Case Study

ROOTED TO THRIVE: Exploring Tree Survival Rates in the UK and Beyond


In this blog post, we delve into tree survival rates and the importance of tree planting. Despite challenges like climate change and deforestation, trees offer vital benefits. By understanding survival factors we can maximise tree survival.

Tree planting is an important strategy for combating climate change and protecting our environment. Trees are a vital part of the ecosystem, providing us with numerous benefits. These include cleaning the air, as they filter out urban pollutants and fine particles, which makes the air cleaner to breathe. Trees improve health and wellbeing, trees reduce noise pollution and they lower stress levels. 

Unfortunately, trees do face a multitude of challenges that threaten their survival.

In this blog, we will explore the issues that come along with tree planting and the factors that impact this. We will also be exploring the ways that by knowing this, we begin to understand what we can do to maximise success. 

Tree planting survival rates can vary depending on many factors, such as the location of the planting, the species of tree, and the management practices employed. In the UK, for example, survival rates can be impacted by climate, soil and exposure to extreme weather. 

This is why when planting trees, it is important to maximise success through effective management practices. For our own tree planting, we work alongside the Green Task Force and Eden Rainforest project who are extremely experienced in tree planting so understand the importance of maximising success rates. 

But, what do we do? Well, when planting trees, we protect the trees through a tree shelter so it is surrounded and protected from wildlife. We space the trees out, place them in strategic areas in the UK  which will provide the best growth. We also plant our UK trees at the best times to further maximise success. 

We also do extensive research into what type of tree will be best for the area we plant in. This detailed and meticulous method allows us to maximise success and impact on the environment. 

We plant a diverse range of trees such as Oak, Beech, Birch, Ash and Willow.

To maintain healthy ecosystems and avoid monoculture, we run a biodiversity survey to ensure we assess the site’s condition such as soil type, water availability and sunlight exposure. Some tree species are better adapted to certain conditions than others, so we choose trees that will thrive in each site's specific condition.

For overseas, there are organisations set up such as the United Nations’ reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD+) program. Which provides support and guidance on sustainable management practices. 

For overseas, we work with Veritree who plant in many communities across the world. Veritree employs groundbreaking technology for visibility and transparency. They verify and monitor the impact of your tree planting efforts to ensure accountability and transparency. Veritree utilises on-the-ground monitoring with mobile devices in the hands of local community members, creating transparency and trust through data and tools that revitalise ecosystems and strengthen communities.

Veritree works closely with local communities to showcase the value of newly planted forests. Through education and involvement in monitoring and reporting, local communities develop a deep sense of ownership and pride over their trees, leading to effective long-term management.

To ensure permanence, Veritree gathers on-the-ground monitoring, and tree planting funds contribute to protection measures. By year 5 and beyond, remote sensing (e.g, satellite imagery) is incorporated to monitor the long-term growth of the forest.

By doing this, we can excel the positives of planting trees. For example, planting new trees can help restore ecosystems, improve soil quality and provide habitat for wildlife. In a climate sense, trees help reduce the impact of climate change since they absorb carbon dioxide. In a social sense, they create jobs. We work with the Green Task Force and tree planting allows workdays and tree planting jobs for veterans and it allows veterans to partake in Nature Based Therapy which has proven effectiveness. 

Dr. Andrew Steel, our resident tree expert and advisor to the board, estimates that a tree planted in the UK will absorb 0.7 tonnes of carbon dioxide (CO2) over its lifetime. A tree planted and maintained in the rainforest will absorb 0.3 tonnes of CO2 during its life. This means that planting more trees will have a bigger impact on reducing CO2 emissions.

It is important to note that these are just estimates, and the actual amount of CO2 absorbed by a tree will vary depending on a number of factors, such as the type of tree, the location, and the climate. However, even small amounts of CO2 absorption can make a difference, so it is still important to plant trees whenever possible.

Here are some factors that can affect the amount of CO2 absorbed by a tree:

  • Type of tree: Different types of trees absorb different amounts of CO2. For example, evergreen trees tend to absorb more CO2 than deciduous trees.
  • Location: Trees in different locations absorb different amounts of CO2. For example, trees in a rainforest will absorb more CO2 than trees in a desert.
  • Climate: Trees in different climates absorb different amounts of CO2. For example, trees in a warm climate will absorb more CO2 than trees in a cold climate.
  • Soil conditions: Trees in different soil conditions absorb different amounts of CO2. For example, trees in fertile soil will absorb more CO2 than trees in poor soil.

To summarise, tree planting offers numerous benefits in numerous aspects of life. There may be challenges surrounding survival, but with knowledge of this and effective management as well as ongoing conservation efforts, we are able to maximise survival rates. This promotes continued growth and protection of both trees in both the UK and overseas. Through investing in tree planting and reforestation efforts, we can help fight climate change, protect our environment as well as have a positive social impact. 

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