How Does My Tree Become Part of Tomorrow’s Forests?

From time to time we’re asked this question: has my tree been planted yet? Sometimes it may actually take quite a while for your tree to finally be planted on our plot. That’s the same with any other provider, but we make it transparent with our tree tracker.

First of all, don’t worry: for every individual tree donation, your tree has already been planted! Because unlike others, we only plant trees that are between three to five years old. We use your donation to order each tree from a forest nursery. Every order currently takes about four to six months for the nursery to process, but during this time it continues to grow there.

Only then it is planted on one of our plots. This, however, is only possible at certain times of the year. Planting the young trees in summer, for example, wouldn’t make any sense, because many of the saplings would just dry up. Of course, that’s something we don’t want! We care about every single tree. After all, it’s not enough just to plant tree, or as many as possible, but the important thing is what happens to this tree after it’s planted? That’s why we wait: our planting seasons are in spring and autumn. In the busy world of today, we’ve got used to higher paces in many areas, but nature has its own rules.

Furthermore, we plant our trees exclusively on those plots that we’ve acquired specifically for this purpose. There is a simple reason: we do not want the trees to fall victim to forestry. To put it more clearly, we don’t want them to be cut down again after a certain period time. Instead, we want your trees to grow into tomorrow’s forests. it’s the best we can do for nature and the climate. So, thanks to your support, we have been able since the end of 2017, when we founded the GREEN FOREST FUND®, to buy several protected areas for trees and wild bees. Here we created new spaces for nature to grow undisturbed.

That’s a lot of work, but we know that it’s worth the effort – for the good cause! Still, farmers in Germany have specific rights of pre-emption when buying land. That’s why it usually takes months before a plot of land is actually sold: according to the Grundstücksverkehrsgesetz (literally: ‘Land Conveyance Law’), it must be put out to public tender. And once we have successfully bought it, we still need an afforestation permit: before we get that, we aren’t allowed to plant anything at all.

In order to get the permit, we need a majority of votes in the local council. Once we have that, we need to go to the Landwirtschaftsamt (literally: Department for Agriculture), which decides when and where new woodland areas are created in Germany. This department, in turn, has to collect further permits from the nature conservation authority, from the officer responsible for nature conservation and from the forestry authority. In order for us to get out future forest plot in Binau, this process took one and a half years – whereas we would have been ready after only two months.

This long and weary process – which, in our opinion, might just as well pick up a little speed – is also a reason why many other providers simply plant their trees in existing woods that are used for forestry. This, however, doesn’t make much sense at all: it may be less hassle, but there is no benefit to nature in the long run. But we really want to act sustainably by creating new forests and protecting existing forests. That’s why we are happy to put in a little more effort and take a little more time: for tomorrow’s forests!

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