Planting A Billion Trees, Is This A Good Thing?


Its Election Campaigning time in Britain when all party leaders are competing for votes through offering people what they want to here. For some reason people always forget that these promises are never kept.


For the Brexit Party Contract, Nigal Farage, has announced a plan to plant billions of trees to absorb CO2. No mention where. He just says 'all over the world'? Farage is trying to get Climate denier Donald Trump on board.

One one hand, I am delighted that a politician party leader regards tree planting as something that the public want to hear. A couple of days previous, he did not seem to know what a tree is. This seems to be purely votes phishing.


Are Mass Plantings of Trees good for our Planet Earth?

What do you feel about these mass planting programs? With the Farage plan I imagine his plicy would include masses of biodiversity killing monoculture. If he attempted native mixed species forestry I can imagine the wrong species in the wrong places, and when that happens it causes the carbon balance to be much worse, not better.


For me, this is totally against what I am campaigning for through 'Us And Trees'. I support personal Tree Sanctuaries and best, and the limit of this being locally managed woodlands.

With mass tree planting all this seems to be is pushing trees into the ground, "but not in my back yard please!".

There could be a mindset like there is with wind turbines power, "Oh, I love sustainable wind power, but please do not erect wind turbines near where I live of in my view".

Another one like this is "Ooo, I love chicken, I am off to the supermarket to buy some breast meat to eat, the whiter the better. Oh no, I could never kill and prepare a chicken, that's too cruel".

In those example, tree planting, wind power, chicken, its all someone else does and totally disconnected from us. We just mechanically obtain, acquire, and consume.


This is my issue with mass tree planting vs our own small cared for Tree Sanctuaries.  With our Tree Sanctuaries there is caring, connection, integration, and responsibility. With mass tree planting, it's just something someone else does, but hey! I subscribed, I'm covered".

Large tree planting plans often fall into this scam.

Trees are grown mainly for 3 purposes

1) As a crop all of the things we make from wood
2) As a leisure amenity for fresh air, play, relaxing, exercise
3) As a re-wilding resource to preserve or bring back biodiversity


It seems that large scale planting, like what Farage is campaigning for, is for eventual harvesting. It will surely be growing for cropping. That's how he could attract Trump as the value of this would happen right after planting and value increase as the trees mature.

Leisure Woodlands

The best leisure woodlands happen from local community arrangement and management

Re-wilding is definitely best managed as a very local project and even personal one. There are some governments that will declare conservation areas and parks. Government interest in doing more of this is fast dwindline as they see no money coming to them from it, except through the potentially corrupt international Carbon Credits scheme, where Credits are traded like corporate share. Our own visiting would purely be for education.


To invest in Trees, but very strongly resist in any involvement, like you would never kill a chicken to eat chicken, and never have a wind turbine nearby to have wind energy, please at least pay attention to where your investment is going.

Most 'Grow Trees' schemes are grow trees for crops schemes. Your contributions help logging companies reduce their expenses.

Some of these schemes promote themselves as raising funding to 'Protect Forests', and they usually do keep out legal loggers and get protection status from governments ... but the illegal loggers move in and their squatter labour force, then corruption trenches in.

You really have to be on hand to see how the woodland is managed, and that can only be local. Do yourself a favour and visit a local project you sponsor at least once a month and see what is going on. You will be glad you did, and eventually you will become more involved, much more beyond just giving a cash gift.


Returning Lost Forests?

You may question how native people in some countries could afford to sponsor their own lost forests back, so could you?  That is a tricky one and currently out of the range of 'Us And Trees' at present as the intent is local motivation first.

Another scam is when a major tree planting scheme announces stats of trees planted. Ethiopia recently announced 350 million trees planted in a day, so lets look at that.

That was actually an excellent planting scheme, for a huge planting scheme, but it was still not all that it seems to be or was promoted. The best part was that it was Ethiopians doing this for Ethiopians. There were people from other countries came in to help for the craic, as their were obviously tree people.


The Ethiopian  scheme was centrally administered but through a network of local schemes. That idea, to me, is good delegation management. Each local group ordered the number of tree plants that had calculated they could plant. The nurseries grow and obtained tree plants to match this demand.

When the planting day was declared, Ethiopia declared a national holiday so planters had relieve from work. About half of Ethiopian adults came out to plant trees that day.

