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5 Things to Know About Tree Planting
Blog...5 Things to Know About Tree Planting

5 Things to Know About Tree Planting

Net zero trajectory
person planting a tree in pot
In this article, we’ll explain why tree planting is important, 5 things to know about tree planting, and how climate change impacts the future of tree planting.
person planting a tree in pot

Almost everyone has heard how tree planting can help the environment and mitigate the effects of climate change, but is tree planting really as simple as we’ve made it out to be?

It’s true that tree planting can help to improve our air quality, absorb excess carbon dioxide, and support wildlife and biodiversity – but tree planting requires thoughtful planning and execution to prove successful.

In this article, we’ll explain why tree planting is important, 5 things to know about tree planting, and how climate change impacts the future of tree planting.

What does tree planting mean?

Tree planting refers to the process of transplanting seedlings to a bigger area in order to contribute to reforestation or other forestry purposes.

Tree planting is one of the many ways we can fight the negative effects of climate change, as tree planting can allow for a greater number of trees to store carbon dioxide in their roots and ensure excessive emissions are removed from the atmosphere.
when is it bad to plant trees?

Besides being used as a viable tactic to help fight climate change, tree planting is also done for the following reasons:

  • Landscaping
  • Urban cooling
  • Psychological benefits
  • Noise reduction
  • Various aesthetic purposes

💡 Remember, tree planting is different from transplanting as tree planting refers to putting younger seedlings into the ground and transplanting refers to moving a mature tree from one place to another. 

sunny forest

Why is tree planting important?

Tree planting is important, especially in the midst of climate change, seeing as trees help to purify our air, improve water quality, and can even help to support mental health.

Tree planting doesn’t only help to reduce the negative impacts associated with climate change, but can benefit our mental health, our cities, and surrounding wildlife.
why do we need trees?

Here are some of the benefits of tree planting and why it's important:

  • Improved Air QualityTrees can help to fight climate change by removing excess carbon dioxide emissions and also working to purify our air.
  • Improved Water Quality – Trees can help to improve water quality, as their roots act like filters to remove pollutants from soil – ultimately helping to avoid soil erosion and flooding. 
  • Cool Cities Down – Trees provide shade and can also help to keep landlocked cities like Paris cooler in the summer months. 
  • Reduce Energy Bills & Consumption – Strategically planting trees can help people to reduce their utility bills – up to 25%! This is because methodical tree planting can serve as windbreakers for cold air in the winter and provide shade from the scorching sun in the summer. 
  • Supports Mental Health – Trees support mental health as they help to lower blood pressure, improve sleep quality, boost productivity, and improve overall mood. 

👉 Tree planting is important as it can help to fight climate change – but also seeing as it can help to improve our overall quality of life.

planted seedling in green field

What are 5 things to know about tree planting?

There are an abundance of things to know about tree planting before you get started, but we’ve picked out 5 of the most important things to know about tree planting to help you in your new tree planting journey.

Here are 5 things to know about tree planting:

1. Seek Optimal Soil Conditions

Just as when building a house, it’s important to have a strong foundation with sturdy pillars and base construction. The same goes for tree planting, as excellent soil conditions are crucial to ensuring that your tree planting will be successful long-term.

Trees require moist, non-compacted, and nutrient dense soil in order to feed the roots of your tree and encourage healthy growth.

Healthy soil is often ignored even though it is one of the most imperative components to tree planting, as trees can’t grow without sufficient amounts of oxygen and water – both of which soil often helps to provide.

💡 Soil conditions vary depending on the region and climate, therefore – it is wise to conduct a soil test prior to choosing a location for tree planting.

2. Location of Tree Planting

Before even venturing down the road of tree planting, it’s important to consider how much space you have – as all trees will require different amounts of space as they reach full maturity. 

In addition to this, tree location isn’t just important for choosing the right soil conditions or to accommodate the eventual size of your tree – but to allow for maximum sunlight to reach your future trees, too.

Of course, this will depend on the exact tree species you choose – but certain trees will require more sunlight, rockier terrain, or loose soil to thrive. Therefore, it is imperative to study the type of tree you plan on planting and to learn which conditions, and ultimately, locations, will prove most suitable for your trees.

👉 Even if everything else goes right in tree planting, location choice can make or break the success of your tree planting endeavor – as poor weather conditions or terrain could compromise the vitality of your trees and put them at risk of needing to be cut down all together. This could ultimately contribute to deforestation and even more GHG emissions.

3. Choose the Right Trees for Nearby Wildlife

It’s true that you should remain mindful of which type of tree you choose to plant in the event the property must be sold later on, but people’s tree preference shouldn’t be the first thing that comes to mind when tree planting.

