February 19, 2019 3 min read

63,975 Trees Planted in California and British Columbia

The west coast is getting a little greener thanks to your support! We’re happy to share that a few new forest fire restoration projects have been completed and thousands of trees are sitting snug in their forever homes.

35,655 Trees Planted in Mendocino, California

This project is part of our Million Tree Challenge focused on California in 2019, as we work to support forest fire restoration in areas where significant environmental damage occurred. Post wildfire reforestation is necessary in some areas to prevent invasive species from taking over, to restore desired landscapes with beneficial local tree species, and to prevent soil erosion. Of course, the trees will also aid in absorbing carbon as they grow, to clean the air and water for local communities.

The Mendocino planting took place on the site of the 2017 Redwood Valley Fire, which burned 36,523 acres and destroyed 543 structures. Due to the challenging terrain - mountainous land with many charred logs that needed to be removed and/or climbed over for effective planting - professional crews were used for this project. 

We worked with local community associations to restore 99 acres of privately owned land, part of which was home to famed racehorse Seabiscuit! 

And speaking of wildlife, how beautiful is that white deer (above) photographed near the planting site?

While it is always a positive sign to see wildlife near planting areas to affirm that the trees will expand habitats, from a reforestation perspective it also makes us think "don't eat our trees!" Deer like to nibble on saplings. But fear not, that's exactly why we use tree guards where necessary, they protect the trees while they're small and will be removed when the threat of damage is diminished as the trees mature.

28,320 Trees Planted in Canim Lake, British Columbia

This project is part of our ongoing restoration work in British Columbia. We previously shared a story about replanting on the site of the Elephant Hill Wildfire, but there’s more to be done!

The intensity of the 2017 fires in the Canim Lake area was such that it did not leave any seed sources capable of regenerating naturally. The damage was so severe the area was not expected to recover for 30 to 40 years.

Here’s some background information from our experts in the field: the planting site experienced Rank 5 to Rank 6 wildfire conditions and was left completely deforested. This included burning of the forest floor, exposing vast areas of mineral soil. The forest preceding the fire was dominated by Douglas-fir, a species that is adapted to surviving lower intensity fires, but not adapted to regenerating after high intensity fires.

The goal of this planting project is to re-establish forest conditions in a much more timely manner, and do so while the dead, charred trees remain standing to provide protection for seedlings. Planting trees will support healthy local watersheds and slow down snowmelt rates in spring - which benefits all the vegetation downsteam. Climate will also be impacted through long term uptake of carbon from the atmosphere. And biodiversity will be increased through development of forest conditions and subsequent improvement in habitat for plants and animals. 

This planting took place on 29 acres of the land of the Canim Lake Band, an indigenous community who were forced to evacuate during the fires. Residents of the region depend heavily on the forest for their livelihoods, making reforestation necessary for rebuilding economically after the 2017 fire. Beyond the ecological benefits mentioned, reforestation restores the natural beauty of the area, so that nature-loving tourists will want to come visit!

Thanks as always to the support of our business partners, donors, and global community. We couldn't do this without you. Now onto the next tree! 🌲

We plant trees on 4 continents around the world. Want to choose where yours are planted?

by Diana Chaplin

Canopy Director & Eco-Storyteller