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Another inspiring post from Barbara Hirsch! Rooftop gardens in NY City are helping to cool their buildings – trees do the same for our neighborhoods, cities, planet…

All land species require them in some way or other, and millions of plants and animals are going extinct as we clear away their homes.  A world without trees would not be a human friendly place.  An extensive report befitting the scope of the subject was just published in Nature, giving the best findings yet on the global tree population, calculated by a combination of satellite and ground based field work.
 
The current count of trees is over 3 trillion, far more than previous estimates. However, the planet has lost close to half the number of trees that existed before deforestation began in relatively recent history.
 
Less than half of forests are tropical and subtropical. But more than half of the loss has been among them.
 
How many trees per person? Russia and Canada’s boreal forests contain several thousand trees per person in their countries; Brazil has 1494; U.S. has 716;  China has 102;  India, a mere 28!! 
 
Around 15 billion trees are lost annually, more than two trees for every person on the planet. In acres, the number is 45 million, an area twice the size of Portugal was lost last year.
 
The countries with the fastest acceleration of tree loss are in the southern hemisphere. Besides timber, the global demand for beef, soy, rubber and palm oil are driving forces.
 
On a more local note, at least 12.5 million trees have been killed by the drought in California’s National forests alone. The drought a few years ago in Texas killed 300 million.
 
In 2006 UNEP – the U.N. Environment Programme – launched a massive tree planting program, the Billion Tree Campaign, that has since resulted in over 12.5 billion trees being planted.
Barbara Hirsch, eco-nut
Santa Barbara, California

“Unless someone like you cares a whole lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not.”

The Lorax, by Dr. Seuss

To see past ecofacts go here.
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