Background & challenges
Alexandre is a farmer and winegrower in the Vaucluse. He currently has eight plots in production, five of which are planted with vines. The estate is part of the Vignerons Indépendants (Independent Winegrowers) trade association and is committed (but not certified) to organic farming, biodynamics, and permaculture.
This estate has been making wine since 2017 – small quantity production of light and fruity wines on 2.76 hectares. Yet the main activity still remains producing old varieties of grapevine plants that are local and drought resistant. Alexandre also has small areas planted with olive trees, truffle oaks, lavender, and for market gardening.
Alexandre wants to reintroduce trees to his farming system.
The first part of the project consists of planting 700 metres of hedgerows in and around the vineyard plots, with 789 trees of 32 different species.
There are various objectives, but one that really stands out is Alexandre tackling the impacts of the mistral wind and drying out of the vines! Indeed, the farm lies in a wind corridor. In the face of climate change, this tree planting project also seeks to create a microclimate that will keep the wines fresh and light. In addition, by planting a variety of species, the estate will enhance the appearance of its landscape and improve biodiversity on its land. Last but not least, Alexandre wishes to restore soil fertility by planting trees.
The second part of the project will involve creating a forest garden (or ‘edible forest’) by combining market gardening with high-growing trees on another plot. Thirty-six high-growing trees of four different species will be planted and accommodate a market gardening area.
These plantings will be done over the winter of 2022/2023.
In addition to this agroforestry project, the estate wishes to develop ecotourism and training. Eco-lodges and infrastructure will be built for public open days, conferences, seminars and training; he aims being to raise awareness of agroforestry, organic farming, and biodynamics.
Introducing 825 trees on the Alexandre plots will deliver many benefits, namely:
- Improve soil fertility by boosting the level of organic matter and limiting erosion (wind and water) on the plots;
- Diversify biodiversity through a wide range of different species that will provide shelter and food for native wildlife;
- Raise public awareness of sustainable agriculture and viticulture practices (agroforestry, organic, biodynamic);
- Create a microclimate on the plots, thus protecting the vines from the effects of climate change.
Alexandre, farmer, and winegrower in the Vaucluse department
Number of trees
825 long lasting trees
32 different species
French Agroforestry Association (AFAF)
Small-leaved lime tree – Tilllia cordata
Micocoulier de Provence – Celtis australis
Montpellier maple – Acer monspessulanum
Pubescent oak – Quercus pubescent
Melia – Melia azedarach
Cypress of Provence – Cupressus sempervirens
Pedunculate oak – Quercus robur
Apricot tree – Prunus armeriaca
Cherry – Prunus cerassus
Almond tree – Prunus dulcis
Plum tree – Prunus domestica
Pear tree – Pyrus communis
Judas tree – Cercis sillicastrum
Holm oak – Quercus ilex
Sauce laurel – Laurus nobilis
Hawthorn – Craetagus monogyra
White mulberry – Morus alba
White ash – Sorbier aria
Japanese medlar – Eryobotria japonica
Quince tree – Cydonia oblonga
Pistachio tree – Pistacia vera
Tin laurel – Viburnum Tinus
Shrub tree – Arbustus unédo
Blackcurrant – Ribes nigrum
Red currant – Ribes rubrum RGE
Ribes – Rubrum blanc
White gooseberry – Ribes uva-crispa white
Red gooseberry – Ribes uva-crispa red
Brazilian guava – Feijoa Sellowianna
Spanish Gentian – Spartium junceum
Common Juniper – Junipérus communis
Tamarisk – Tamarix
- October 2022: soil preparation, plant delivery and staking;
- November 2022 to January 2023: planting trees on the plots and site launch (farmer, AFAF);
- November 2023 to March 2024: replanting and first stage of maintenance with tree pruning training;
- 2024 to 2029: maintenance stages (pruning training and pruning)
The total budget to be collected is €18,397.5 or €22.3 per tree, broken down as follows:
- 95% of which is allocated to the planting project, broken down as follows:
- Plants and replanting: €1.86
- Mulching: €1.97
- Protection and stakes: €3.42
- Technical advice: €2.80
- Monitoring over three years: €2
- AFAF coordination, project management and communication costs: €5.80
- A Tree For You (ATFY) collection, monitoring and communication costs: (15%): €3.34
- and 5% (€1.11) to cover ATFY’s overheads.
This total excludes self-financing by Alexandre for the planting and soil preparation stages, planned as follows:
Soil preparation €1.55
Mulching / planting / protection €1.55
Maintenance, pruning and replanting €1.16
Total per tree: €4.64
So ATFY funding aims to cover 83% of the total project costs.