Wednesday, February 28Food Security Matters

Best Trees for Flood Control

Flood control is one of the major natural challenges every country is facing and the Philippines is no exception. Flood in the Philippines is one of the biggest contributors to human death during the typhoon and rainy seasons. 

Although proper drainage and waste management are important to mitigate flooding, especially in urban areas, think vegetation is needed in rural areas to slow down the water coming from the mountains. In this article, we are going to give you the lists of trees that can be planted to help slow, if not eliminate the flooding. These tree species can not only slow down the water but can also be a source of income even if you cut them down.

Bamboo is the best flood control plant

Flood Control Trees to Plant

1. Bamboo

Although bamboo (scientific name: Bambusa) is considered grass scientifically, it can also be classified as grass due to its size. Bamboo is undoubtedly the best flood control tree to plant due to its closely knitted roots. Bamboo is also one of the most profitable and sustainable agricultural products to plant as it can be harvested every year and can provide income to farmers without totally killing it. Bamboo is also the best plant to control landslides.

2. Coconut

Although coconut (scientific name: Cocos nucifera) is a different species from bamboo, its roots can hold the land like bamboo as well. Considered “a tree of life”, coconuts can provide lifetime income for farmers while protecting the land from landslides and floods.

3. Kakawate or Madre de Cacao

Kakawate, kakawati, or madre de cacao (scientific name: Gliricidia sepium) is a medium size fast-growing leguminous tree that has a lot of useful properties. It can be seen mostly planted on hillsides or as living fences. Although it does not grow tall, its mature wood is extremely hard and strong. The good thing about kakawate is when you cut it down, its stump regrows making it a sustainable plant. Its wood can produce high-quality charcoal and firewood. Its mature wood can be used in furniture. Its leaves are used to feed vermicomposting worms, as animal feed, and as an organic insecticide.

4. Ipil-ipil

Ipil-ipil (scientific name: Leucaena leucocephala) is a small fast-growing mimosoid tree that can be found anywhere in the Philippines. Ipil-ipil has almost the same uses as kakawate. It can regrow when cut down, its leaves are used to feed animals, especially goats, and its mature wood can be used in furniture. If you have flooded land, Ipil-ipil is one of the best options to plant.

5. Gmelina

Gmelina (scientific name: Gmelina arborea) is a fast-growing tree that is primarily used in reforestation due to its quality lumber which is used in both house construction and furniture. There is even a popular anecdote saying gmelina can leave the spring dry so it should not be planted near the spring but this story is proven to be untrue as spring water originates hundreds of meters under the ground. 

Gmelina’s ability to regrow and fast-growing makes it a good flood control tree to plant. Gmelina is best planted on hillsides and may grow with a limited height when planted on flat lands. The tree should not be planted in windy places as it is vulnerable to windbreaking during its first year. Gmelina lumber can be harvested starting five years.

6. Mangroves

Mangroves (scientific name: Rhizophora mangle) are a group of trees and shrubs that live in the coastal intertidal zone and there is no doubt that this group is the best plant for controlling floods in coastal areas. Mangroves are strictly protected anywhere in the Philippines.

Other flood control trees and plants of economic importance include Coffee (scientific name: Coffea), Buli (scientific name: Corypha utan), Anahaw (scientific name: Livistona rotundifolia), Date palm (scientific name: Phoenix dactylifera), Pandan (scientific name: Pandanus), and fruits trees among others.

Common Questions Related to Flood Causes and Preventions

What is considered natural flood control?

Natural flood management is when natural processes are used to reduce the risk of flooding and coastal erosion. Examples include: restoring bends in rivers, changing the way land is managed so the soil can absorb more water, planting trees, and creating salt marshes on the coast to absorb wave energy.

What is the best way to prevent floods?

Retaining and creating natural green space around your home can help reduce sewer overflows by reducing stormwater runoff. Consider options such as rain gardens, vegetated swales, or pervious pavements, which allow more water to be absorbed by the ground.

What is a natural cause of flooding?

Flooding is normally caused by natural weather events such as heavy rainfall and thunderstorms over a short period. prolonged, extensive rainfall. high tide combined with stormy conditions.

How can we prevent flooding in the Philippines?

Construct a building that is one meter or more from the ground to prevent flood damage. Restore rivers, plant more trees, and clean drainage to prevent floods. The mere fact that the rivers will be restored to their original state and drainages are clean, the flow of water can be controlled and damages may be prevented.

What are the natural and human causes of floods?

Dying water bodies, improper garbage disposal, and poor land policy are the major causes of urban flooding. Dying water bodies, improper garbage disposal, and poor land policy are the major causes of urban flooding.

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