Unbeknownst to most, tree planting has a massive impact on surrounding wildlife – as in the United Kingdom alone, over 500 invertebrates rely on birches and over 30 mammals depend on oak trees.

Birds, insects, and more rely on trees for food, shelter, and overall survival. Therefore, it isn’t a bad idea to look up which birds, insects, and invertebrates are most common in the region where you plan on tree planting – as helping to support these species and ecosystems can boost biodiversity and help climate change, too.

seedling planted in red rocks

4. The Importance of Watering Your Growing Tree 

Many people are preoccupied with how much sunlight their trees or plants get, but all of that sunshine is nothing without sufficient water intake. 

💡 It is crucial to ensure that your new tree is receiving ample amounts of water, as this sets your tree up for a strong foundation from the start.

However, it is important to remember that during the dormant stage of trees (often occurring during winter when there is less sunlight for photosynthesis) – trees don’t need as much water, and should be kept moist at best.

Watering is most important once the buds break and leaves have fallen off, but the amount of water each tree needs will depend on the temperature, amount of rainfall, and soil conditions in the region where you’ve planted your trees.

5. Professional Tree Planting Exists!

If tree planting seems overwhelming, there are real professional tree planters that work year-round to plant new trees!

Therefore, in the event tree planting ever becomes too daunting, help or advice from professional tree planters can easily be found online – or even be recruited for future tree planting projects.

The National Forest Foundation has cultivated a team of tree planting experts which work on different areas of tree planting every day of the year across various regions of the United States to support healthy tree growing. 

For instance, reforestation projects taking place in the West and Midwest of the U.S. follow a stricter timeline – but some regions such as the southeast may have delayed tree planting projects to accommodate different weather conditions.

👉 Ultimately, there are a lot of factors to consider when tree planting – but the long-term benefits of tree planting are well-worth the extensive planning and strategic execution required. 

person holding a planted seedling in the shade

How does climate change affect tree planting?

Climate change affects tree planting as weather patterns have become more inconsistent and insufferable and surrounding ecosystems have changed as a result of climate change.

People and animals can walk, run, swim or fly to more suitable habitats, but trees can’t escape the heat.” — Dennis May, Program Director of the U.S. Forest Service’s Forest Inventory and Analysis Program.

💡 Evidently, climate change has been impacting trees for quite some time – but now, temperatures are rising at an unprecedented rate at which trees can no longer easily adjust. 

The main reason why climate change has continued to impact trees is because sunlight and water are two of the main components necessary for successful tree planting, and when extreme weather conditions such as droughts, floods from lengthy storms, or excess sunshine from heat waves occur – trees are met with less than ideal conditions.

Here are some of the ways climate change impacts tree planting:

  • Too Much Sun – It’s true that sunlight is one of the most important factors for trees and successful tree planting, but too much sunlight and not enough water can cause trees to grow dry and brittle – ultimately putting them at risk for survival.
  • Slower Migration – Trees can’t move the same way that humans or animals can – it takes them decades to slowly shift their range, and climate change is making migration even more difficult for trees.
  • More Pests – The increase in pests, such as mosquitoes and bark beetles, can cause damage to trees and make it more difficult for forests to sustain themselves.

👉 All in all, climate change presents unfavorable conditions for tree planting – and as global temperature continue to increase, tree planting will prove even more difficult in helping to combat excess emissions.

Is tree planting a way to solve climate change?

While planting trees is beneficial for both the climate and humans, it shouldn’t be our primary method to mitigate climate change or the excess emissions we’ve created – as it’s pivotal to tackle our carbon dioxide and greenhouse gas emissions from the source.

There’s no anti-tree lobby. [Trees] have lots of benefits for people. Not only do they store carbon, they help provide clean air, prevent soil erosion, shade and shelter homes to reduce energy costs and give people a sense of well-being.” – Joe Fargione, ecologist with The Nature Conservancy.

It’s true that trees help to absorb 16 billion metric tons of CO2 every year, but we should allocate the pressure of tree planting to fix this insurmountable amount on its own. We should all take responsibility to reduce our carbon footprint, and view tree planting as a supplement to our future sustainable actions. 

What about Greenly? 

If reading this article about tree planting has made you interested in reducing your carbon emissions to further fight against climate change – Greenly can help you!

At Greenly we can help you to assess your company’s carbon footprint, and then give you the tools you need to cut down on emissions. We offer a free demo for you to better understand our platform and all that it has to offer – including assistance with boosting supplier engagement, personalized assistance, and new ways to involve your employees.

Click here to learn more about Greenly and how we can help you reduce your carbon footprint.

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