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Trillion Trees Australia

Tree Planting in Western Australia
Trillion Trees Australia

Trillion Trees is a Western Australia based tree-planting not-for-profit organisation. They have a great understanding of the native ecosystem and biodiversity, to improve the local biodiversity, combat salinity and soil erosion, and to sequester large amounts of carbon over the long lifetime of the trees.

The issue

Over the past century or so deforestation and biodiversity loss have been occurring at alarming rates, and they continue to accelerate in the 21st century. This, coupled with our emission of greenhouse gases has further accelerated climate change, which is a huge threat to our planet.

  • Tree planting offers a solution to this; reforesting large areas of the planet results in large carbon sequestration, and increased habitat for biodiversity recovery.
  • BUT, the long-term nature of a tree-planting/reforesting project poses a few risks:
  • Maintenance is required, if not the trees will likely die within a few years
  • Forest fires, which are becoming more frequent due to climate change, threaten to burn down the newly planted forest
  • Other threats include pests, disease attacks and droughts also risk killing the trees

What Trillion Trees does

Trillion Trees plants native species of trees and shrubs to replicate the natural ecosystem, and regularly checks up on the reforested areas to maximise tree survival rates.

  • This project involves members, sponsors, donors, community and corporate volunteers to be part of the tree planting
  • Founded in 1979 (formerly Men of The Trees), they have many years of experience in maintaining reforested areas; and they have impressive aims for the future

Stage 1: Site negotiation

  • Our Re-vegetation program is overseen by an Advisory Committee comprising WA leaders in forestry, horticulture, ecology, regenerative farming, soil carbon and key tree planting volunteers
  • We plant only in areas that are conservation land, or where we get agreement from a farmer / private landowner that the trees are to remain in perpetuity. Note this is not a formal contract but we interrogate the context as best we can.
  • The land is secured at least 1 year in advance and often up to 5 years or more in advance through an MOU.
  • Trillion Trees looks after a site for between 2 to 5 years as agreed with landowners and an agreement is also set up with what happens after it site is returned to the care of the landowners.

Stage 2: Site Planning

  • A site plan is done that includes: identifying potentially limiting factors ( dieback, weeds, feral animals, compaction); site preparation (eg weed control, auguring, ripping); soil amendments, pest control); plant species selection (number and density – food sources, threatened, endangered species); seed collection; propagation at our Nursery; planting schedule; post-planting monitoring and reporting; fire management plan; The plan established a calendar for the whole season.

Stage 3: Nursery grows the identified seedlings. Nursery capacity is 250,000 seedlings

  • Our native plant Nursery is an accredited Nursery under the Nursery and Garden’s Industry of WA (NGIWA). We get audited each year.

Stage 4: Site Preparation

  • As referred to in stage 2

Stage 5: Tree Planting event planning and event

  • A community engagement plan (including marketing and promotion; event management; parking; catering; equipment (pottiputkis, baskets, marquees, portable toilets, cleaning equipment, IBC etc, planting day team leaders training, volunteer registration / management etc)

Stage 6: Post planting monitoring and maintenance

  • As referred to in stage 2

Trillion Trees impacts, aims & co-benefits

To date, Trillion Trees has planted 15 MILLION native trees and shrubs in Western Australia. This equates to around 2 million tCO2 sequestered from the atmosphere. They have set up a number of specific areas of reforestation, education programs and pioneer community involvement in the area for tree planting.

Their mission is to “bring people together to plant and grow trees, and to achieve healthy, productive, sustainable landscapes.” They aim to:

  • Champion biodiversity plantings across WA to improve the health, productivity and sustainability of degraded land
  • Lead in environmental education specialising in revegetation, healthy food and community engagement
  • To identify, encourage and support new active champions to help and assist Trillion Trees achieve its vision
  • Achieve excellence in financial, organisational management and governance whilst maintaining a strong community spirit