In Permaculture you are encouraged to find as many functions as you can in each element you use in the garden/land that you have. Trees are one of those elements that are a must; food forests are ubiquitous nowadays, and on permaculture courses you are often prompted to list all of their functions from food and fuel to leaf litter which enriches the soil. But one of the key things trees can do is harvest moisture from the air such as when it is misty and deposit it on the land.
We have had several days of sea mist this week with a couple of days when it hasn’t cleared at all. This morning was misty again and the picture shows clearly the damp spots on the ground where the mist has collected in the evergreen trees and then eventually fallen. Unfortunately it is on to tarmac so they won’t benefit from the moisture but this is going on wherever there is a tree.
Or so I thought until I walked down my road home. Here, there is no damp patch under the enormous eucalyptus, the small damp patch you can see is from the silver birch just past it. As Eucalyptus are a drought tolerant tree coming from hot places I wonder if they have some mechanism whereby they retain the water in some way through their leaves, bark, trunk etc. Silver birch don’t perhaps because they are a temperate climate tree.
You learn something every day!