Planting a tree may seem like an easy thing to do. But we have learned in our ten years as a tree-planting search engine that many things can go wrong in the process of reforestation.
That’s why we don’t take tree pledges lightly, which promise to plant billions, sometimes trillions of trees without specifying where, how or even to what ecological end.
You need to be able to answer all of those questions to make sure that your trees will have a positive impact on nature and people, and indeed that they’ll survive in the first place.
But let’s assume you have answered those basic questions - how do you plant a tree?
The Ecosia quick guide to tree planting
Watch our video guide on Ecosia’s YouTube channel and share these instructions with your nature-loving friends:
- Source some seeds from a mature tree of a species native to your planting site.
- Second, losen a patch of healthy soil by hand and sprinkle the seeds in a straight line.
- Next, cover the seeds with straw to keep them safe and don’t forget to give them some water. If you don’t have any straw, you can use dried leaves, too. Now all you can do is wait patiently for the seeds to sprout, which can take up to a few weeks.
- Now pluck them from the earth and put them in clean water. Then, prepare a tube that will form the base of your baby tree.
- Fill the tube with fertile soil, including soil from the site the tree will be planted in. This will help your sapling get used to the local bacteria. Poke a hole and pop the seedlings inside.
Now wait again patiently for around six months. During that time, remember to weed and water your sapling daily - and keep it in the shade!
- Just before planting, place the tree in direct sunlight and stop watering it. It sounds cruel - but this will prepare your sapling for the tough conditions ahead.
- After six months, your tree is now ready to be planted. Find a good spot where your tree has plenty of space to grow and dig a hole in the ground large enough to allow the roots to spread out. Carefully unwrap the baby tree and put it in the earth.
Here’s a pro tip: when you plant the tree, mix the deeper soil from the digging hole with the upper soil layer, which contains organic material that nourishes the roots.
- Refill the hole and protect the soil with leaves and litter - this is called mulching.
If you live in a dry area, give your tree plenty of water and watch it grow, perhaps as it helps restore a forest.
Each one of Ecosia’s tree-planting projects faces different climatic, economic and social conditions. For more insights into what it takes to reforest the planet, watch the stories of our tree-planting partners around the world.