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  • Janette Kerr Land of Ice

The Quest - finding trees in Greenland

Updated: Oct 31, 2023

I have finally sorted out this little video - got rid of the glitches and reloaded it to Vimeo, so please follow the link and take a look.

I made it as a piece to go with the First Friday walks that are organised by the artist’s collective Walking the Land; they take place on the first Friday of every month. They often walk in woods.. I was in Greenland where trees are not very evident.

I have since learnt that there is a project, that began in August 2021, with a group establishing a new greenhouse in Narsaq, in southern Greenland, to propagate Greenlandic cuttings and seeds. In spring 2022 they started growing Greenland Trees, followed by a late-summer planting campaign for the fastest growing species. After 2022 they aim to plant thousands of our home-grown trees each year. Together with the Greenlanders and helping hands from abroad, they’ve planted over 20.000 trees since 2014. All planted tree species are native to Greenland, but until 2021 had to be imported from Iceland, adding logistical complications, expenses, and carbon from shipping. (see

In the Qinngua Valley, (also called Qinnquadalen, Kanginsap Qinngua and Paradisdalen), there is the only natural forest in Greenland; it's about 15 kilometres (9.3 mi) long, running roughly north to south and terminating at Tasersuag Lake, which is about 15 kilometres (9.3 mi) from the nearest settlement of Tasiusaq, Kujalleq. The valley is situated about 50 kilometres (31 mi) from the sea, so protected from the cold winds coming off the interior glaciers of Greenland. The forest in Qinngua Valley is a thicket consisting mainly of birch (Betula pubescens) and gray-leaf willow (Salix glauca), growing up to 7–8 metres (23–26 ft) tall. Growing sometimes to tree height is the Greenland mountain ash (Sorbus groenlandica), which is usually a shrub. Green alder (Alnus crispa) is also found in the valley. Over 300 species of plants grow in the valley.

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Jan 19, 2023

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