Although there are thousands of people planting native trees each year, there is no tally of how many are being planted across New Zealand. More trees planted will absorb more carbon from the atmosphere, thereby reducing the negative impact of greenhouse gases on our climate and our environment. Counting the trees being planted means we can measure the impact we are having.
In order to make a meaningful response to climate change it’s important to be clear about what trees qualify to count. Native restoration planting programmes throughout New Zealand use a wide range of tree and shrub species. While all of these will contribute to carbon sequestration (sucking up carbon), the requirement of Trees That Count will follow the criteria for tree planting as defined in New Zealand’s Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) in that a tree must be capable of reaching a minimum height of 5 metres.
Trees That Count is counting, and planting trees that are:
- Native—that is, indigenous to New Zealand
- Species that have the potential to reach a minimum height of 5 metres at maturity
- “In addition” to nature—that is, deliberately planted and not counted through natural regeneration
- Planted with the intention of being maintained and protected until maturity.
Native tree are selected because of the other arrays of environmental benefits they provide - like increasing biodiversity, restoring waterways, creating habitats for our native birds and insects.
Check out the list of trees that count here
Yes, all trees are good. But although fast-growing exotic species such as radiata pine sequester carbon faster than planted natives, all forest irrespective of species eventually plateau with a significant carbon carrying capacity.
Unlike most radiata pine stands that are usually felled before 30 years of age (at 800 t/ha CO2 equivalents), native forest can be managed as permanent forestry sinks. These native forests can be established as conservation forests or on appropriate sites managed as sustainable production forests using Continuous Cover Forestry (CCF) principles.
Not yet, though in the future we are hoping to provide some really innovative ways to increase tree planting throughout New Zealand by providing community groups with free native trees. In the meantime we are concentrating on building a movement of all New Zealanders who are planting natives, and encouraging them to plant more. In 2017, all funds raised by Trees That Count through donations or tree gifting will be used for native tree planting projects throughout New Zealand. For the first quarter of 2017 we're raising funds for Tūhaitara Coastal Park in North Canterbury. You can read more about that project here.
All trees that you pledge to plant will automatically be added to the count. If you have pledged volunteer time or land we will get back to you as opportunities arise.
All donations or gifts of trees will be planted in a registered Trees That Count planting project. We will be supporting several planting projects in 2017.
Currently, all funds raised will be supporting the planting of native trees at Tūhaitara Coastal Park in North Canterbury on ANZAC Day. We're aiming to raise 2,000 trees for this project. Once we reach our target we'll announce the next project we are supporting.
In 2016, 2,000 trees were planted at the Park on Anzac Day with the help of the Student Volunteer Army and funding from Trees That Count, just hours after the Paris Agreement on Climate Change was signed in New York. This was the first part of a proposed 10,000 podocarp forest at Woodend Beach on the southern side of Tutaepatu Lagoon. In what was probably the first tree planting to sequester carbon from the atmosphere after the Paris Agreement was signed, the planting was a truly international effort (with lots of international students participating) in a truly bicultural project.