This is a slight departure from my normal garden design articles. It’s certainly still relevant as tree planting is a very important part of any good garden design…

But this type of tree planting makes a difference to our world as a whole. Something few of us can achieve in our own back gardens…

There’s something truly remarkable about the trees that are planted close to the Equator…

A few months ago, on a yoga retreat in Mallorca, I had the great pleasure of meeting an extraordinary woman who is known as ‘Tree Planting Jenny’.

Foresty engineer, Jennifer Leigh Smith, is the founder and managing director of ACCT (Association Community Carbon Trees) which is a non-profit carbon offsetting project in Costa Rica.

Jennifer told me thatOne tree will sequester at least 1 ton of CO2 over 25 years. Every time we get on an aeroplane, or drive a car, or breathe, we add more carbon dioxide to the air. Isn’t it cool that a tree planted on the Equator can offset so much over 25 years?”

If you plant a tree in the UK it will take 100 years to sequester the same amount of CO2! That’s not to put you off tree planting in colder climes, just to illustrate how important these equatorial regions are.

“For every glass of water we drink, every breath we take, we have a tree to thank!”

There’s much, much more to Jennifer’s project than carbon offsetting. Their tree planting helps stop deforestation, combats poverty, creates extinction stopping biodiversity and helps protect natural water supplies.

If all that isn’t clever enough, Jennifer and her team spend a lot of time educating local children on the importance of their environment. And they’ve incorporated entrepreneurial opportunities that can generate sustainable incomes, food and medicine sovereignty, ecotourism, self-government and conservation of future forests.

Jennifer says that “People change their mindsets from poverty and scarcity to prosperity as a result of fair pay for tree planting and follow up maintenance.

People do not cut down trees when they have a sustainable positive self-respecting income supported by healthy and committed relationships to the trees themselves, as well as with their land, the soils and waters, and to their neighbours in their local communities.”

Buy a carbon offsetting tree for a great Christmas present

It costs just $25 to sponsor one tree for £25 years – now that’s a pretty amazing present, it really is the gift that keeps on giving!

Another great Christmas present idea is obviously our online garden design or planting courses, it would be remiss of me not to mention those as well! And for every course you purchase in December we will be sponsoring a tree, a total win-win!



Rachel Mathews
Rachel Mathews

Professional international garden designer for over 30 years. My mission is to de-mystify garden design and make it easy for people to successfully design their own garden - without needing to spend a fortune!

    2 replies to "Tree planting that makes a difference & solves a Christmas present dilemma"

    • Cynthia Walker

      Very interesting blog. I am thinking about planting a few more trees in my yard, maybe now I will. Thanks for sharing.


      And, of course, trees can be grown in pots indoor and outdoor

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