The largest reforestation program operator in the U.S., GreenTrees commemorates its 20th year of engaging individual landowners to plant forests, measuring the growth annually and converting the annual growth into carbon credits.
THE PLAINS, VA. APRIL 04, 2023 – GreenTrees, a global leader in reforestation to answer climate change and the largest reforestation program operator in the U.S., celebrates its 20th anniversary as an organization dedicated to scaling conservation and reforestation by putting a price and value on natural capital and linking the biological world to the transactional marketplace.
“Through vision, patience, partnership and hard work, we’re thrilled to celebrate 20 years of success building high quality forests for the purpose of carbon removal,” said Chandler Van Voorhis, co-founder and managing director of GreenTrees. “As we look both back and forward, it’s the life of pioneering that we have chosen. It’s the blood, sweat and tears that one experiences when faced with challenges and obstacles – sometimes known and often unknown. But with belief in our heart, we journey on, and we look forward to many, many more years of productive partnerships with landowners and sustainability-minded corporations.”
Founded in 2003, GreenTrees has pioneered reforestation in the U.S. and worked in public-private partnership with government entities to empower landowners to participate in a vibrant, voluntary carbon credit market. The only carbon removal program open to both small and large landowners, GreenTrees provides the resources for individual landowners to change their land use to forests, measure the biomass growth annually and convert that annual growth into carbon credits while delivering revenue to them. GreenTrees plants forests in three primary areas within the United States: the Mississippi Alluvial Valley, the Commonwealth of Virginia and the U.S. southeastern region.
As policymakers and companies nationwide continue to bank on trees to play a critical role in reducing carbon footprints, GreenTrees in March launched Virginia’s first-ever reforestation project for generating carbon removal credits for sale on environmental markets. In the new project, GreenTrees is planting 60,000 trees on 95 total acres in Fauquier and Shenandoah Counties in Virginia. In addition, GreenTrees also just launched South Carolina’s first-ever reforestation project for generating carbon credits, planting 280,000 longleaf pine trees on 511 total acres in Williamsburg County.
To date, GreenTrees has engaged more than 600 landowners ranging from 10 to 3,500+ acres and planted 130,000+ acres of forests that have removed more than six million metric tons of carbon from the Earth’s atmosphere; these existing planted acres will remove a projected 30 million metric tons of carbon over the next 40 years. In October 2022, GreenTrees landowner partners received the highest income distribution ever from GreenTrees for nature-based carbon removal credits generated from reforestation projects. Of the total $8.2 million distributed by GreenTrees, the average payout to each landowner was more than $12,000 and $60 per acre.
All carbon credits from GreenTrees’ projects, which generate revenue for landowners and ongoing forest management, undergo a rigorous, four-step verification process by the American Carbon Registry. GreenTrees’ verified carbon credits are widely accepted today by the major environmental markets and Fortune 500 companies, which trust GreenTrees’ carbon credits to address emissions they cannot eliminate, meet sustainability goals and combat climate change. GreenTrees has sold several hundreds of thousand tons of carbon removal credits last month and continues to field new interest from potential buyers.
Earlier this year, GreenTrees created a digital twin of every tree in the project using a technology stack that included LiDAR and leveraged 20 years of ground measurements to train the algorithms. Over 220 trillion data points were generated to create 3D point clouds of all 130,000+ acres across more than 600 landowner parcels.
“Our digital twins of every tree in our project are well beyond the satellite data in terms of accuracy,” said Van Voorhis. “Satellite does not have the resolution to accurately measure new forest biomass growth by penetrating canopy coverage and demarcating boundaries properly in a fragmented, aggregated project with myriad states of maturation. In fact, we are at 97% accuracy of the on-the-ground data and feel we will push this up a point or two in the near future.”
“Looking to the future, we will continue to spur innovation in our quest to incorporate the value of nature in Capitalism 2.0,” said Van Voorhis. “After all, nature is not an offset, she is the most scalable technology for repairing, recalibrating and removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. Today is the first day of the next 20 years in driving scale.”