7 Easy Ways to Plant a Tree Where It’s Needed Most

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Planting a tree in your own neighborhood is a great way to help the planet, but what about those tree-starved areas out of your shovel’s reach?

Believe it or not, you can easily plant a tree in a deforested or at-risk area of the globe with less than $10 and a few clicks on the Web. Check out these seven resources to get you started. Whether you’re making a low-cost charitable donation for yourself or donating as a lovely gift for another, you’ll be protecting ecosystems in need.

The gift of a tree can make a big difference in the ecosystems that need them. Photo: Flickr/alexindigo

The gift of a tree can make a big difference in the ecosystems that need them. Photo: Flickr/alexindigo

1. Preserve national forests

Planting a tree with the National Forest Foundation (NFF) is quick, easy and affordable, and you’ll help preserve U.S. forests for future generations to enjoy.

The NFF will plant a tree for every dollar you give to its tree-planting programs, which help restore national forests damaged by wildfire, insects, disease and other impacts.

2. Fight deforestation in the Atlantic Forest

Brazil’s Atlantic Forest is home to more than 1,000 species of birds, almost 200 of which are not found anywhere else on Earth, but the habitat is shrinking quickly due to deforestation.

For every dollar donated to the Nature Conservancy’s Plant a Billion Trees Campaign, the organization will plant one tree in the at-risk South American forest — protecting endangered wildlife and preserving the forest’s lush rainforest canopy.

3. Give trees to a family in need

The charitable work of Heifer International began with providing livestock to low-income families around the world. But the organization has since expanded its repertoire to include all kinds of items that enable self-sufficiency, including — you guessed it — trees.

A $10 donation will buy a share of tree seedlings. For every six shares donated, Heifer International will provide tree seedlings to a family in need — allowing them to grow nourishing edibles like nuts and fruits, and helping to prevent kids from going hungry.

4. Restore areas damaged by forest fires

When you buy a tree gift from Trees for a Change, you or your recipient will receive a beautiful certificate, and the organization will plant a tree in a fire-devastated forest.

The most unique part about Trees for a Change? You can actually watch your tree grow! The organization will post the exact location of your tree as well as updated photos online, so you can see the result of your donation up close.

5. Revive a rainforest in Costa Rica

You can honor a friend or loved one by planting a tree in his or her name in a rejuvenated rainforest in Costa Rica through the Natural Resources Defense Council.

Available as one of NRDC’s green gifts, the tree will provide a home for threatened wildlife and capture carbon pollution.

6. Establish nature preserves abroad

The World Land Trust (WLT) helps its partner organizations create protected nature reserves around the world. As part of this work, trees may be planted to restore forests that were lost prior to purchase or to reconnect areas of forest habitat.

Currently WLT is working with Fundación Jocotoco in Ecuador to plant trees in the Jorupe Reserve. In previous years WLT has planted native trees to extend the Atlantic Rainforest in Brazil, working with Reserva Ecológica de Guapi Assu (REGUA).

7. Ensure natural beauty for future generations

Trees for the Future plants trees throughout Africa, Asia and Latin America to restore forests damaged by illegal logging and unsustainable land-management systems.

It only costs 10 cents to plant a tree through the organization, so you can plant a whopping 500 trees for only $50. Talk about making a difference on a budget!

More easy ways to help: 10 Ways to Go Green from Your Seat

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Mary Mazzoni

Mary Mazzoni

Mary is a lifelong vegetarian and enjoys outdoor activities like hiking, biking and relaxing in the park. When she’s not outside, she’s probably watching baseball. She is a former assistant editor for Earth911.
Mary Mazzoni