The whys and hows of tree planting

July 30, 2014

Before planting a tree one should ask herself how it will fit in the local environment.

Recent experiences in China, Nigeria and Haiti have shown that planting trees is not always a viable solution to restore land and increase tree cover over drylands. Tree mortality in arid and semi-arid regions is very high and survival rate in Chinese afforestation projects since 1949 has been as low as 15 percent.

However, trees can make a lot of difference, adding value to farmland and increasing agricultural output. Restoration in the Sahel has been driven by the agroforestry technique known as Farmer Managed Natural Regeneration, which is based on the regrowth of naturally occurring shrubs and trees.

On forestland trees can create a natural bridge connecting small forest fragments that have become isolated through recent deforestation. This approach, adopted by the recently approved Brazilian Forest Law, can contribute to recreating the original ecosystem.

Read full article: The difference one tree can make