Pledges to plant trees are great news for the fight against climate change—but we don’t have enough seeds

BYJad Daley and Yishan Wong
Fortune Magazine
November 1, 2022
Category: Forestry
Region: United States

…The humble tree is a magic solution to a set of colliding crises: Forests pull carbon dioxide from the air to slow climate change, provide habitat that supports biodiversity, and shelter our communities from heat waves and other extreme weather. Reforesting the full extent of suitable land in the U.S. would increase natural carbon capture in forests by more than 40% each year.   However, we’re not ready to meet this reforestation potential. To put it simply, there are not enough seeds, people to collect them, and nurseries to grow them.  Thanks to cutting-edge research from the Nature Conservancy, we know there are 133 million acres of ecologically suitable land for reforestation across America.  …However, American nurseries currently produce roughly 1.3 billion seedlings annually, which is only enough to plant approximately 2.5 million acres per year.   Even to reforest only the highest priority lands (roughly 64 million acres) by 2040, we would need to double annual nursery production.

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