Elder planting his birthday trees.


Commemorate birthdays, work anniversaries and other social anniversaries by PLANTING TREES.

Use these occasions as opportunities, whereby you can do something very important, for you and for Earth.

No matter if you celebrate your 70th birthday, 50 years work anniversary or 30 years of marriage - use that event to plant trees.

Get together with other people to enhance your effort.

How many trees will that be?

That is easy to calculate:

One, that your parents should have planted already to mark the day when you were born, plus the one for your first birthday plus the two for the second birthday, three for the third .... and so on.

Easy Formula: n multiplied by x (x = n plus 1), divided by 2 = Total plus the one for the day of birth!!

n = your age or the number of years of your anniversary - and then add the one for your actual first day of life, work, marriage or else.

If you e.g. celebrate your 20th birthday, you will plant 210 plus 1 = 211 trees. It's the same for a 20 years anniversary.

If you then space these 211 seedling for example 2m by 2m (depends on what's best for the tree species) then you already create e.g. a forested patch of around 20.5m x 20.5m = 420sqm = 0.042 ha of forested land, if you plant in a square grid. Rectangular and triangular planting patterns require different numbers of trees and different spacing provides for different acerage of forest cover. Get some advise from a forester for your specific case.

You can use the Plant Spacing Calculator Omni - just click on it:

Together with 10 age-mates you can - using the example - easily create a real forest of 0.42 hectares in a year. That's already a very impressive 1 acre forest.

Or you can dedicate yourself to add every year a full new life forest segment to your already existing forest to grow it even bigger. Endless possibilities.

Celebrate your company's anniversary by getting together with all staff and have the company to pledge their trees. With the number of trees each employee contributes (age or time of employment) your group can create a big forest.

Give your forest a name for prosperity and as your, your family's, your group's or your company's legacy.

Reforestation on secured land - best protected by the local community itself.


Very important is the place where you plant your trees:

The land must be protected!

Only when the land is protected also the trees themselves can be protected and get a chance to grow up and form a forest - with the aim to be a forest forever.

a) If you have jurisdiction over land - then that is the best place.

b) If you are part of a community that has jurisdiction over land, then please contact those who manage the land and ask for a plot and the guarantee that the planted trees will be your property. Ensure that you will have a say for the next 50 years or more. A "certificate of ownership" can be issued officially in all communities - even if you first have to create such legal possibility to secure your trees.

c) Ensure that you will have access, because you might need to provide water and other care to your trees. Most trees are pretty good in growing up by themselves, but you need to look after them at least until the have outgrown your own height.

d) Ensure that the seedlings can not be eaten or destroyed by uncontrolled livestock. Even in wildlife areas you might have to add seedling protection to stop wildlife from e.g. nibbling the terminal bud off. Especially rare tree species are often endangered by ungulate wildlife species targeting them. Consult with your local forester, the elders and specialists.

Yes, this is my school tree and it has outgrown me already. When I will return in many years with my children it will be very big and still be here, because it is registered with my school certificate.

Avoid the Pitfalls:

Do not waste your precious time, effort and money to plant trees on:

a) Government owned forest areas (except if the forest department gives you a legal certificate of ownership for the trees) and guarantees you access. Governments and other entities, who encourage but fool well-meaning "volunteers" into doing reafforestation-stunts or sponsors to donate money for such scams, must be exposed. Many governments use the falsely tagged "public" forest lands or national park areas as collaterals or to offset their debts to banks in their cooked national household books.

b) National Parks, where you have only restricted or paid-for access to care for the trees and do not own the trees. You need the legal security for being allowed to enforce your protection.

c) Public parks, where the management (e.g. municipality) does not give you the right of ownership of the planted trees or to care for those trees. Though community efforts to beautify your living environs have often good intentions, it must be made sure that down the line it is not just another scam and the land would soon go to another highway project - with all the trees cut again.

d) Privately owned land, where the owner does not issue a guarantee that the planted trees are yours. Don't plant where the private land owner or those to whom the land could possibly be sold guarantee you the ownership - at least for an agreed longer period of time - and gives you the right to care for the survival of these trees, which includes your access to the area.

e) Do not waste your personal effort with a wrong approach and do not get fooled by industrial forest plantations or by organizations, that do not provide the necessary guarantees.

Local ECOTERRA staff planting indigenous Acacia xanthophloea on secured land near new settlement - together with international volunteer.

