New Tree-Growing Device Inspired By Bird Poop

A company out of Holland recently used bird poop as the inspiration for a new device designed to grow trees in eroded, arid and rocky environments.

Some of the most efficient and successful technological designs are those that imitate the processes Mother Nature has been using for millions of years. This type of design is called “biomimicry” and it’s a great way to solve environmental problems cheaply and effectively.

The Groasis Waterboxx was introduced by AquaPro Holland, a private company founded by the inventor Pieter Hoff. The device is modeled after the way that birds will pass plant seeds through their digestive system, depositing them on top of (not under) the soil with a healthy dose of natural fertilizer wherever they might be flying at the moment. The excrement forms a protective covering for the seed, and prevents water in the soil from evaporating.

In a similar way, the Groasis Waterboxx is an “intelligent water incubator” that produces and captures water from the air through condensation and rain. The condensation is caused by artificial stimulation and the water is captured because of the design of the device, without using energy.

Even in harsh climates, growing trees on rocks or in deserts is not a problem. Planting and germinating — protecting the tree through the planting period until it gets its water from the capillary — is the problem. That is what the Groasis Waterboxx solves.

Check it out!

The device was tested for 3 years in the Sahara desert by the Mohammed I University of Oujda in Morocco, with astounding results. According to the Groasis website, “trees that were planted during the summer with the Groasis Waterboxx survived well. The trees planted were measured and showed an average growth of more than 90 percent in length within the first year. The test without the Groasis Waterboxx was watered on a weekly basis but 90 percent of the trees still died.”

Gizmag reports that “this fecally-inspired device could ultimately be responsible for reforesting billion of acres of parched land, and it just won Popular Science’s Best Invention 2010 award.”

Related Reading:
Grow “Trash Trees” For Birds Treasure
Tree Farming Social Enterprise Wins SVN Innovation Award
Five Ways To Show Trees The Love


John Wedderburn
.6 years ago

What a simple but effective piece of technology!

Pamela B.
Pamela B6 years ago

Perfect! The more trees on this poor earth, the better!

Michele Wilkinson

Thank you

K s Goh
KS Goh7 years ago

Thanks for the article.

Elizabeth M.
Elizabeth M7 years ago

Such an ingeniou idea, no wonder it won Popular Science's Best Innovative Award for 2010.
I hope it is an idea that can help reforestration around the world.
Thank You Beth for the article.

Monica D.
Monica D7 years ago

Very good.

Sue H.
Sue H7 years ago

Good to know that some folks are still
making an effort to come up with
earth friendly devices. Thanks for

Jackie Tryggeseth
Jackie T7 years ago

Excellent! :)

Lindsey Williams
Lindsey W7 years ago

very cool thank you

Carol W.
Carol W8 years ago

Time to start planting everywhere.