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Tree Planting and Forest Conservation Charities


Tree planting is, in my view, one of the simplest and best things you can do to support conservation. If I could do one thing in my career in conservation, it would be to encourage, organise and enable – quite simply – the planting of lots and lots of trees.

I recently penned a quick list of good tree planting organisations for a famous ginger adventurer (weirdly, that might not narrow it down, there are several!), who himself wants to help plant lots and lots of trees, hurrah!

Why? I’m probably preaching to the converted, but..

– Forests help prevent erosion and secure soil.

– Forests influence their own climate, bringing rainfall across vast areas.

– Forests have been drastically reduced, especially in temperate areas.

– They support many wonderful species and increase habitat complexity.

– And provide a huge variety of resources that we make use of now, and will want to make use of in the future.

 A few simple rules then, to do the job properly…

– Plant native species. Exotics are OK for gardens and parks, but if you’re regenerating forests then plant the things that should be there (after all, it’s what all of the insects and birds are adapted to rely on).

– Source them from a local area, if you can. This helps ensure they are adapted to quirks of your local climate and conditions.

– Involve local communities, and tell people why you’re doing it. Few people in Scotland, for example, know that much of the highlands used to be covered in forest. Many are reluctant to see change, but give it a chance! With forests come great benefits.

– Encourage natural seed dispersal, so that in the future, the forest regenerates on it’s own. This saves both effort, and money.

Tree planting projects are everywhere…

From cities like London to far flung rainforests, here’s a few organisations worth supporting:

Trees for the Future –

International Tree Foundation –

Tree Aid –

Plant A Billion –

Global Trees Campaign –

Trees for Change –

And if you want to hit a really worthwhile grass roots project…

Tetik’asa Mampody Savoka” (Madagascar) –

Closer To Home…

Of course, sometimes people are much more likely to support projects closer to home. You get more bang for your buck in Africa, but in Scotland, Trees for Life are doing amazing work!

Trees for Life –

Don’t worry if you’re a city dweller, there’s an organisation for you too.

Trees for Cities –

Any others I can add?

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  1. Rebecka Toney
    Rebecka Toney10-05-2016

    You omitted the best one of all. Wangari Maathai risked her life for trees, and the Greenbelt Movement is in the global vanguard when it comes to TREES TREES TREES TREES. Don’t support plantabillion; Nature Conservancy pays its executives way too much money. I also don’t see Global ReLeaf or Retree International. However, there is no better “tree” organization than Wangari’s. Her legacy is inestimable, and not for nothing did she win a Nobel Prize. She was, really, a superheroine.

    • James_Borrell

      Thanks for the great suggestion Rebecka, yes I’m aware of Wangari and totally agree.

  2. Chris Mest
    Chris Mest10-09-2016

    Mr. Borrell, I came across your blog while researching tree planting organizations. I agree that tree planting is vital. You are probably familiar with this article about the state of trees on Earth but if not here is the link The apparent good news in the headline is tempered by the facts in the article. We lose 15 BILLION trees a year and only plant 5 BILLION trees a year. Simple math tells you we are losing 10 BILLION trees a year. At this rate we will run out of trees in 300 years.

    We will never catch up just by planting trees. We need to protect and maintain the trees we have. This is why my organization(Tree Guardians) has adopted the mantra—PLANT. PROTECT. MAINTAIN. There is a lot of emphasis on planting but not on protecting and maintaining trees. We need ordinances(if not done voluntarily) restricting the removal of trees plus more education and knowledge on keeping trees healthy and alive.

    I am a certified arborist and I write children’s stories about trees and tree care that my wife illustrates. I believe educating children as to the importance of trees is the best way to keep the trees from disappearing. We are trying to raise funds to get our first book printed(

    Do you have any ideas about how we can get people interested in supporting our cause. I view it as nothing less than the survival of the human race. The planet Earth will survive long after humans are gone. The trees will thrive without humans but we cannot survive without trees.

    Thank you

  3. Mike

    I am desperately attempting to give and plant trees within my local council and area and they just don’t seem interested.

    Any advise?



  4. Andy

    What about Another urban tree planting organisation. And there is something cool about having more fruit and but trees.

  5. Jeff

    I would add one bullet to the why section: Trees eat CO2 and produce oxygen! The obvious benefit is that this can help reduce global climate change. Looking at Chris Mest’s post, it is obvious to me why global climate change is even happening – we are simply removing the filters from the earth at an alarming rate.

    Keep up the good work!

  6. dipti

    Great insight. Check out my blog to find out how each one of us can take a small step towards change. Deforestation is an urban reality that we cannot escape from. Although India has progressed multifariously in the last few decades…. Read more at…

  7. fr. Joseph martin kibeti
    fr. Joseph martin kibeti05-24-2019

    Dear friends,

    I am kindly seeking your help to support us plant more trees for our suffering children.

    I am going to send you the photos and see the situation our children are going through so that you can support us.

    God bless you abundantly.

    Fr Joseph Martin Kibeti

  8. Mwansa Chimbala
    Mwansa Chimbala05-24-2019

    i have planted a total of 1000 trees in Zambia. this includes avocados, Lemons, mangoes, quavas, pines, eucalyptus and bananas. I am also looking for intrested parties I can partner with to plant more as a way of mitigating the effects of climat
    e change, employment creation, wealth creation and empowerment. My mobile number is 260 976 151 453

  9. Clifford Peter Yaee
    Clifford Peter Yaee12-23-2019

    I am Clifford, I am looking for any Forest conservation NGOs who can assist to work with my CBO to conserve a rainforest here in Papua New Guinea. We have large landmass of rainforest which is at the risk of Mining activities in the area and i want to work with any charity organisation of forest consrrvation to intervene to help preserve this forest.

    For any require contact me on

    Thank you
    Clifford P Yaee

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