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What We Do

Reforestation

The Climate Trust funds and manages tree planting and forest restoration for landowners and managers across the country.

After wildfires and other disturbances, forests often go unplanted and the land remains in an unproductive and degraded state.  Reforestation and afforestation projects offer one of the largest opportunities to reduce carbon emissions and store more carbon in the trees than any other nature-based solution.  Replanting these forests restores diverse ecosystems and builds climate resiliency for wildlife and communities.  

With a focus on climate vulnerable communities and ecosystems, The Climate Trust ensures that carbon markets are accessible to diverse landowners who historically have not been able to benefit from them. By restoring forests and planting new trees, we can drive new economic opportunities, revitalize our great American landscapes, and create thriving forest ecosystems that benefit the climate and the people that live there. 

Traceable Reforestation for America’s Carbon and Timber

The Climate Trust is supporting its reforestation and afforestation efforts with a Climate Smart Commodities Partnership grant from the USDA. This project addresses the need to define and develop climate smart forest practices, which were highlighted in Executive Order 14008 in recognition of the key role America’s forestry sector plays in mitigating climate change. There is a great need to expand and recover the nation’s forest estate to balance society’s carbon emissions with carbon sequestration. At the same time, North American consumption of wood products has increased by an average of 1.6 billion board feet (BBF) per year since 2010 (Jannke 2022), creating a tension between the demand for wood products and the increasing need for our forests to serve as carbon reservoirs.

The Climate Trust (TCT) is addressing these related pressures through its reforestation program, Traceable Reforestation for America’s Carbon and Timber (TRACT), in partnership with Arbor Day Carbon and the Federation of Southern Cooperatives. TCT will deploy funding, planning, and implementation of reforestation and afforestation activities in two geographic areas: the Western U.S. and the Southern U.S, focusing on lands deforested by natural disturbance and lands in need of afforestation. The working forests created through this program will produce climate–smart timber and other forest products on post–fire or degraded/marginal agriculture lands.

Featured Reforestation Project

Project Development Process

The Climate Trust works directly with landowners to determine their eligibility, plant and maintain forests, measure, model, and verify forest growth, and market and sell resulting carbon credits.

why work with us?

The Climate Trust funds and manages reforestation and afforestation projects on lands that have been deforested due to natural disturbances like wildfires or that have been non-forest for at least 10 years. Our foresters work directly with landowners and any stakeholders they may have to design a reforestation project that works for their land. We typically develop projects on lands that are at least 500 acres total and offer a free evaluation of project feasibility—including an optimal path for valuing and marketing the carbon and climate benefits of a carbon project. After conducting a site visit, we identify site-appropriate seedlings that will generate climate-smart timber. We pay for and manage the planting of trees and our carbon market experts ensure that the timberland’s carbon and climate benefit is valued for the best price.

The Climate Trust has worked for over 25 years to support good land stewardship and support climate vulnerable communities who may be dealing with the aftermath of wildfires or other natural disturbances. We work with public and private landowners, managers, land trusts, and Tribal Nations to reforest land or to plant trees where there hasn’t been a forest for 10 or more years. As a nonprofit and one of the oldest carbon entities in the nation, we have a breadth of experience including public and private forest management, operations, forestry consulting, sustainable forestry certifications, and forest carbon investments. 

what are reforestation and afforestation projects?

When wildfires and other natural disturbances destroy forests, the diverse ecosystems for wildlife and plants are destroyed with it and significant amounts of carbon emissions are released into the atmosphere. In implementing a reforestation project, The Climate Trust replants site-appropriate trees and restores the landscape and ecosystem. In the case of afforestation, land must be non-forest for over 10 years. This means that fields or other land can be converted back into a forest through the planting of seedlings. Both reforestation and afforestation build back ecosystems that were lost and keep more carbon stored in the trees and soil, creating a more climate resilient future.

This material is based upon work supported by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, under agreement number NR233A750004G020.


Common terms

  • Carbon Offset: the storage or avoided emission of one metric ton of carbon dioxide (the atmospheric equivalent) after applying transparent, science-based carbon accounting and passing third-party verification.
  • Co-benefits: positive impacts on the ecosystems, biodiversity, wildlife, and community surrounding a carbon project.
  • Additionality: the reduction or removal of carbon emissions resulting from a carbon project compared to a baseline. In the case of reforestation, carbon sequestered and stored in newly planted trees is compared against a baseline scenario of land in a state of continued degradation and deforestation.
  • Third-party Verification: the verification of a project’s eligibility, measurements, and modeling through an ANSI-accredited verification body or auditor.