Scientists have evidence supporting the widespread perception that trees make rain, that growing more vegetation, is how we get more rain.
By growing more trees and other plant biomass across our landscapes, in our farms, gardens, and community open spaces, more water infiltrates and gets stored in our soil and vegetation. Retaining this water in our catchments, more water is then available for evaporation from the soil, leaf surfaces, and transpiration from plants. As a result, cloud cover increases, and we get more rainfall.
All great in principle – but forests are being cleared at a faster rate than at any time in history. How can we possibly reverse this by getting everybody to grow more plants? There’s 3 things we need to share:
- Science supporting the widespread perception that trees and other vegetation make rain
- Practical how-to for farmers and gardeners
- Economic benefits
Economic Benefits of growing Extra Vegetation
- Drought-Proofing – farmers and gardeners increase the amount of water infiltrating and stored in their soil, reducing irrigation, water, and stock feed costs.
- Yields improve and farmers and gardeners use the extra layers of vegetation to grow additional crops.
- Reduced fertiliser costs – as the structure and functioning of soil ecosystems improve so does the natural availability of plant nutrients in our soils.
 Shukla, J and Mintz, Y, 1982. Influence of Land-Surface Evapotranspiration on the Earth’s Climate Science19 Mar 1982: 1498-1501. Vol. 215, Issue 4539, pp. 1498-1501
DOI: 10.1126/science.215.4539.1498 (https://science.sciencemag.org/content/215/4539/1498)
 M. Kravcík et al., 2007, Water for the Recovery of the Climate – A New Water Paradigm. (http://waterparadigm.org)
 Spracklen, D., Arnold, S. & Taylor, C. 2012, Observations of increased tropical rainfall preceded by air passage over forests. Nature 489, 282–285 doi:10.1038/nature11390 (https://www.nature.com/articles/nature11390)
 Wendy Seabrook, 2019, Ecological Farming Handbook, Publ Learning from Nature
 U. Ilstedt, A. Malmer, E. Verbeeten, D. Murdiyarso, 2007, The effect of afforestation on water infiltration in the tropics: a systematic review and meta-analysis. For. Ecol. Manage., 251 (2007), pp. 45-51 (https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0378112707004665)