Which Kind of Trees shall I Plant?

a) Always go for the most rare or even endangered indigenous tree species of your wider area first. Get yourself a good book on the trees of your country and find the ecological zone where your secured piece of land is located.

b) Select a mix of indigenous trees, that can naturally grow in the specific area where you found the secure land. Consult with your local forester, the elders and specialists.

c) Indigenous trees that have multi-purpose capacities (e.g. produce edible fruits for wildlife and/or people; broadleaved trees that produce topsoil cover, mulch and good humus; trees that can be pruned to produce leaved branches for livestock fodder; trees with good timber to create a revolving fund for more tree plantings etc. etc.).

d) Use your study during the tree-species selection as an exiting exercise together with your peers, children and friends. Do additional research on the specific tree species on the internet (use search engines like www.startpage.com or www.searx.org to not be lured to phony seed- or tree-trader websites).

e) Get to know your trees! Fall in LOVE with YOUR TREE species. Numerous ethnicities and even families actually have a most revered tree species. That culture has usually a long history grown out of peoples' experiences of centuries - for good reasons. Get to know them.

Tree Sources

Trees are long-living lifeforms, which often grow much older than you ever will live.

Planting trees is therefore among the top-best opportunities to make a contribution to the life of your children and to our common future.

At present 250 year old oak trees are harvested in Europe, which were planted during the days of emperor Napoléon Bonaparte. Napoleon back then actually issued a decree and ordered his French and other people in conquered lands to plant oak trees. But like the Germans from whom Napoleon learned, we don't need decrees - we can do it by our own free will.

However, please note that from a bad or defective seed only a defective tree can grow - if at all.

Therefore source the seeds or seedlings with greatest care.

a) The best is to obtain certified seeds from qualified forest seed-banks. Choose the best private or governmental owned forest-seed source. Ensure that the seeds are certified quality-seeds collected from so-called "Plus Trees" - that are selected mother trees of superior characteristics and quality - and that the seeds were stored properly. Check that the seeds are not too old, so that you get a high rate of germination. Get a seed certificate.

Tree nurseries are good women self-help projects. Support nurseries run by women.

b) Make your own small forest tree nursery in your backyard. It is one of the most rewarding exercises for you, your group of friends and/or children to grow your own trees. School tree nurseries like also e.g. vegetable gardens must become part of the curricula and community efforts worldwide.

c) If you really do not have the chance to grow your own seedlings from seeds, then ask the people at the forest-seed source and contact those nearby, who run a proper forest tree nursery. From there you then can buy properly grown and best quality seedlings from certified forest seeds, if you really don't have the possibility to do it by yourself.

d) If you are in an area where all that is not existing or possible, because for example you live in a crowed city of concrete, then make an effort in the community next to the place where you want to plant the trees and create such source.

- Collect seeds from the best trees of the most rare species on which who have decided to focus.

- Engage a local youth or women's groups and all the schools to grow the tree seedlings. Get the schools and the community to contribute to joint effort. Engage the local forester, the elders and local environmental organizations to help.

Tree seedlings require proper planting and care.

Planting the Trees out

After the seedlings are grown to size or sourced, plan for the right weekend to host your planting event.

a) Plan for the site preparation. In certain areas it is advised to first dig plant holes with the proper depth (also to collect rainwater in so-called micro-catchments - they look like fish-scales on a mountain slope) and the best spacing. In other areas with good top-soil trees can be planted directly using a planting hoe or planting spade. Ensure that the seedling is planted properly for best start-up results.

b) Select a weekend date at the beginning of a rainy season for the planting.

c) Plan for water in case it hasn't rained before you plant and in any case you need to water the planted tree to saturation on the day of planting.

d) Document your effort and share it with others to encourage them to follow your good example. Send this guide along for best practice.

                   YES, WE CAN !


The opportunities are manifold and plenty:

a) Birthdays or memorial days of a revered person.

b) Wedding or partnership anniversaries.

c) Family anniversaries of different backgrounds.

d) Work anniversaries or new job celebrations.

d) Organization anniversaries, launch of a new brand, staff outings and corporate social responsibility events.

e) Create your own commemoration event, like: My 100th goal in football or even if it is just something like: Being now 5 years or 10 years in this union or club or on other social platforms. There is no boundary for your creativity.

f) Celebrate your dog for having been a best companion for 5 or 10 years (your dog also will be happy for the trees, but provide also for a meaty bone on that day!)

g) There is no boundary for your creativity and imagination to coin a special day, but use it to plant trees.


Let us know your efforts and achievements

Send an e-mail to and let us congratulate you for your achievement. Add some description (location, species, numbers) and let us see some pictures from your event.

