Planting Trees For The Earth - How To Plant Trees For The Environment

Child Planting A Plant Into The Ground
(Image credit: anurakpong)

Nothing on earth is more majestic than a tall, spreading tree. But did you know that trees are also our allies in our fight for a healthier planet? In fact, it’s impossible to overstate their importance to planet Earth and all life on it.

If you want to plant trees to help save the planet, there are ways to get started, working alone or with others. Read on for our best ideas on ways to plant more trees.

Trees for the Environment

If you are wondering about how trees can help the planet, there is a lot to be said on that topic. If you’ve ever heard trees referred to as the Earth’s lungs, that’s because they remove pollutants and contaminants from the air and significantly improve air quality. They also ameliorate water quality by catching rainfall on its leaves and letting it evaporate, reducing runoff. 

If you enjoy sitting in the shade of a tree in the summer, you know that trees can lower air temperatures. Trees planted beside a home cool the roof and reduce air conditioning costs significantly. In addition to the benefits of shading, the evaporation from trees cools the air, as well. 

And don’t forget that wildlife count on trees for shelter and food. Trees also lower human stress and reduce crime in a neighborhood. A belt of trees screens out noise, as well.

Trees to Help Save the Planet

Given all the ways that trees help our planet, it makes sense to consider ways to plant more trees. In fact, according to scientists, forest restoration is the top strategy for stopping global warming. With billions of new trees for the environment, we could remove two-thirds of all the carbon dioxide created by human activity. 

Of course, planting trees for the earth is not a short-term project. It would take a concerted effort over a century to make the program fully effective. But there would be many benefits even before the goal was met, like preventing soil erosion, reducing flooding and creating habitat for many species of animals and plants too. 

Planting Trees for the Earth

While planting trees for the earth is unequivocally a good idea, the devil’s in the details. Not every tree is appropriate for planting everywhere. For example, it is not a good idea to plant trees that require a lot of water in areas where water is scarce. 

In fact, the best option for reforestation are trees native to an area. Trees store the most carbon when they are installed in their natural environment surrounded by other plants of the same biome. This also promotes biodiversity.

The species of trees selected should grow well in the natural soil in a particular location. While most trees need well aerated, moist and uncompacted soils for healthy growth, different soil types benefit other particular species. Planting the right trees for the soil makes the greatest environmental impact.

Ways to Plant More Trees

Of course, you can plant a few trees in your backyard, and if enough people did that, it would make a difference. But there are many other ways to increase the tree population on the planet. Lots of businesses link product purchases to tree planting – so patronizing those companies will result in more trees.

It’s also possible to donate money to nonprofits that plant trees, press government officials to devote more money to reforestation or join an organization that plants trees in your city. 

Teo Spengler

Teo Spengler has been gardening for 30 years. She is a docent at the San Francisco Botanical Garden. Her passion is trees, 250 of which she has planted on her land in France.