Plant a Tree – Best Place & Type to Plant

Tree reforestation project with tree saplings

While it is extremely difficult to place an exact number of how many trees the earth loses per year, it is in the order of many millions to some say even a billion trees. No one debates the importance of trees and the need to keep planting them. The benefits of planting trees are well documented: climate change mitigation, biodiversity conservation, air quality improvement, soil conservation and water management, and aesthetic and recreation values.

In our business of planting memorialcelebration, and pet loss trees in the United States and around the globe, The Gifted Tree gets asked quite often, where is the best place to plant a tree? There is no right answer to this question as, unfortunately, so many areas are in desperate need of new trees. That is why we offer over 80 locations worldwide for you to select for your tree planting. No part of the globe is spared from the need for more trees, although different areas need it for different reasons because tree loss has numerous culprits.

Tree planting reforestation landscape

Best Place To Plant a Tree

Forest fires receive a lot of media attention, making us aware of their devastation. This has been the case more recently as climate change has played havoc with the environment and created conditions conducive to these fires. Fires in the western part of the United States has created urgent needs for reforestation in California and other western states. Similarly, forest fires have ravaged parts of Canada, western Europe, and Australia. Fires in the Amazon rain forest have also received a lot of attention although many of those are started by humans as a result of the need to clear land for agricultural pursuits. This is also the case in Africa where clearcutting takes place to open land for animal grazing as well as to provide firewood just so families can cook meals and survive.

The Gifted Tree also has projects to replace trees due to clearcutting from mining operations, (Appalachian Forest) to reforesting from the effects of the world wars (Italy) and replacing areas that lost trees from disease (parts of Africa). Finally, The Gifted Tree is starting to plant in urban projects (New York, New Jersey, and Illinois) which provides benefits from trees for a variety of different reasons.

Urban forest projects are critical for replacing the tree canopy in these areas that have seen a large tree canopy decrease due to factors such as urban growth sprawl, disease, and climate change issues not to mention being trampled by community members. Furthermore, with the effects of warmer temps and more frequent and severe storms, these urban tree projects are more critical as the trees provide shade, lower ambient temperatures, absorb carbon dioxide and produce oxygen. These benefits are critical  in improving life for those living in these urban areas and whose lives disproportionally suffer from income inequality.

Our advice in determining which location to plant, is to pick a place that has meaning for the person you are honoring. Where did they live or where did they like to visit will make that location very meaningful and special. Another possible factor to consider is family heritage. For instance, does the family you are honoring have Irish heritage? If so, consider our planting project in Ireland. If that person is of Indian descent, consider planting the tree in India which will be very meaningful to the family. Other of our international planting locations can play a similar role.

Best Species of Tree To Plant

A related question we receive besides where is the best place to plant the tree is what type of tree should we plant? Please understand that you and we can’t dictate the type of tree species to be planted in a particular planting project. That is determined by our expert non-profit tree planting partners who will make their determination based on the location and what tree will be a best fit for long-term survivability. Factors that are considered include selecting species that are appropriate for the planting site, types that are indigenous to the area, as well as compatible with each other. Other factors considered are soil type, moisture levels, sunlight exposure, and potential interactions between species. One note of interest, and one that has changed since I first started planting trees, is the planting project use to be all one species of tree as the science thought that was best for the project. That thinking has changed.

Now when I go to plant trees in projects, I arrive at the site and there are groupings of 5-6 different species for us to plant. The scientific thought is that a forest is a community, and a diverse community seems to thrive better than a homogeneous community. Scientists are still studying this phenomenon and tweaking their approach, but by planting a range of species that are native and well-suited to the local climate and soil conditions, you increase the chances of overall project success. Some species may be better adapted to drought, while others thrive in wetter conditions. This diversity improves the project’s resilience to changing environmental conditions. And finally, maintaining genetic diversity within tree populations is essential for their long-term health and adaptability. Planting multiple species helps preserve genetic diversity and thus reduces the risk of inbreeding within populations which can have an adverse effect.

Oak tree saplings ready to be planted

In Conclusion

In conclusion, The Gifted Tree will plant the species of tree best suited for the area where you select to plant your memorial tree or celebration tree in honor of a loved one.. In determining where to plant, use the advice mentioned above realizing we are incorporating best practices to mitigate the risks and minimize the impact of wildfires, disease and climate change  on our cherished landscapes and communities. But if you are still struggling, my advice is don’t over think it. The world needs trees everywhere. Just remember the old Chinese proverb: The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago, the next best time is now. So just plant!