Addendum: We have often been asked if also the direct seeding of forest tree species on secured lands or the planting of mangrove trees at the coasts of our oceans counts. Our answer: Of Course it Does! Even the planting of corals in the oceans counts. Anything which maintains or enriches the natural, indigenous flora and thereby an ecosystem and its fauna is of value and important to pursue.

Tree planting networks in and around heavily deforested villages have sprung up everywhere. Groups of 20-30 villagers collect indigenous seeds, sow and cultivate them in nurseries, and transplant them onto secured lands. Now skilled in tree cultivation techniques, network members are prepared to also assist individuals and groups outside their communities to replicate these great achievements.

If you can't find one near you, write to - we shall guide you.  -pjb-


This campaign runs now since many decades all over the world and we can't even compute a sum-total anymore of how many trees were planted in this global effort. Just with the Millennium Tree Planting event, initiated by ECOTERRA, which then was taken on also by the Greenbelt Movement of Nobel Laureate Wangari Maathai and later uplifted by UNEP to a Billion Tree Campaign, it must be many, many trillions of trees - standing now solid and as boll-work against ecocide, while already the Trillion Tree Campaign is on.

But all that is still not enough to combat and offset the given annual loss of real forests and especially rain-forests or old-growth forests the world over. The rate of forest destruction has slowed due to the joint local and international efforts to combat illegal timber harvesting and deforestation, but the destruction hasn't been stopped yet completely and re-afforestations of larger, denuded forest areas are often not done, because these lands are in the wrong hands.

Therefore: Please step up your efforts to protect the forests and continue to plant your protected forest trees on secure land.

Hey - we did it - we planted our Life Forest !



More Reasons Why To Plant Trees

Different people have different reasons for planting trees.

1) No Excuse: Planting new trees is better than not doing anything at all. Planting is better than not planting.

2) Friendships: The people you meet in a tree-planting event are unique. You’ll never find a more diverse and interesting group of people. Many of the friendships that you make while planting trees for the environment might last for a lifetime.

3) Physical Health: Planting can be quite a workout. Why pay for a gym membership when you can work out every day by collecting seeds, growing seedlings, planting trees.

4) Fresh Air: Getting away from the pollution of a city is great for your body.

5) Amazing Meals: During most tree-planting events you’ll be taken care of by amazing bush-cooks, raw or veggie food inventors as well as miracle grill experts, who will feed you a really healthy and nutritious diet.

6) Scenery: Some people think that “travel” means seeing a foreign country. There’s some beautiful scenery in every country that most city-dwellers never get to see - especially in remote sites.

7) Local Knowledge: There are everywhere amazing local people who live close to their land, with their land and of their land. From them you can learn a lot also on other aspects of real life.

Planting by hand gives you the full experience.

8) Mental Focus: Every time you engage in tree-planting, the whole affair really lets you get away from the negative aspects of civilization, and lets you focus on the things that mean something in your life.

9) The Challenge: Pushing yourself to be successful with your tree-planting requires a level of motivation that will stick with you long after you’ve planted your trees.

10) Satisfaction: There is almost nothing that you can do in your life that’s more rewarding than getting through a season of planting trees, looking back, and thinking, “I did something that few people on this planet are capable of accomplishing.” And its the greatest satisfaction to re-visit the trees you planted after decades.

When will you plant yours?

"In the end we will protect only what we love; we will love only what we understand; and we will understand only what we were taught." Baba Dioum - 1968



Let's take on the challenge:

Planting more than 500 billion trees could remove around 25 percent of existing carbon from the atmosphere, a new study has found.

What's more: there's enough space to do it.

With a #BillionPersonMovement that's just 500 trees per person.

Brands, retailers, NGOs and government can share their plans for how they'll create programs as part of the #ReGenGlobalChallenge to reach this replanting goal.

Technology is advancing with ever faster speed, which has advantages and disadvantages:

- Note the GPS location of your trees, have it registered with your certificate of ownership or ownership manual..

- Share your achievements on the so-called social media, but keep the GPS data to yourself - so that adversaries can't find and destroy your trees. There are unfortunately more and more sick people in this world.

- Think about drones. Place forest-tree seeds at spots otherwise extremely difficult to reach - on mountain slopes, cliffs, on marshes or even on unreachable small islands in swamps. Though tree-planting or tree-seeding drones can be engaged for such difficult task, do not miss the good spiritual experience to plant a tree with your own hands - wherever you can do it in the traditional way.

