New Zealanders are being challenged to plant a native tree on Arbor Day 2017 (5 June) to set a record for the most trees ever planted on one day in New Zealand.
The challenge comes from Trees That Count, an ambitious new programme which aims to increase native tree planting in New Zealand – to help restore and enhance the environment, encourage biodiversity in cities, clean air and waterways and make a tangible difference to climate change.
Funded by The Tindall Foundation, and delivered by Project Crimson Trust in partnership with Pure Advantage and the Department of Conservation, Trees That Count is a conservation programme developed to inspire every New Zealander to join the movement to plant millions more native trees for future generations.
Calling on our good old Kiwi ‘can do’ attitude, our love of the nature and the outdoors and our spirit of getting behind a cause, Trees That Count is encouraging people to plant a native tree on Arbor Day and record it at www.treesthatcount.co.nz
Trees That Count is already counting the number of native trees being planted in New Zealand, with almost 400,000 pledged thus far for 2017. This Arbor Day campaign will capture a separate count to see how many trees will be planted on 5 June. Trees That Count’s overall target is to see 4.7 million trees planted in New Zealand in 2017 – one tree for every person.
Trees That Count grew out of a simple question by Sir Stephen Tindall, “How many native trees are we planting in New Zealand?” This question begged another: “How many more could we plant?” The Tindall Foundation then engaged researcher Dr David Hall, author of Pure Advantage’s Our Forest Future report, to scope the possibilities of increased native tree planting in New Zealand. Using Ministry for Primary Industries figures, he estimated that if we set a per-capita target of planting 40 native trees for every New Zealander, it would be roughly enough to negate New Zealand’s average annual increase in greenhouse gas emissions since 1990.
Sir Stephen Tindall, Co-founder of The Tindall Foundation, is passionate about the project and encourages people to get involved. “Planting native trees in your neighborhood, on your farm, at school or outside your office is one of the best things you can do for the local environment and for the planet. It is also a great way to bring people together and connect with your local community. Trees help record the history of your family and grow alongside you and your children. I’d love to see our streets, parks, playgrounds, front yards, farms, hillsides and rural areas full of trees and New Zealanders able to enjoy all the benefits they bring for generations to come.”
If people are unable to plant a tree themselves, they can support the campaign by donating or gifting a tree for $10, which will be planted on their behalf.
Pledge, donate or gift your tree here.
New Zealand’s first Arbor Day planting was on 3 July 1890 at Greytown, in the Wairarapa. Since 1977, New Zealand has celebrated Arbor Day on June 5, which is also World Environment Day, prior to then Arbor Day, in New Zealand, was celebrated on August 4 – which is rather late in the year for tree planting in New Zealand hence the date change.
What are the trees that count?
All trees must be native to New Zealand to assist with restoring and enhancing our environment, our biodiversity as well as impacting climate change.
Additional to native pohutukawa and northern rata (the trees which Project Crimson Trust is on a mission to protect via other initiatives), there are many other native trees that will be accepted for the Trees That Count project.
Some common native tree and shrub species that will meet Trees That Count’s criteria for planting are listed below, but there are many more on the list – the New Zealand Plant Conservation Network www.nzpcn.org.nz is a great website to visit for the full list of eligible trees and shrubs.