The announcement that 350 million plants had been planted was based purely on the number of bare root seedlings ordered and sent out from the tree nurseries.. When a survey was done later it was revealed that is some communities half of their tree plant allocation was not planted. They did not get as many planters as they thought and those that turned up did not have time to plant all of the allocated trees. So it may be that 200 to 250 million trees were actually planted. Still a very healthy number, though.

After that, how many of those plants grew into healthy trees combating droughts, tree diseases, animal damage,and most important, continued local people's interest?

With continued interest, passion and commitment these people would have checked their planting, replaced dead trees, and if it looked like a species was not right for the area, choose a more suitable species to replace the alien one.

This attention to tree growing and maintenance is so much easier, and somehow feels more intimate, when the woodland is your's, family, or local community's sanctuary.


Investment In Local Community Tree Sanctuaries
To me, put your investment into your's and/or community's Tree Sanctuary rather than a huge international growing scheme as the results are much more abundant. This is similar to how you would approach your own veggie garden and community garden.

I feel it is much more rewarding, much more productive, and much more sustainable to encourage the creation of Tree Sanctuaries, as many as possible, and hope that idea goes viral. Much better than mass planting, even though the mass planting may seem faster with faster results. I do not think much faster due to the constant replanting needed. It can be a huge unexpected chore.

People do currently say, "you way is too slow, we need action now, to save the planet", said the hare to the tortoise. No, I do not think it is slower.

It's the big is better belief that has caused the tree cover challenge in the first place.


Another one to look at, much smaller, is 'Trees For The Land' for all of the island of Ireland. I do love this operation each year. Their quest is to get a Million Trees planted in Ireland every February. As much as they try they still have the same challenges as Ethiopia such as how many tree plants will actually be planted, how many will end up in soils suited for the species, how many tree plants will survive into mature trees, and will they be looked after.

Trees For The Land trees are actually a very good source of new and replacement plants in your own Tree Sanctuaries so this every February lark they do is potentially a stunning partnership with the small Tree Sanctuaries here.


Another one to look at for people in Scotland and UK, is Trees For Life in Scotland, but I will do a separate blog post for them.

Carbon Capture Confusion

Carbon Capture is another con trick used by mass planters. Put the wrong species of trees in the wrong places and the intended Carbon Capture quickly becomes like Carbon Rupture.

This is something that is so easily avoided when you go small and local with your Tree Sanctuaries. Locally you should be in tune with the soil conditions, season conditions, where the sunlight shines, and how the soil drainage is, and it's acidity. You will know what tree to grown, and adjust very quickly if there is a challenge.

The whole 'Plant a Tree and Reduce Global Warming' gimmick', is what Nigel Farage is promoting right now ... and, to me, it seems totally meaningless. It is just simplicity marketing, which is what popularism campaigning is all about.


Tree Sisters
To complete this blog article I would like to touch on Tree Sisters.

This is a mass tree planting organisation heavily focused on re-planting the tropics, but the actual tree planting is not their main focus.

I have only just been referred to them, and I am overjoyed that their approach to woodlands is very much my own, and the reasons I have launched in to Us And Trees now. The main disadvantage to me is this is Tree Sisters. From what I can see, no men members accepted.


That aside, their work is passionate and I feel in the right order. They are focused on encouraging women to open into the trust of their inner response of 'Awakening', because this liberates personal inspiration, imagination, creativity, generous loving partnership on behalf and with Nature.

This echoes what we encouraged with Bards In The Woods and here at Carrowcrory's Tree Labyrinth Garden

The Tree Sisters approach is not to just plant trees, or sponsor planting trees, but to sort of become trees, be part of the language of trees.


Tree Sisters put a lot of energy into encouragement of women to form local communities, to hose Full Moon and New Moon circles withing Tree Groves.

This is very similar to the outcome we encourage with Us And Trees for any gender and for anyone of any age.

In so many situations the mentality of 'right' politics is form everything into a Militia. This is my first thought when I think of Nigal Farage's plan ... charge in and plant trees, get the testosterone flowing, and ejaculate over everything. Literally fuck it all up.


Then on the 'left' its not really linear thinking, feeling, and attack. Its circular, its spiral, it's drum circle, it's tree grove circle being. This is what Tree Sisters encourage.

This is what 'Us And Trees' here in Ireland encourage for everyone.


Please subscribe above, and group and care for your Tree Sanctuaries with us.   

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