Guided Raindrops Grow Trees

The award-winning Lagunita technology was developed by Seeds of Wisdom, LLC as a way to capture rainfall and utilize it to grow soil microbiology and trees. Presented at the Environmental Protection Agency Region 6 Conference in 2018, it received the 2nd-place award for Low-Impact Development/Green Infrastructure Project for its implementation in the Cathedral Place Rain Garden.

Since the design with the lagunita was installed in 2017, frontier elms (Ulmus carpinifolia x parvifolia) have each grown two inches in caliper, and the burr oaks (Quercus macrocarpa) have grown incrementally related to closeness to the curb cut: 1.25 inches, 1 inch, and 0.75 inch respectively.

A lagunita is constructed below grade, which helps keep small growing spaces safe.  Created by digging a two-foot hole and extending three-foot-long ‘veins’ from either side, then filling both the hole and veins with mulch, water is distributed across a wide surface area and allowed to permeate deeper into the soil. The mulch is inoculated with mycorrhizal fungal spores; as these hyphae grow, they extend the distance of nutrient accessibility for the tree.   Because no plastics are used in the process, the lagunita biodegrades as the mulch is consumed in natural fashion, continuing to improve the tree’s soil microbiology as it ages.

As evidenced from these photos taken after a snowstorm, a lagunita retains moisture longer than surrounding soil.  This illustrates that water binds to water and that the below-surface mulch has significant water-holding capacity. With the lagunita veins stretched across a slope’s contour, water sinks as it travels downhill, collecting in a place that provides valuable accessibility to roots.

For more information, take a look at the video and pamphlet below!