PLANT-IT 2020 COMPETITIVE ADVANTAGES:
|Our United States reforestation program plants seedlings with priority for non-harvest areas and provides customized city tree-planting events.||Two other reforestation groups plant in both forest and city locations but in their forest locations, seedlings are routinely planted in logging areas, and their city tree-planting events offer little or no customization.|
|We offer the largest selection of countries worldwide where we plant trees (US and abroad)||Most reforestation groups focus on one location or area - either within or outside of the United States. Two other organizations plant in both the United States and abroad but their abroad program is practically non-existent. There is one other group offering many abroad-only locations|
|Contributors pick the tree-planting location from our list of worldwide locations.||Zero contributor control over where their funds are directed|
|Very low overhead||It varies from low-to-exceptionally high|
|Many customizable urban projects worldwide where we invite various community groups and leaders who normally do not interact to get together and side-by-side plant trees. We also jointly create reforestation projects with cities.||Zero customization is the norm. One other group does work extensively with numerous US cities regarding reforestation projects and education.|
|Our reforestation events attempt whenever possible to reduce human hunger and thirst; save endangered species; reduce the greenhouse effect; and stop desertification.||US focused reforestation projects rarely directly benefit people except for the commercial financial aspects.|
|First and only nonprofit tree-planting organization to post online a detailed 'Code-of-Ethics' explaining what we do and do not do.||Competitors do not post online their ethical standards. One wonders why.|
|First and only nonprofit tree-planting organization to post online a paper detailing how contributors may be deceived and/or 'ripped-off' by nonprofit tree-planting organizations.||Competitors prefer to downplay or ignore scams and deceptions in our industry as doing so may lead to hard questions and less contributions received.|
|First and only US nonprofit reforestation foundation to distribute biochar cook stoves for needy families. These reduce poverty, eliminate demand for wood as fuel, and can be carbon-negative in their use.||No other US reforestation nonprofit distributes biochar cook stoves.|
SELECTING A REFORESTATION ORGANIZATION
How do you select the best reforestation organization to meet your needs? How do you determine the quality of a reforestation organization? The following is important information you need to answer these questions.
ABOUT US-BASED REFORESTATION GROUPS
US-based tree-planting groups differ in many ways and you need to know what those differences are in order to provide the 'best match' for your needs.
TREE-PLANTING LOCATIONSUS based reforestation groups fall into three categories in regards to where they plant trees.
- The tree-planting group plants large city trees only in US cities and towns very close to their business location. This is by far the most common group - perhaps 96% of all US based groups.
- The tree-planting group only plants tree seedlings in 1-4 non-US countries (one group has more locations). There are under ten US based groups fitting this description.
- The tree-planting group plants tree seedlings and large city trees across the US; and claim an international reforestation program as well. This consists of three tree-planting groups but two of the three group's international reforestation programs are exceptionally small-to-non-existent.
Corporate sponsors need to first determine if they desire for trees to be planted in US, non-US or both types of locations. For example, if the sponsor desires to engage in reforestation projects providing one or more of the following benefits - greenhouse gas reduction (carbon offset), reducing human hunger, saving endangered species, stopping encroaching deserts, reducing human thirst, planting trees in rainforest areas and stopping landslides - then they need to either choose a group from category two above or a particular group from category three above. If the sponsor desires to engage in one-to-several US city tree-planting events then groups within categories one and three above are suitable. If the sponsor desires to plant trees in both the US and in several other countries then they would select a particular group within category three above.
- Trees being planted are later cut down for timber harvest
- Trees being planted are coppiced (branches are cut-off for use as fuel but the tree rapidly re-grows them)
- Trees being planted go into non-harvest areas
The tree-planting project may combine one-to-all of these approaches.
If the trees are planted for later selective thinning then it is ideal that poor, indigenous people must specifically financially and otherwise benefit; and the forest must be proven to be sustainably managed. Quality tree-planting projects in Latin America and Africa do this.
Be aware that almost no reforestation organizations advertise which projects and to what extent the trees are harvested, coppiced and/or planted in non-harvest areas.
The survival rate concern is that you can plant lots of trees but if many of them quickly die then there is little benefit. A quality reforestation organization is focused upon maximizing long-term survival rates along with having credible methods for objectively determining what the survival rate is. The short term survival rate relates to the first several years after the tree is planted. The long term survival rate refers to how many trees live out their life expectancy. Obviously, trees planted to be later harvested in forests not practicing sustainable management will have an exceptionally poor long term survival rate so if the goal is to plant trees that best offset carbon then you want a long-lived tree that will not be harvested later on. Potential corporate sponsors need to ask what the survival rate is of a particular project and how that is calculated. Some locations such as mountaintops will naturally have a lower survival rate than fertile plains. The best method of determining survival rates is satellite analysis combined with personal inspection but usually personal inspection is all that nearly all reforestation groups are logistically able to do.
Another issue regarding survival rate is how seedlings are grown; and then transplanted and maintained after planting. The older the seedling, the more likely it is to be better transplanted. In some locations, seedlings need water, deer and weed control after transplantation so a maintenance plan and money to cover the maintenance must be in place before the planting begins. Thus, the reforestation organization should be willing to go into detail about both the survival rate and harvesting aspects of the tree-planting project. They should be able to justify why the trees will be harvested (if they will be) in a way that is both ecologically and politically correct. If you are not perfectly satisfied with their answer, go with your gut and select another tree-planting nonprofit.
SOLELY REFORESTING vs. REFORESTING AND PROVIDING OTHER SERVICES
- The tree-planting group only plants trees
- The tree-planting group not only provides a quality reforestation program but also may provide such things as better cooking stoves, micro-loans, and other services that are proven to significantly help a human community shift from basic survival to becoming a thriving community.
Groups only or predominantly planting trees in the US, Canada or other 1st world countries tend to focus solely upon reforestation. Groups focusing their efforts in Latin America, Africa and SouthEast Asia tend to be the ones providing these additional services and approaches. It is a more comprehensive and integrated approach towards improving both human and nonhuman ecological systems while providing greater PR value.
- The goal is greenhouse gas reduction/carbon sequestration You plant large-boled, leafy, fast growing, long-lived, non-harvested trees South of the US closer to the equator. Anything less may not do the job while simultaneously earning negative publicity.
- The goal is to sponsor a US city tree-planting event. Be prepared to 'shell-out' $3,500 to $6,000 to be the sole sponsor of a typical small event. Expect to plan and pay for it the year before to avoid 'snafus' along with necessary ordering and other timing issues. Most reforestation groups provide few choices and customization so you need to find out what different groups are willing to do. Projects also vary in PR value so you need to pick your project carefully. High PR cannot be guaranteed as weather and other unforeseen situations can suddenly change at the last minute a high PR urban reforestation event into a low one. If the group is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit then you can write-off the cost as a contribution.
Plant-It 2020 provides both city and public forest tree-planting events; US and abroad locations; the largest selection of locations; contributor selection of locations; priority for non-harvest in the US and abroad tree-planting; carbon sequestration reforestation programs; custom corporate programs; science-based tree-planting; reforestation events with a 'Human Improvement' emphasis; and PR assistance for corporations - all with a sterling reputation in the industry.