When do I use the Waterboxx Plantcocoon®?

The Groasis Waterboxx Plantcocoon® can be used in circumstances where a tree does not get enough water to have the possibility to get started. So the instrument is meant to use in circumstances where there is enough water once the tree has its roots in the soil. On most places on earth, for instance in almost all deserts, there is enough in the soil. The problem is that the seed or the young tree needs a few months or a year help to get deep enough with its roots. You can compare the Groasis Waterboxx Plantcocoon® with a young seed. In nature it is planted on the soil with the manure of the animal that sticks it to the soil and protects it from eating and from drying out. And by sowing it on the soil the capillary is not destroyed and erosion cannot blow away the soil. Once the seed is germinated and its roots are deep enough, it survives and grows.

The Groasis Waterboxx Plantcocoon® copies that natural process: it helps the seed or young tree germinate and develop its roots into the soil until it can survive by its own

How does it work?

Watch the video.  It collects water through capture of rain and produces water through production of condensation, it stimulates capillary and prevents evaporation caused by the sun and prevents competition caused by competitive herbs. It provides its collected water to the tree over a long period of time. Because of this it can play an important role in CO2 capture, anti-erosion and anti-desertification programs, food- and wood production.

  • With the Groasis Waterboxx Plantcocoon® a tree is planted on top of the soil, so that the capillary is not be destroyed when planting the tree.
  • In the middle of the Groasis Waterboxx Plantcocoon® there is space to put a seed, a plant or a tree.
  • This plant can develop its roots under the Groasis Waterboxx Plantcocoon®.
  • The Groasis Waterboxx Plantcocoon® produces water via condensation.
  • It collects rainwater.
  • It distributes the collected water to the plant on a daily basis.
  • It stimulates the rise of the capillary water to the top of the soil under the Groasis Waterboxx Plantcocoon®.
  • It prevents evaporation of the capillary water.
  • It prevents the development of weeds around the plant.
  • It prevents grazing of the plants by a variety of animals.
  • It prevents erosion of the soil around the plant.
  • It prevents heating of the soil around the plant.
  • It stimulates a balanced temperature in the root area.
  • The advantage of planting on the soil is that the Groasis Waterboxx Plantcocoon® can also be used for planting on rocks.

How long does the tree need the Waterboxx Plantcocoon®

As soon as you see that the trees starts to grow faster – just notice the growing speed of the young branches – it has reached the ground water and it should be able to survive without the box. You just lift it to take it off, replace the old wick with a new one, and re-use the box for the next tree

Do you advise to plant seeds for trees?

We advise not to plant seeds in the Waterboxx Plantcocoon®. Always use saplings instead.

When do I remove the Waterboxx Plantcocoon®?

If the growth of the trees goes well, you can sometimes even plant more than one tree per year. You lift the Groasis Waterboxx Plantcocoon® off the tree as soon as you see that the branches really start to grow fast. This is the sign the tree gives you that it is not growing anymore from the water in the Groasis Waterboxx plantcocoon®, but that it found water deep in the soil. In most circumstances, we find that the tree is independent from the Waterboxx plantcocoon® after 9 months. You then lift it, replace the wick with a new one, and use the Groasis Waterboxx plantcocoon® for the next tree.

Is the Waterboxx Plantcocoon® re-usable?

Yes it has a lifetime of about 10 years, so you can probably plant up to 10 trees

Are there minimum humidity requirements for planing in the desert?

No, people even plant in the north of Chile and high, above 4,000 meters in the Andes, where the relative and absolute humidity is extremely low. In desert sand you have to use one time 60 litres of water while planting. Afterwards you do not have to refill it anymore. Watch this video for more explanation..

Will the Waterboxx Plantcocoon® be damaged at freezing temperature and filled with ice?

No, in general it will not be damaged. The Groasis Waterboxx Plantcocoon® is designed in such a way that the expanding ice is able to find room to expand. This is done by designing all the vertical sides in 8°C. So when the water expands to ice between +4°C to -1°C (+39,2°F to +30.2°F), the ice can just go a bit higher – pushes the cover off the box – and find room for expansion. Sometimes there is a heavy layer of snow on top of the cover and it cannot be pushed upwards. If coincidently the water is on its highest level while turning into ice, then in those occasions you may find some broken covers. It is also important to understand that it doesn’t matter whether it is -1°C (+30,2°F) of -30°C (-22°F) . Once changed from water into ice – which happens between +4°C and -1°C (+39,2°F to +30.2°F) – the ice doesn’t expand any further

How often do I need to refill with water?

The quantity of water that the wick gives to the tree, depends on the hygroscopic attraction of the soil. This is the capillary principle: if the soil requires little, the wick gives little. If the soil requires more (e.g. when it is super dry sand or when it is salted) the wick gives more. If the heat period is two to four months, then in general no refill is necessary. If the heat period is longer, probably on average one refill. That is why we have a cap in it. After the heat period a refill is probably not necessary anymore.

How much rain is needed to refill the Waterboxx Plantcocoon®?

75 mm (3 inches) of rain is sufficient to fill the box completely.

What if the ground water is too deep? Will the tree reach it in one year?

Trees do not survive on groundwater, but on capillary hang water. The deepest roots ever found are 84 meters. Many times groundwater in deserts is deeper than 84 meters. The capillary hang water is the water that penetrates in the soil during the annual rain. For example:

Suppose you have 300 mm of rain. Of this 300 mm, 100 mm  does not penetrate, because the soil is very hard or because there is a steep slope. Only 200 mm of the precipitation enters. Then you can plant trees:

  1. That resist the climate (cold, hot, strong winds);
  2. That can survive with 200 mm.

So it is important to understand that:

  1. The annual rainfall is not necessarily the quantity that enters the soil
  2. Trees do not survive from groundwater but from capillary hang water caused by the penetrated quantity of rainfall.