  • Hazelnut – Corylus avellana 153 – 9%
  • Hawthorn – Crataegus monogyna 102 – 6%
  • Sea Buckthorn 123 – 7.3%
  • Hawthorn 73 – 4.3%
  • Dogwood 153 – 9%
  • Spanish broom 102 – 6%
  • Common juniper 123 – 7.2%
  • Amelanchier 153 – 9%
  • Rosehip – Rosa canina 153 – 9%
  • Broom tree – Lonicera xylosteum 69 – 4,1%
  • Elder – Mespilus germanica 69 – 4,1%
  • Lantana viburnum – Viburnum lantana 67 – 4%

Total number of trees: 426

Total number of shrubs: 1,697

 

A1.1

  • Cherry – Prunus cerassus 30
  • Almond tree 30
  • Pear tree – Pyrus communis 37
  • Apple fruit tree – Malus speciés à couteau 37
  • Fig tree 12
  • Apricot tree – Prunus armeniaca 31
  • Quince – Cydonia oblonga 30
  • Peach – Prunus persica 30
  • Plum – Prunus domestica 21
  • Blackcurrant 10
  • Red currant 10
  • White currant 11
  • Gooseberry 11
  • Hazelnut – Corylus 195

Tree A1.1 = 258

Shrub A1.1 = 237

A1.2 + A2 + A3.1

  • Poplar – Populus 343
  • Beech – Fagus sylvatica 43
  • Cherry 43
  • Cherry – Sorbus torminalis 196
  • Walnut – Junglans regia 237
  • Shrubs (hazel + dogwood + elder + privet) 768
  • Willow – Salix 57
  • Ash – Fraxinus 74
  • Hornbeam – Carpinus betulus 150
  • Paulownia – Paulownia tomentosa 192
  • Sessile oak – Quercus petraea 178
  • Holm oak – Quercus ilex 139
  • Shrubs (hazel + dogwood + elder + privet) 1,005
  • Sycamore maple – Acer pseudoplatanus 170
  • Hard maple 93
  • Shrubs (hazel + blood dogwood + elder + privet + European charcoal) 1,918

Total number of trees: 2,173

Total number of shrubs: 3,928

TOTAL: 8,224

Plot of arable land on which trees will be planted © AFAF

Works timeline

  • February to March 2022: soil preparation, plant delivery, staking and first planting test
  • October-November 2022: soil preparation, plant delivery, and staking
  • November 2022 to January 2024: planting trees on the plots and site launch (farmers, AFAF), replanting and first maintenance step with formation pruning training
  • 2023 to 2029: maintenance steps (formation pruning training and trimming).

Planting partner

The French Agroforestry Association (AFAF), set up in 2007 under 1901 French law, develops agroforestry in France for farming, in the political sphere, and with the general public. It is a platform for exchange and partnerships between farmers, agroforestry operators, researchers, political decision-makers, local authorities, and administrative bodies. The AFAF puts forward recommendations at both national and international levels and works to restore trees to farming systems.Within this project, AFAF is in charge of technical follow-up with beneficiaries over time and providing information needed for communications.

Budget

The total budget to be collected is €123,027.30, i.e. €18.70 per long lasting tree, broken down as follows

  • 95% allocated to the planting project
    • Plants and replanting: €2.97
    • Mulching: €1.90
    • Protection and stakes: €3.4
    • Technical support: €1.10
    • Monitoring over five years: €2
    • Coordination, project management and communications: € 3.6
    • A Tree For You collection, monitoring and communication costs (14,95%): €2.79
  • and 5% (€0.94) for A Tree for You’s overheads.

This total excludes self-financing by the farmer to cover planting, soil preparation, and maintenance steps for a total of €5,37 per tree.

So the A Tree for You funding aims to cover 77.7% of the total costs.

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