Humusaufbau-Projekt Kaindorf, Gerald Dunst, seit 2007
Gerald Dunst
Pflanzenkohle, Klaus Schrefler & Thomas Gösweiner, 2021
Klaus Schrefler & Thomas Gösweiner


This project is devoted to researching, communicating and promoting humus formation. This means that part of the carbon that was bound in living plants is converted into stable humus substances (humic acids) after their death with the addition of compost, instead of being released into the atmosphere. The principle itself has been known for some time in various parts of the world – it was, for example, already in use in the Amazon Basin well over 1,000 years ago. The resulting fertile soils are known there as Terra Preta (Portuguese for ‘black earth’). The charred tree illustrates carbon sequestration and shows the potential of vegetable carbon for carbon sequestra-tion and humus formation. Due to depleted soils, this method will grow in importance in the future. Vegetable carbon is a manifested intermediate result of an ancient natural process that serves to build the essential basic structures of life – and even more, it forms new habitat.

Project partners: Gerald Dunst, Sonnenerde, Kaindorf Humus Formation Project, fam. Ochensberger (for felling and transporting the tree), Salon deluxe/Ranegger & Partner OG
With thanks to Peter and Gertrud Wieser (charcoal burners, board of the European Charcoal Burners Association, Rohr im Gebirge / NÖ) for technical inputs, Regine and Erika Stransky, Walter Ackerl.