One Trillion Tree Initiative

Photo credit Lucy

Recently we were happy to receive an email from One Tree Planted as they stated their commitment to this commendable cause, the One Trillion Tree Initiative, a cause encouraging the planting of trees, a cause that spurred on this Blog of ours. Here is a summary of this article:

How The 1 Trillion Trees Initiative Can Have a Real Impact on Climate

“Trees are finally getting the international attention they deserve thanks to their potential as a natural climate solution for absorbing carbon, restoring vital ecosystems, and helping humanity adapt to a rapidly changing climate. Reforestation campaigns have been on the rise over the past few years, with everything from cities and countries aiming to break world tree planting records to popular influencers and businesses that want to give back to nature.”

” The latest major development came at the January 2020 session of the World Economic Forum, where the One Trillion Trees Initiative was announced as a means to rapidly increase global reforestation efforts. And we expect this enthusiasm for trees will only grow over the next 10 years because the United Nations has declared 2021-2030 the Decade on Ecosystem Restoration. Thanks to this declaration, corporations and governments have made commitments to plant, restore, and preserve millions of acres of land around the world.”

Source: Trillion Trees 

“Science has played a part in this global awareness, with hundreds of studies contributing to the global conversation around Climate Change and reforestation. A January 2020 study by James Mulligan et. al of the World Resources Institute touted planting trees as one of the best ways to suck carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.”

“While it is clear that on its own planting trees won’t save us from Climate Change, it can help tip the scales in our favor as we address other important factors. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has made it clear that we need to reach carbon neutrality by 2050 by phasing out fossil fuels. After 2050, we need to maintain carbon negativity at least until 2100 to stabilize rising temperatures at 1.5 C. Reforestation, with its enormous potential for global carbon capture, will play an essential role in this effort.”

Source: Balancing the environmental benefits of reforestation in agricultural regions, S.C. Cunningham et. al

Quality Matters to Get the Trees Planted Right

“One Tree Planted wholeheartedly believes that by working together, the global community can accomplish the audacious goal of planting one trillion trees. And here’s how it can be done to ensure that this results in a lasting, positive impact.”

Increasing Scale and Capacity

Source: World Resources Institute 

“Scaling up reforestation may seem simple, but it can be anything but. To scale up requires thoughtful consideration of the capacity, impacts, land uses, and existing infrastructure in the intended area. How long will it take to grow a sizable supply of native seeds? Are there enough nurseries to support thousands of seedlings, or do more need to be built? Will tree-planting organizations be able to recruit and train enough local volunteers to start, plant, and nurture sensitive saplings? Can the local ecology withstand concentrated activity, or will it prove detrimental to sensitive species? Will the project comply with regulations set by local and regional governments? Will it put pressure on existing agricultural operations, potentially leading to increased deforestation and other unintended consequences? Is it designed well, having addressed all of these factors—and any others unique to the region? “

“And finally, does it follow these core Principles for Success?

1. Restoration should enhance and diversify local livelihoods, not threaten them.

2. Afforestation should not replace native ecosystems.

3. Reforestation should promote landscape integrity and biodiversity, not establish monocultures.

4. Projections of Carbon Capture should account for the loss of current vegetation.”

Photo by MaryAnn

Working With Local Communities

“Over the years, we have found that an inclusive approach works best. By collaborating with and involving local stakeholders, we ensure that they play an active role in guiding and implementing projects. In doing this, we are able to mitigate common barriers to success. After all, when the last tree is planted and attention has shifted to other projects, it is the local communities that will decide the fate of millions of trees. Knowing this, we develop strong partnerships everywhere we go. “

Investing in Maintenance and Conservation

Source: Balancing the environmental benefits of reforestation in agricultural regions, S.C. Cunningham et. al

“As important as it is to get trees into the ground, it can be argued that maintaining each plot after planting is even more important. Unfortunately, this crucial part of the process can be forgotten in the rush to hit lofty planting goals. Proper maintenance of sensitive seedlings, especially during the first year, requires dedicated people and solid infrastructure. Close monitoring is necessary to determine regional effects and to adapt to changing conditions. Working with local organizations and stakeholders will ensure that viable, cost-effective inititative.”

The Canopy: Root for Trees Newsletter in Edmonton

Plant Native Species not Ornamental

Here is another email received this month by The Root for Trees program in Edmonton that emphasizes we should “plant native species in areas that are being naturalized, even though other places around the world plant introduced trees because they have desirable benefits—usually faster growing and often as something that will be harvested. A notable benefit of trees is their ability to capture carbon and reduce global warming.

But a recent study in New Zealand found that although introduced species quickly sequester carbon as they grow, upon death non-native plants can actually cause more damage than intended. As they did not evolve in the local environment, non-native plants decompose more readily and release more carbon into the atmosphere than native varieties. 

By planting native plants on your property, you can help cool the planet and make Edmonton a healthy city!”

Right Tree in the Right Place

“Gardeners will tell you that a climate map is a useful tool. It uses temperature, day-length, average frost free days per year, and several other variables to assign zones, indicating where particular plants should survive. For most of the 1900s, Alberta was primarily a Zone 2 edging towards a Zone 3.

Edmonton is currently rated as a Zone 3B. Meaning, plants that previously would not have survived here can now potentially grow!

At the Old Man Creek Nursery, the City of Edmonton’s urban forestry team is testing plants found from other parts of the continent to see if they will live here. Some examples include:”

“Ironwood (Ostrya virginiana) can be found from Nova Scotia to Manitoba.
It is a small deciduous understory tree growing to 18 m tall and 20–50 cm trunk diameter. The leaves turn a bright gold in the fall, and the fruit looks like a hop.”

“Crimson Spire Oak, a trademarked tree with a narrow form and deep red fall colour, this hybrid is extremely tough. It is faster growing than other oaks with dark green foliage throughout the season. It will grow up to 15 m tall and spread about 5 m wide. Upward pointing branches and adaptability are inherited from the English Oak (Quercus robur) parent, while mildew-resistant foliage and red fall colour are inherited from the White Oak (Quercus alba) parent.”

“Fairview Maple (Acer rubrum). Not the leaf of our flag but very similar, this true maple has scarlet red fall leaves. It is characterized by a rounded canopy as it matures – a wonderful source of shade. This moisture-loving tree will get to about 10 m tall and wide.”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.