How does planting trees help?

Tree planting is one of the simplest and most effective ways of tackling climate change caused by greenhouse gas.

As trees grow they absorb carbon dioxide (CO2), a major greenhouse gas in the atmosphere. When communities plant trees they can help to reduce the impacts of climate change in their local area and around the world. 

Our work to help communities plant trees is planned carefully so that issues like water availability and the suitability of tree species to the local area are taken into account. In almost all cases, indigenous trees will be the first choice for planting, though sometimes hardy, exotic species will be introduced.

We also make sure that trees are planted in the height of the rainy season and when there is already moisture in the soil, giving the trees the best chance of survival. 

In Ethiopia, communities supported by World Vision plant indigenous trees - such as Erythrina and Podocarpus - in highland areas. In countries like Senegal, native Baobab and Bauhinia species are planted and revived with careful pruning. 

In some places it is better to help communities to revive damaged trees or vegetation than to plant new seedlings. In most cases, this is quicker and cheaper because the existing trees have already established their root systems.

This story was originally published on the 1st of September 2011.

LEFT: Hassou has learned how to regenerate indigenous trees on his farm as a way of boosting soil fertility; RIGHT: Seven-year-old Koubra is helping to plant mango seedlings in her village in Chad.