We Need Forests.
They Need Us, Too.
Since 1990, the founding of our reforestation program, the Arbor Day Foundation has planted nearly 150 million trees in natural forest areas across the globe. We believe that trees are an important part of the solution to many of our world’s problems — and that reforestation is one of the simplest and most critical things we can do to save our planet.
Join us as we embark on a journey to plant a better future.Make a Donation
Forests’ Countless Benefits
Home to 1.6 billion people and 80% of all plant and animal species, our world’s forests are the cornerstone of life itself.
They provide us with countless benefits — some of which you might not even realize.
Cleaner water and air
Forests help improve water quality in streams, rivers, and lakes, as well as filter pollutants out of the air.
Trees are one of our greatest weapons in the fight against climate change. In the United States, national forests alone absorb more than 50 million metric tons of carbon each year.
Forests increase rainfall, prevent drought, and cool the overall temperature of the planet.
Habitat for wildlife
Animal species of all kinds rely on forests for food, shelter, and water.
Fruit and nut trees are an important food source for millions of people across the globe.
Recreation and wellness
From camping to fishing to hiking, forests provide us with opportunities to connect with nature and one another.
An Urgent Need
Despite all the good forests bring to our lives, these precious natural resources are in trouble.
The world has lost an estimated 1 billion acres of forest since 1990. This staggering rate can be attributed to a number of factors:
Human activity is one of the greatest contributors to forest loss. Around the globe, trees are cut down for agriculture, cattle ranching, development, and logging. Deforestation has had the most significant impact in tropical rain forests, which are at risk of disappearing completely in 100 years.
Diseases like sudden oak death, spruce decline, and white pine blister can cause significant decline in previously healthy forests.
Infestations by insects like the mountain pine beetle have reached epidemic levels in select forests, killing hundreds of thousands of trees and making the area more susceptible to fire.
Wildfires are a natural part of many ecosystems, helping promote vegetation growth by clearing away dead material. However, with climate change creating hotter and drier conditions, these fires are growing in intensity.
High winds and severe storms, including ice storms, can snap trees like toothpicks.
Our Reforestation Work
We help plant trees all over the world, from the mountains of Colorado to the jungles of South America.
Each year, our reach continues to grow. We have committed to planting more than 21 million trees in 2020 and nearly 40 million in 2021.
Amazon Rain Forest
Amazon Rain Forest
The Amazon Rain Forest is one of the most diverse, important areas on Earth. Spanning nine countries and 3.4 million square miles, it produces more than 20% of the world's oxygen, plays a vital role in carbon sequestration, and is home to thousands of rare plant and animal species.Despite its importance, the Amazon is disappearing at a rapid rate. Scientists have estimated that the area could become a grassland savannah in just 50 years.To aid in this crisis, the Arbor Day Foundation is planting nearly half a million trees in the rain forest in Brazil. This will provide long-term food security and income alternatives for thousands of indigenous people while helping save a precious natural resource.
Angeles National Forest
Angeles National Forest
Look past the skyscrapers and sprawling metropolis of Los Angeles, California, and you’ll see the beginnings of Angeles National Forest. This 700,000-acre area is home to rare tree species like the big cone Douglasfir and serves as an important source of water for the city’s nearly 4 million residents.Unfortunately, Angeles National Forest has experienced several large wildfires in the past several years. 2020 was a record-setting fire season, with more than 150,000 acres — or 23% of the forest — left charred and in need of replanting.The Arbor Day Foundation is teaming up with the U.S. Forest Service to restore and protect this important area. 37,000 big cone Douglasfir and ponderosa pine seedlings were planted in 2021. Reintroducing these native trees will provide critical habitat to black-tailed deer, black bears, and small animals.
Eastern Queensland, Australia
Eastern Queensland, Australia
The eastern edge of Queensland, Australia is known for its stunning views and exotic wildlife. The region is home to the Gold Coast, the Great Barrier Reef, and endangered species like turtles, wallabies, kangaroos, wombats, and koalas.As beautiful as it is, many forested areas in Queensland have been cleared for surface mining and agricultural use. This has resulted in frequent flooding, erosion issues, and forest fragmentation.The Arbor Day Foundation is helping plant trees to return the area to its native state. Doing so will create jobs, boost ecosystem resilience, improve water quality leading to the Great Barrier Reef, and provide better habitat for the country’s rare and wonderful animals.
The Chesapeake Bay is the largest estuary in the United States. It stretches across six states and the District of Columbia, covers 64,000 square miles, contains more than 100,000 rivers and streams, and supports more than 18 million people and 3,600 species of plants and animals.The Bay’s rich history, abundant fisheries, and astounding beauty are all critical to the health, economy, and way of life for the Mid-Atlantic region. However, this important resource is becoming increasingly polluted by agricultural and urban runoff, particularly in the state of Pennsylvania.In 2021, the Arbor Day Foundation teamed up with the Chesapeake Bay Foundation to plant more than 60,000 trees in Pennsylvania. The newly planted trees will filter and absorb pollution, stabilize stream banks, provide habitat for animals, and help regulate water temperatures.
The island of Madagascar is home to more than 28 million people. It’s also the only place in the world where you can find ring-tailed lemurs — a big-eyed, adorable species named for the alternating black and white bands on their tails.Over time, logging and slash-and-burn practices have destroyed roughly 80% of the forest biome that these lemurs depend on. With only an estimated 2,000 to 2,500 remaining in the wild, they’re now among the most endangered species in the world.The Arbor Day Foundation has joined forces with Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium and the Madagascar Biodiversity Partnership to restore this critical forest habitat. In 2021, nearly half a million tree seedlings were planted across the landscape, protecting lemurs and other threatened animals before it’s too late and creating a better way of life for the people of the island.
Our reforestation work is made possible by our network of hundreds of planting partners, including the U.S. Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management. Their expertise and intimate knowledge of local ecosystems helps guide every step of the planting process.
Over the past 10 years, Green Forests Work has partnered with the Arbor Day Foundation to restore forests in areas impacted by coal mining. Our strong partnership has resulted in the planting of over one million trees, as well as the creation of much-needed jobs and new economic opportunities, in the Appalachian Mountain region. We hope to continue revitalizing this beautiful area for years to come.Dr. Christopher Barton, President and Co-Founder, Green Forests Work
How You Can Help
Individual donations are what make our work possible. Your contribution — whether $1 or $20 — will plant roots of change and live on for generations.Make a Donation
Is your organization looking to make a larger impact? Visit our corporate partnerships page for information on how companies can get involved.