Posted on April 20 2020
"Tree by Tree" – that was the motto of NIKIN right from the beginning. And now, almost 3½ years later, a few planted trees have already grown to half a million. Especially thanks to your help we have reached another incredible milestone!
A single planted tree does not change the world overnight. But half a million trees planted in a period of over 3½ years certainly makes a big difference. And that's exactly what we've achieved now. The half-million mark has been reached and we are proud that with so many trees planted, we have made the world a little bit greener. But we're not thinking of stopping. On the contrary. Because we are already aiming for the million!
The 500'000th tree planted in Lenzburg
We have reached a milestone by reaching 500'000 trees, so we want to give special importance to this event and the 500'000th tree. For this reason, we have ceremoniously planted a tree in our home – in Lenzburg – to commemorate this success and, above all, our mission: Tree by tree we want to make our planet greener. The tree is a Norway maple, which we planted near Markus-Roth-Platz in Lenz together with the city of Lenzburg.
How can you envision half a million trees?
Half a million trees – that is a dimension that is hard to imagine. To put this into perspective, you can imagine the following: In the whole of Switzerland there are about 535 million trees. If we were now to plant these 500,000 trees all over Switzerland, this would make up about 0.1% of the total number of trees. A small number? That's deceptive, because half a million trees are equivalent to more than 16,000 football fields. And when you consider that every year an area seven times the size of Switzerland is destroyed, every tree planted makes a difference. But the important thing is to know where and how trees need to be planted. Because only a small fraction of the trees we plant grow in Switzerland. Most of them were planted where it was urgently needed.
Where are our trees planted?
Planting trees at random is neither practical nor sustainable. It is better left to our foresters or, like us, to an organization that works for forest reforestation. Knowing that there are places in the world that are in urgent need of reforestation, NIKIN has trusted the non-profit organization OneTreePlanted from the very beginning. They decide where in the world the trees are needed most and most urgently - whether it is Australia after the forest fires, South America or Africa. For example, they have planted over 5.7 million trees worldwide since 2015. To give NIKIN the opportunity to get their own impression of the work of OneTreePlanted, Nicholas Hänny and Robin Gnehm visited them in 2018 and 2019 themselves in Canada and the USA and planted trees with them.
Why trees are so important
Trees and their functions are vital to both humans and animals, and in fact they are small - or sometimes very large - masterpieces of nature. One of their most important tasks is to clean the air. For example, they extract the greenhouse gas CO2from the atmosphere and convert it into oxygen. As "green lungs", a single tree can absorb an average of up to 5 kilograms of air pollutants per year and produce 130 kilograms of oxygen at the same time. This is an impressive achievement for a single tree. What entire forests can do, on the other hand, becomes particularly apparent in the case of natural disasters, as forests literally get in the way of avalanches, rock falls and landslides, thus preventing major damage. In addition, the forest floor filters and stores rainwater entering the forest, which plays an important role in the use of drinking water.
Apart from this, the forest provides a home for numerous animals and plants, is both a source of food and protection - from insects and spiders to birds and mammals. For us humans, the forest offers a place to relax, where we can reduce stress and let our soul dangle. In summer, trees also provide us with protection from the sun. A service that is brought to us free of charge.
Switzerland as a land of trees
It is easy to relax in the forest, especially in Switzerland, where one third of the area is covered by forest. Everywhere you can find a place and the opportunity to literally put down roots. Spruce, fir and beech are the most common species found in Switzerland. And while trees in Switzerland live to be 100 years old on average, the record is for a yew tree that is 1500 years old. The largest tree in Switzerland, a Douglas fir, stands in the Bernese Madiswil and is around 61 metres high. Compared to the Eiffel Tower in Paris, it would reach just over the first floor.
If the Swiss forest were divided equally among the country's population, each inhabitant would be responsible for about 75 trees. And suddenly the relationship with our forests feels a bit more familiar, especially since you can visit, name or hug your own trees. Also the respect and gratitude we should pay to our trees would probably be greater. So it is all the more important to protect and appreciate nature and our trees. After all, it only takes a fraction of the time it takes to cut down a tree until it has regained its majestic size.
You can help planting trees so that we can soon crack the million!