Afforestation project adds to district's forest area

Yang Yang
The "Seven Green Corridors and One Woodland," the biggest ever afforestation project in Songjiang, was completed recently after three years' cultivation.
Yang Yang

The "Seven Green Corridors and One Woodland," the biggest ever afforestation project in Songjiang, was completed recently after three years' cultivation.

The total area of the project covers 9,390 mu (1,448.9 hectares), pushing the district's overall forest coverage rate from 16.35 to 18.57 percent, ranking Songjiang in the top 2 citywide.

Seven Green Corridors refers to the 3,620-mu area along important highways and rivers in the district, including Shenhai Belt Expressway, Hukun Highway, Huyu Highway and the Huangpu River.

One Woodland refers to the 5,770-mu Tianma Ecological Forest. The eastern part of the forest reaches the Shanghai Belt Expressway, and its southern section meets the Shenzhuan Highway. The forest connects the ecological corridor in neighboring Qingpu District, Sheshan Town and the Sheshan National Forest Park in the east.

This afforestation project, while building up a natural protective barrier for Songjiang, also connects the district with ecological corridors in other regions in order to promote ecological diversity.

The cost of the project increased from the previous level of 12,000 yuan (US$1,851.60) per mu to 33,000 yuan per mu. Standards for seedling selection and afforestation layout also rose. To become part of the new forest land, a seedling had to have a trunk diameter of at least 7 or 8 centimeters.

The layout of the forest land was professionally designed. Trees with different heights, widths and crown sizes were included. Deciduous trees and arbors are also part of the mix, creating a natural forest environment.

Among the trees, there are magnolia grandiflora and beeches to form a shelter belt, Chinese ash and dawn redwood to reduce dust and noise, and camphor, Machilus thunbergia and Japanese privets to form a landscape.

"Quite a few afforestation areas are reclaimed land, which require time and effort for cleansing and leveling up. And its water preservation capacity is low, so we usually choose drought-tolerant trees like locust trees to ensure seedling survival rates," said Cai Feng, deputy chief of the Songjiang Forestry Bureau.

"The Tianma Ecological Forest, in particular, is a low-lying land, so we have carried out waterlogging prevention to ensure seedling survival rates," Cai added.

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