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Over 60,000 native tree Christmas gifts to combat climate change

62,686 more native trees will be planted in New Zealand in 2021 thanks to generous Kiwis who chose to go green for Christmas gifting.

Trees That Count saw a record breaking number of native trees gifted in December 2020, with the 62,686 trees gifted and donated a staggering 119% increase on the December 2019 number.

“We know 2020 has been a challenging year for many of us, so we’re really thrilled to have seen so much support for New Zealand’s big backyard this Christmas,” says CEO Adele Fitzpatrick.

Gifted and donated native trees bring a myriad of benefits to Aotearoa, including restoring ecosystems, cleaning waterways, boosting communities, and mitigating the impacts of climate change. The 62,686 native trees donated this Christmas have the potential to remove over 27,000 tonnes of CO2 from the atmosphere over the next fifty years.

“We’re very grateful to generous New Zealanders for helping our native forests have an even bigger positive impact on the climate through their donations—and also to those overseas who have donated or gifted trees,” says Adele.

From 2016 to 2020, Trees That Count supported 560 planting projects around Aotearoa with native trees funded by businesses and individuals through their marketplace. In 2021, that number will rise to more than 700, following a record number of applications for funded native trees from keen planters.

“It’s inspiring to see that so many Kiwis—community groups, farmers, iwi, families, schools and more—are out there restoring our land by planting native rākau,” says Fitzpatrick.

One such project, at Turihaua Station in Gisborne, is grateful to be receiving 3500 funding native trees to support their planting this year. “As custodians of the land we want to make sure we are constantly improving it for the benefit of our three boys like our parents and the generations before us,” says Sarah Williams, environmental scientist and farmer.

Native tree gifts from international tree-huggers also reached an all-time high in December, with 3,120 trees gifted from overseas. The virtual present option proved hugely popular with both expat New Zealanders and those separated from friends or family by COVID restrictions.

“Gifting native trees isn’t limited globally, and also isn’t just for Christmastime. We’ve always got more demand from planting groups, so we fundraise year-round,” says Adele. “We’re excited to see native trees become the gift of choice for many more Kiwis this year, as we celebrate birthdays, anniversaries, new births, and just to say thanks.”



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