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Tree Planting and Forest Conservation Charities

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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 – www.treesforthefuture.org

International Tree Foundation – www.internationaltreefoundation.org

Tree Aid – www.treeaid.org.uk

Plant A Billion – www.plantabillion.org

Global Trees Campaign – www.globaltrees.org

Trees for Change – www.islamichelp.org.uk

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

Tetik’asa Mampody Savoka” (Madagascar) – www.associationmitsinjo.com

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 – www.treesforlife.org.uk

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

Trees for Cities – www.treesforcities.org

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
      James_Borrell10-05-2016

      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 http://grist.org/science/earth-has-way-more-trees-than-we-thought-but-not-nearly-as-many-as-it-used-to/ 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(https://www.gofundme.com/lovetrees).

    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
    Mike12-08-2016

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

    Any advise?

    Thanks

    Mike

  4. Andy
    Andy12-13-2016

    What about http://www.theorchardproject.org.uk/? Another urban tree planting organisation. And there is something cool about having more fruit and but trees.

  5. Jeff
    Jeff04-24-2017

    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
    dipti07-04-2017

    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 https://whitengel.com/green…

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