- For direct seeding use stratified seeds in start-up pods or coated. The coat or substrate contains the required nutrients to let the germinating seed grow into a seedling with deep roots even on extremely poor or degraded top-soils. The substrate delivered with the seed might contain extremely hydrophobic particles, which collect air-moisture during cool night hours - ideal for seeding or planting in deserts or semi-deserts. Do not use pesticides! If an animal finds the tree-seed important for its own survival in the harsh environment - so be it.

Anything else new ? - let us know by writing to



Learn more about why we need to plant and care for trees:


Trees combat climate change

Excess carbon dioxide (CO2) is building up in our atmosphere, contributing to climate change. Trees absorb CO2, removing and storing the carbon while releasing oxygen back into the air. In one year, an acre of mature trees absorbs the same amount of CO2 produced when you drive your car 26,000 miles.


Trees clean the air

Trees absorb odors and pollutant gases (nitrogen oxides, ammonia, sulfur dioxide and ozone) and filter particulates out of the air by trapping them on their leaves and bark.


Trees provide oxygen

In one year an acre of mature trees can provide enough oxygen for 18 people.


Trees cool the streets and the city

Average temperatures in Los Angeles have risen 6°F in the last 50 years as tree coverage has declined and the number of heat-absorbing roads and buildings has increased.
Trees cool the city by up to 10°F, by shading our homes and streets, breaking up urban “heat islands” and releasing water vapor into the air through their leaves.


Trees conserve energy

Three trees placed strategically around a single-family home can cut summer air conditioning needs by up to 50 percent. By reducing the energy demand for cooling our houses, we reduce carbon dioxide and other pollution emissions from power plants.


Trees save water

Shade from trees slows water evaporation from thirsty lawns. Most newly planted trees need only fifteen gallons of water a week. As trees transpire, they increase atmospheric moisture.


Trees help prevent water pollution

Trees reduce runoff by breaking rainfall thus allowing the water to flow down the trunk and into the earth below the tree. This prevents stormwater from carrying pollutants to the ocean. When mulched, trees act like a sponge that filters this water naturally and uses it to recharge groundwater supplies.


Trees help prevent soil erosion

On hillsides or stream slopes, trees slow runoff and hold soil in place.


Trees shield children from ultra-violet rays

Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the United States. Trees reduce UV-B exposure by about 50 percent, thus providing protection to children on school campuses and playgrounds - where children spend hours outdoors.


Trees provide food

An apple tree can yield up to 15-20 bushels of fruit per year and can be planted on the tiniest urban lot. Aside from fruit for humans, trees provide food for birds and wildlife.


Trees heal

Studies have shown that patients with views of trees out their windows heal faster and with less complications. Children with ADHD show fewer symptoms when they have access to nature. Exposure to trees and nature aids concentration by reducing mental fatigue.


Trees reduce violence

Neighborhoods and homes that are barren have shown to have a greater incidence of violence in and out of the home than their greener counterparts. Trees and landscaping help to reduce the level of fear.


Trees mark the seasons

Is it winter, spring, summer or fall? Look at the trees.


Trees create economic opportunities

Fruit harvested from community orchards can be sold, thus providing income. Small business opportunities in green waste management and landscaping arise when cities value mulching and its water-saving qualities. Vocational training for youth interested in green jobs is also a great way to develop economic opportunities from trees.


Trees are teachers and playmates

Whether as houses for children or creative and spiritual inspiration for adults, trees have provided the space for human retreat throughout the ages.


Trees bring diverse groups of people together

Tree plantings provide an opportunity for community involvement and empowerment that improves the quality of life in our neighborhoods. All cultures, ages, and genders have an important role to play at a tree planting or tree care event.


Trees add unity

Trees as landmarks can give a neighborhood a new identity and encourage civic pride.


Trees provide a canopy and habitat for wildlife

Sycamore and oak are among the many urban species that provide excellent urban homes for birds, bees, possums and squirrels.


Trees block things

Trees can mask concrete walls or parking lots, and unsightly views. They muffle sound from nearby streets and freeways, and create an eye-soothing canopy of green. Trees absorb dust and wind and reduce glare.


Trees provide wood

In suburban and rural areas, trees can be selectively harvested for fuel and craft wood.


Trees increase property values

The beauty of a well-planted property and its surrounding street and neighborhood can raise property values by as much as 15 percent.


Trees increase business traffic

Studies show that the more trees and landscaping a business district has, the more business will flow in. A tree-lined street will also slow traffic – enough to allow the drivers to look at the store fronts instead of whizzing by.