How Much does it cost to plant a tree?

Diana Chaplin | September 21, 2017 | 4 min read

We like to keep things simple, which is why we're committed to honoring our promise that we'll plant one tree for every $1 donated. But the reality is that planting trees around the world isn't always so easy!

There are multiple steps involved, variations in costs by region, logistical details to figure out - such as timing, transportation, partners and volunteers - and international exchange rates.

The good news is that you don't have to worry about all of that. When you donate to One Tree Planted, you can rest easy knowing that thanks to you, the world will be just a little greener, cleaner, and healthier.

How Much Does it Cost to Plant Trees with One Tree Planted

Here's a general breakdown of costs for every $1 donated. 

  • $0.50 -0.85 for one tree sapling to be grown at a nursery
  • $0.20 - $0.30 per tree to be planted
  • $0.08 - $0.20 per tree average with transport costs, material costs
  • $0.10 - $0.22 ongoing maintenance of trees
  • $0.12 - $0.15 operating costs
  • $0.03 - $0.05 credit card processing fees, transaction costs

The Tree Planting Process

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. The costs will vary depending on the region where the trees are being planted.

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.

One Tree Planted is committed to being very transparent. Not only you can choose where the trees will be planted, we will also send you updates on the project along the way (with photos too!) We've got an awesome team behind the scenes who are ready to answer any questions you have and help you plant trees!

Plant Trees Where They're Needed Most
Plant Trees Where They're Needed Most
Plant Trees Where They're Needed Most
Plant Trees Where They're Needed Most
Plant Trees Where They're Needed Most
Plant Trees Where They're Needed Most
Plant Trees Where They're Needed Most
Plant Trees Where They're Needed Most
Plant Trees Where They're Needed Most
Plant Trees Where They're Needed Most
Plant Trees Where They're Needed Most
Plant Trees Where They're Needed Most
Plant Trees Where They're Needed Most
Plant Trees Where They're Needed Most

Plant Trees Where They're Needed Most

As the need for reforestation is global and ever-changing, we feature where trees are most needed now. Today, we're raising funds to jumpstart forest fire recovery in British Columbia. Learn more

With your help, we will:

  • Restore landscapes damaged by a historic season of wildfires
  • Create habitat for iconic biodiversity like the moose and grizzly bear
  • Support old-growth management areas to maintain complex ecosystems
  • This reforestation initiative is helping to restore the landscape in British Columbia after the Hanceville fire burned over 590,000 acres in 2017 and natural regeneration has not occurred. The fire has impacted the forest, soils, riparian ecosystems, wildlife, and water quality. Local indigenous communities have seen their ability to hunt and gather food drastically altered. But your support will go a long way! The goal of planting trees here is to not only re-establish a healthy forest, but also to plant species that will be resilient in the face of climate change. Thank you so much for your support of healthy forests! 🌲
  • Planting trees will catalyze the process of returning the area to a forested state. Newly planted trees will begin the process of sequestering atmospheric carbon, and over time improve the hydrological benefits of the forest. The ecosystems that have been greatly simplified by extreme fire conditions will once again become complex ecosystems, This project will also create habitat for many local wildlife species including mule deer, moose, black and grizzly bear, wolves, sandhill cranes, various raptors, songbirds, and small mammals.
  • A personalized tree certificate (see gallery) to say thanks for your donation. We'll also send you updates about this project, so you can track the impact your trees are having on the community and environment.
  • B.C.'s rich forest diversity includes more than 40 different species of native trees, with some of Canada’s most interesting and valuable tree species. In this project, we made efforts to maximize species diversity, including the following species: Douglas-fir, lodgepole pine, hybrid spruce, ponderosa pine, trembling aspen.

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