The Economics of Planting Trees

by Leah Feor September 22, 2016

Cost of Planting a Tree

When you plant a tree with us, your dollar goes a long way.  Those four quarters are divided up among many hands, making this collaborative effort a good investment in the Earth and the economy.

The process of planting trees starts in the nursery.  This is where little pods are sown with seeds, and a period of patience and care is required.  There is also a lot of science and expertise that goes into this step, ensuring that saplings are grown to be strong and resilient, increasing their likelihood of surviving the wilderness.

One Tree Planted works with partners in regions across the world to reforest and replenish our landscape with healthy trees that store carbon and clean the air.  Depending on the region where the trees are being planted, saplings cost on average $.45 each.

When the saplings are ready to hit the ground, a team of tree planters take them out into the field, and give them a new home.  It’s hard work, but a labor of love.  Often, tree planters will work in a remote location for an entire season, devoted to the reforestation process day in and day out.  A few different factors will go into the cost of planting, however typically it ranges between $.15- $.25 per tree.

There are some parts of the world that trees take care of themselves, requiring little maintenance once planted.  However there are other parts of the world where diligent ongoing maintenance of the trees is costly and labor intensive.  Both environmental factors and matters of basic security play into the initial maintenance of trees, adding $.10 - $.22 to the tree planting bill.

Now the trees don’t get from the nursery, to the field, and into the ground growing without logistics and tools.  Add another $.10 - $.22 per tree on average for transportation costs, material costs, and general equipment costs.

All of the above mentioned costs and components of tree planting are dealt with by the hard working organizations that we partner with.  We invest in organizations that have a well laid out plan and strong track record in reforestation. 

Depending on where we plant, and who we plant with, the cost of getting a sapling into the ground and growing totals to an average price of $.85 per tree.

So what do we do with the on average $.15 left over at the end of the line?  We invest it in our operations: keeping the lights on, the website live, and the education and awareness campaign growing. 

Oh wait! There is one more piece of the pie that needs to get paid.  The virtual bank terminals that help get your dollar to where it will make a big impact.  Credit card processing fees and transaction costs range from a couple of cents to a shiny nickel.

As you can see, there is a lot that goes into planting trees.  However, by working together and pooling our resources, we are that much closer to a greener planet that will pay off for decades and centuries to come.

Plant a tree




Leah Feor
Leah Feor

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