How Many Trees Are Planted Each Year?

Each year, it seems that we focus more on cutting down trees than planting them, especially now when the level of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere is rising. Learning how many trees are planted each year it would help us learn how much it will take us to reverse climate change. When we should think more about means to save the planet, all we do is harm it even more. Every year, we lose 7 million hectares of forest while agricultural areas expand by 6 million.

Nevertheless, statistics show that Americans plant approximately 1.6 billion trees every year. Of this number, forest product companies are responsible for planting half of them. Looking at the bright side, we also find out that millions of hardwood trees also regrow naturally. Hence, people plant 5,000,000 trees in the US.

Facts about tree planting

Apparently, as an outcome of a strong reforestation record, the growth of the forests surpasses the harvested number of trees by 33%. This indicates that people in the US are trying to renew forests, learning that they are a renewable source. However, specialists indicate that there is a clear-cut distinction between timber harvesting and deforestation. They explain that developing countries may deforest an area for different uses, like grazing or agriculture.

Nevertheless, in the US, people typically manage and reforest woodlands after harvest to develop future forests. This is known as sustainable forestry. Therefore, people do not deforest the US, but they are replacing the what they have used up to this point. Statistics indicate that forest companies only own 14% of all timberland in the US. At the same time, public agencies own 27% of the forests and private individuals 59%. Despite this, forest products companies plant 43% of the total amount of trees in the US on 1 million acres of industry timberland.

Back in 1994, people cover over 2.5 million acres with trees in the United States on rural lands. Of the 2.5 million acres planted in 1994, National Forests account for 10% of the total, 43% of them was planted on forestry industry lands, 42% of them reached nonindustrial private lands, and other ownerships accounted for 5% of the trees.

Back in 1994, the United States produced over 1.5 billion nursery tree seedlings. The forest industry nurseries are responsible for producing 49% of these tree seedlings. On the other hand, state and local governments account for 29% of the tree seedlings while federal agencies are responsible for 7% of them. Other industries produced 5% of the trees.

Planting trees might help us reverse climate change

Specialists explain that one of the most effective ways to combat climate change is to plant more trees to reduce fossil fuels emissions from the atmosphere. Currently, the level of air pollution is on the rise since carbon dioxide, and methane gas are present in the air in massive amounts. By planting more trees, we would take more carbon out of the atmosphere.

However, it is important to plant those trees in the right place to become efficient in reducing greenhouse gases. Experts indicate that younger trees tend to absorb a lot more carbon dioxide as they grow. Nevertheless, as a tree becomes older, it will absorb similar quantities of carbon dioxide to the quantity they lose through the process of respiration.

If specialists harvest trees right about near this time, when they are really old and plant new trees, then the process of carbon dioxide absorption would be a lot more efficient. Hence, careful woodland management would really help us reduce the toxic gases from the atmosphere, as woodlands would take up the maximum amount of carbon possible.

Back in 2009, the report “Combating climate change: a role for UK forests” was published. The Forestry Commission authorized this independent assessment. The main purpose was to analyze the potential of the woodlands and trees in the UK to adapt to the changing climate. This document constitutes part of the response to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

A tree seedling in someone's hands

Trees engulf huge quantities of carbon dioxide during their first years of life.

How many trees are planted each year to combat climate change

Natural climate solutions involve protection of carbon-storing lands as wells as the management of grasslands and soils. If we do this, it could account for 37% of the actions we need to conduct by 2030 under the 195-nation Paris plan. The process of re-greening the planet would be equivalent to the need to stop all oil burning process on the globe.

Scientists indicate that better management of the land could play a significant role in fighting climate change. This would be more important than we have ever thought. The estimates regarding the potential of nature are 30% higher than the U.N. panel of climate scientists suggested in 2014. Trees feed on carbon dioxide as they grow and they start releasing more carbon dioxide when they decay and die.

Hence, the forests from the Amazon to Siberia represent vast natural stores of greenhouse gases. A better management of forests could deflect 11.3 billion tons of carbon dioxide emissions per year. The new study indicates that this amount of CO2 is similar to the current CO2 emissions in China. There, the level of pollution affects numerous people, putting in jeopardy their health.

The high levels of carbon dioxide raise concerns

Previous data indicate that extended exposure to severe air pollution can lead to numerous lung and respiratory diseases. Residents of the most polluted areas of the globe desperately need a solution to prevent other catastrophes from happening. We remember that the Paris climate agreement focuses on limiting an increase in global temperatures of 2 degrees Celsius.

Nevertheless, the U.S. President Donald Trump weakened this climate agreement, stating that climate change is a hoax. Unfortunately, current pledges of the government are too weak to achieve the goal set via the Paris agreement. If the temperatures do not drop, we will witness more powerful storms, heat waves, downpours and more droughts.

Summing up

Finding out how many trees are planted each year will only help us fuel and enhance the process of reforestation. In this way, the levels of greenhouse gases from the atmosphere will decrease. Policymakers need to implement new regulations regarding deforestation to prohibit this process from affecting more acres of forest. By planting more trees, we will breathe fresher air.

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William E. Eubanks

I'm one of the main writers on the site; mostly dealing with environmental news and ways to live green. My goal is to educate others about this great planet, and the ways we can help to protect it.

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