Simone Garza | March 21, 2022
With the climate crisis worsening, businesses and consumers are joining nonprofit groups and local governments for a global tree planting boom.
The benefits of tree planting including providing oxygen, reducing flooding, and minimizing water runoff, therefore reducing pollution in waterways across the country.
But when planting is done unsuccessfully, it can magnify the issues the planting intended to solve. Planting trees incorrectly can minimize biodiversity, accelerate extinctions, and make ecosystems inflexible.
The extinction rates of wildlife animals are surging, as the World Wide Fund for Nature reported in 2021 that extinction rates are 1,000 to 10,000 times higher than the natural extinction rate. The essence of an ecosystem impacts more than plants and animals. Humans also rely on food and water supplies.
As the climate crisis worsens, tree planting is being invested by companies and countries majorly in commercial land. Although the trees do block off carbon, the trees provide insufficient support to the webs of life that previously bloomed in these areas.
Debates have been made by policy experts, scientists, and forestry companies through interviews on what exactly is a proper way to plant trees. One idea for some, is big tree farms for timber and carbon storage. The other idea is having fruit trees for small scale farmers. Lastly, the idea is still allowing native species to reproduce.
Although there’s not enough land on earth to fight off climate change with trees alone, if it can be joined with huge cuts in fossil fuels trees could be an essentially natural solution.