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Video: Restoring Water and Soils in Arid Australia – Walter Jehne at Drylands Permaculture Course – Zoom Interview

Walter Jehne is a former CSIRO Climate Scientist and Microbiologist and the founder of Healthy Soils Australia. He specializes in the inter-relationships of soil microbiology and the process by which biomatter is converted to new healthy soil. Walter is internationally renowned for his work bringing soil carbon sequestration and its effect on the water cycle into focus within the climate crisis. His work is focusing on bringing soil and climate innovations to the global population, including within the urban human environment. He was able to join us for this permaculture course to share and discuss his rich experience. For more about Walter check out his organization Healthy Soils Australia – https://www.healthysoils.com.au/


Global Drylands Library – Curated by Michael Pilarski

Here is the link to the library: https://www.librarything.com/catalog/FriendsoftheTrees

The online library is in its beginning stages. We have to write reviews, take photos of some covers and gradually expand its usefulness. We hope it will be useful to people in drylands around the world. Would anyone like to help me in this endeavor? Contact:

Michael Pilarski -|- [email protected]


Fall special! Fresh Tree Seeds

Photo collage of various tree seeds.Dear friends and colleagues,

I started Friends of the Trees Society in 1978 and one of it’s first projects was the Friends of the Trees Seed Service which specialized in tree and shrub seed. Within a few years I offered seed of over 50 species of trees and shrubs, along with propagation information. In the years since I have specialized in native wildflowers, garden flowers, herbs and some vegetables. Since 1995, medicinal herb seeds are my specialty. Now we are coming full circle and I am starting to offer tree and shrub seeds from my 25-year-old agroforestry farm in the Methow Valley. In 2021, we are offering seeds of 8 tree and shrub species. In 2022 we plan to add another dozen species.

** $5/packet.

** Ounce prices vary.

** Each order has a $10 processing fee plus shipping.

**Please order using our Herb Order Form


Amur Corktree (Phellodendron amurense) $20/oz fresh berry till January 1.

Bladder Senna (Colutea arborescens) $30/oz

Little-leaf Linden (Tilia cordata), $20/oz

Highbush Cranberry (Viburnum trilobum) $20/oz. Moist seed till January 1. Dried seed only after that.

Staghorn Sumac (Rhus typhina) $10/oz

Chaste Tree (Vitex agnus-castus). $20/oz. Does not need any pre-treatment

Nanny-Berry (Viburnum lentago) $10/oz, as dry berry, could use more scarification.

Spikenard (Aralia racemosa) Packet only.


Planting tips: Many cold-temperate trees and shrub seeds are best planted in the fall. Plant in the ground or in flats. Over the winter they will be exposed to alternating temperatures that will help them break dormancy the next spring. Fall sowing is best for seed of many tree and shrub species. Natural stratification. Sow seed in the ground, in flats (or pots) with screens for rodent protection. Place flats/pots where they will get alternate freezing and thawing. Watch for spring or early summer germination. Some seeds take till two years. Do your research.

** I am writing some details for tree seed stratification methods and will post pdfs of my 1986 Friends of the Trees Newsletter which has propagation info on 50 tree & shrub species. These will be posted on www.friendsofthetrees.net by mid-December.

Amur Corktree. I have been a fan of the Amur Corktree for over 30 years. I have sold the trees in my tree sale and planted them in many places. Partly it is the allure of the exotic. A member of the Rutaceae family (includes Citrus) which is mainly found in the subtropics. Phellodendron amurense is one of the only Rutacea native to the Russian Far East. It’s bark and roots are medicinal and also a yellow dye. It’s fruit oil has medicinal and insecticidal properties. It is a very good honey plant.

Phellodendron amurense is adaptable to various environmental conditions; it grows well in different soil types (clays to light sand), is pH adaptable, drought tolerant, and has no serious pest problems.

Michael Pilarski
[email protected]