Study: World has 8x the number of trees we thought

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Maybe I just haven’t had enough coffee, but what’s the takeaway here? We have more trees than we thought, so we are further in deficit than we thought? (To be clear, I am vehemently pro-tree; I just don’t understand what this post is saying.)

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Something like “We know we’ve removed N trees out of T, which is P percent of them”. Oops, T is 10 T, so we’ve got to replace 10N to keep P constant. (The original natural attrition was also 10 times lower than we thought). I guess. [ED: deleted ‘rate’]


Except I think the study only found T, and inferred P. Therefore the only way “it’s not good news” is if they are some kind of malevolent hell-trees.

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Wait, we have more trees than we thought? Should we start cutting them down to make the numbers add up better?

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We’re already on it.


No, it makes sense. We can estimate P because we know the rough areas of forest that have been cut down.

So if there were a hundred and fifty million acres of forest, and now we only have 75 million acres left*, then we know we have cut 50% of the forests.

If we thought there were only 400 billion tress in those remaining forests, then we might have to plant in the order of 400 billion to recuperate.

But it turns out there are 3 trillion trees in those 75 million acres, so we have to plant eight times the number to recuperate.

Obviously these are all estimates, but 8x is almost an order of magnitude, and so significant even when you’re just estimating.

* Actual estimates, from


Clear, concise, comprehensible. Thank you!

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(Maybe throw a fave then.)


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