photo of girl among trees in forest
Trees really are terrific, don’t you think?

Yesterday, on World Environment Day, I learned a new word: afforestation.

Say it with me: uh-faw-ruh-STAY-shn.

You see, I am very familiar with deforestation and reforestation. But not so much with afforestation—the process of planting trees and tree seedlings in an area of land to make a new forest.

So, reforestation restores depleted forests and woodlands. And afforestation creates brand-new ones. Basically, as many trees as possible. As many places as possible.

green pine trees
Look at that lush green forest, cleaning the air.

Of course, it’s not that simple. Because nothing in environmental conservation (or life) ever is.

And while there are numerous benefits to planting as many trees as possible—major benefits that include cleaner air and improved biodiversity—there can be negative consequences as well. Especially if not managed properly. Planting new trees may impact an ecosystem in a not-so-positive way by introducing invasive species and reducing others.

Make no mistake, people. I am all for planting trees! I want to save the planet as much as you do. PLEASE. Let’s save it! PLANT TREES!

But let’s just do our research and ask for some help from the experts (like Forests Ontario or any of these Forest Research Institutions) before we start planting.