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Biochar is the carbon rich product of burning biomass sources such as wood chips, plant residues, manure or other agricultural waste in the absence or reduction of oxygen. This process is called pyrolysis or gasification.


Nutrient Retention

Applying biochar to soil as an enhancer is a tried and true method dating back at least 2,000 years where indigenous people of the Amazon basin used biochar to create regions of fertile soil called “Terra Preta.” The high porosity of biochar increases the soil’s potential for nutrient and agrochemical retention. Also, biochar has a negative charge that binds to nutrients such as calcium, potassium and magnesium. This results in a reduced soil acidity (higher pH).

Water Management

Biochar’s retention of nutrients and agrochemicals prevents them from finding their way into our groundwater and causing pollution. Additionally, biochar’s high porosity promotes moisture retention while facilitating excess runoff. Therefore, reducing the possibility of under and overwatering.  

Healthy Roots

Plants need oxygen to convert sugars into energy. The high porosity of biochar supports proper aeration of the soil and allows roots to get the oxygen they need. As well, biochar’s negative charge increases cation exchange capacity so nutrients are more readily available for root absorption.  

Climate Change

Rather than simply setting fire to biomass and emitting carbon into the air, the process of pyrolysis or gasification retains carbon in the form of biochar. Once the biochar is placed into the ground as a soil enhancer, the process becomes “carbon negative.” Furthermore, the co-products of this process, oils and gases, can be processed into clean, renewable energy.


Not all biochar is created equal, in that it may come from many different feedstock sources. Our friends at Locoal® only use 100% hardwood, heated at optimum conditions, producing premium quality biochar. To boot, Locoal’s 100% hardwood feedstock is sourced from upcycled wood waste, such as broken pallets, that might otherwise find its way into your local landfill, emitting methane gases into the ground or burned, emitting carbon into the air.


We’re not going to sugar coat things here(super unhealthy anyway) and tell you incorporating biochar into your soil is easy-peasy, lemon-squeezy. Doing things the right way usually is not. Did your mama go into the kitchen and come out 5 minutes later with your favorite meal? Most likely, she did not. The same holds true here. If you want things done correctly, you’re going to have to get your hands a little dirty, pun intended.  The good news is, Backwoods Biochar is here to help you every step of the way. Use this series of FAQ to guide your path to soil regeneration.

How much biochar do I need?

The general consensus within the biochar community is that, about a 10% biochar to the top 6 inches of soil mixture is needed. However, for optimum results, biochar should be mixed as far down as your plants roots will reach, know as the root zone. Still not sure how much biochar you need? That’s ok because we’ve got a handy-dandy biochar calculator here to help you figure that out!

How do I charge biochar?

To charge your biochar, brew up a 50/50 biochar to compost mixture and let it sit for about 2 weeks. Remember, the warmer the compost, the better. However, too warm and it’ll dry out, requiring you to add water to keep it moist. So, place your compost bin accordingly. Without pre-charging your biochar, it will take much longer for it to build up any kind of microbial life.  As a matter of fact, it could even have a negative effect on your plants until a balance is achieved.

How do I apply biochar?

Once you’ve achieved biocharging, work the biochar/compost mixture into the top layer of soil that would make up the root zone of your plants. This would most likely be about 4 to 6 inches deep but depends on what you are planting.

Still have questions about biochar?

Don’t hesitate to call, email or message us using the Face Book messenger widget at the bottom right corner of the home page! We love helping educate everyone on the usage of biochar, whether you’re a customer or not. The more biochar is used on our planet, the healthier it’ll be for everyone!



Locoal® Organic Biochar is 100% responsibly sourced hardwood and IBI certified!


Biochar could pose as a choking hazard to children and pets.


Any liability, esxpressed or implied, is limited to the purchase price of this product.


4707 NE Minniehaha St., Suite 201 Vancouver, Wa 98661 1.360.241.2244