The Guinness World Record for most trees planted in 24 hours goes to the Uttar Pradesh Forest Department of Uttar Pradesh (India), along with nearly 1 million volunteers who helped make this feat a possibility.
The exciting event took place across several locations in the central Indian state of Madhya Pradesh on July 11-12, 2016. Over the course of 24 hours, volunteers worked hard to plant 80 different tree species along roadways, railways, and on public land.
Saplings were purchased from local nurseries and planted into the ground. Saplings only have a 40% survival rate and require great attention to ensure max survival.
India relies on aerial photography to identify which trees are doing the best, and which areas require assistance. There are also plans in place to ensure all of the trees receive the proper water and maintenance.
By working together, the volunteers were able to plant 50,414,058 trees. During the planning of this event, the use of paper was limited as much as possible.
India has been on a mission to plant more trees since the Paris Climate Conference in December of 2015. They officially signed an agreement on Earth Day that stated the country would spend over $6 billion on forestation efforts across 12% of its land.
So far, they’ve kept true to their word. By the year 2030, India is on track to have planted over 235 million acres of trees, adding greenery to 29% of the country’s land.
“The world has realised that serious efforts are needed to reduce carbon emissions to mitigate the effects of global climate change. Uttar Pradesh has made a beginning in this regard.”
Uttar Pradesh’s Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav
This was no cheap ordeal, but the Indian government was happy to pay for it thanks to all of the benefits that trees offer the Planet. The hope is that by planting more trees we can help reverse the damaging effects of climate change.
Since trees absorb greenhouse gasses, the goal is to improve air quality in India. This is a big concern for India considering 6 of their cities rank on the list of the top 10 most polluted cities in the world.
The exact number of volunteers seems to change depending on where you do your research. By most accounts, there were 800,000 volunteers, but some say that number was closer to 1.5 million volunteers.
Either way, it’s an impressive accomplishment and proof that when we work together, we can achieve so much more than seems possible.
This world record far surpasses the previous record set by neighboring Pakistan in 2013 when 300 volunteers planted 847,275 trees in 24 hours.
In 2014, volunteers working with the Forest Department in Madhya Pradesh planted over 14 million trees across 9,272 locations.
People living in the Indian village of Piplantri, Rajasthan are helping their country plant even more trees by honoring the birth of each baby girl by planting 101 trees.
India’s good work is inspiring others to do the same. For instance, African nations have vowed to plant and reforest 386,102 miles (100 million hectares).
The US is getting in on the action too. The New York Declaration of Forests set a goal to cut deforestation in half by the year 2020.
By the year 2030, they plan to eliminate deforestation altogether. At the same time, they are hard at work reforesting 1,351,357 million square miles (350 million hectares) with new and healthy forests.
While teamwork makes the dream work, individuals can accomplish a lot on their own as well.
The current Guinness World Record holder for the most trees planted in a day by a single individual is Ken Chaplin, a Canadian who planted 15,170 red pine seedlings on June 30, 2001.
The red pine seedlings were planted near Prince Albert, Saskatchewan, Canada. According to Ken, about 90% of these trees have survived to this day.
There are billions of trees cut down every year, and so while all of these efforts help a great deal, we still need to plant even more trees.
So, what are you waiting for? It’s time to get out there and plant some trees!