Percentage tree cover

We need to consume less fossil fuel but we also desperately need to plant many more trees. Energy from the sun will warm the soil we stand on unless it is used by growing plants. Photosynthesis can cool our environment, reducing the dew point and increasing rainfall. Every tarmaced and concrete surface, every ploughed field, every rooftop that is not shaded by plants absorbs the energy of the sun. Our town would benefit from further green space, our fields can be far more productive if turned to agroforestry practice, our transport systems can incorporate avenues of trees that protect paved surfaces from the sun.

Can we please measure tree cover as a percentage of the whole surface of the island and make a concerted effort to cover every square metre? The percentage tree cover would be a very useful gauge of our resilience to climate change; it could offer a tangible means of measuring commitment to policy and would provide an environment that would be more comfortable for the population to live in by mitigating extremes of both hot and cold temperatures. 


Why the contribution is important

Global warming occurs because we consume fossil fuels which releases greenhouse gasses. We also denude our planet by stripping it of forests. Whether the Sahara or concrete landscapes of our urban areas, desertification provides the means for the sun to warm the planet. 

Coincidentally, carbon dioxide is also fuel for plant growth. 

This is a double wammy.

by PhilR on February 03, 2021 at 04:08PM

Current Rating

Average rating: 5.0
Based on: 12 votes


  • Posted by Laura February 03, 2021 at 23:16

    More trees gets a 5* from me though I do think every square meter is over ambitious. That said based in this article we can definitely do more...[…]/

    “Jersey’s tree cover is estimated to be about 7%, compared to France which has around 28%, while almost three-quarters of Finland is covered with forests.”

    Why limit to just Jersey let’s expand this idea and think bigger![…]/#.YBsuq6TfXDs
  • Posted by TMcK February 05, 2021 at 13:29

    Jersey does need to increase its tree cover especially if that stat about Jersey's tree cover is correct. Organizations such as the National Trust and Trees for Life are working hard to try and increase this, and the Jersey Conservational Volunteer events (when restrictions permit) in respect of tree planting are always full so there is great public interest, however I note that these organisaitons often have difficulties in obtaining approval to turn the use of land into woodland (i.e. from farming). I appreciate that there are complexities however if the land is not being used for farming, perhaps as it is not fertile enough then they should not face such problems especially in the climate emergency.
  • Posted by JerseyFleur February 10, 2021 at 15:18

    I think that improving our own eco-systems is key (provided that the plants are appropriate for the land). Even if you look back a generation or two, the loss of trees in parishes such as St Saviour is really tragic.

    I think that there a ways to introduce incentives for private land, such as tying subsidies or support to farmers to the introduction of 'wild strips' around each field (there are french examples for these strips).

    In addition, to ensure that land that is no longer being used for greenhouses etc. could be return to be forest / meadow / marshland / headland, it might be appropriate for the Government to begin to buy such land, at its agricultural value (rather than its hoped value in the assumption that planning permission is granted), to be reverted to nature. One of the reasons why Costa Rica so successfully maintained its eco-systems is that it took ownership of, and centralized governance of, key areas so that they were not vulnerable to corruption and greed.
  • Posted by johnpinel February 23, 2021 at 21:58

    Tree planting is a great idea (as long as the trees don't replace more important habitats), but it won't help us to tackle climate change. It may help our granchildren when the trees that we plant today have grown large enough to start drawing down meaningful amounts of CO2, but more importantly, we have to stop cutting down the world's forests.
    Replacing a mature forest tree with a sapling does very little for climate change mitigation, and nothing for the world's biodiversity crisis.
    We should make Jersey a Forestry Stewardship Council (FSC) island, and ban the importation of timber and paper products which are not certified as sustainable.
  • Posted by BigAirport February 26, 2021 at 07:27

    Much though I agree with planting trees can we please stop cutting mature trees down as well. A mature oak tree does more now for the environment than a hundred saplings. I see oak trees covered in ivy strangling them and no one does anything to remove it as it strangles the tree and eventually kills it. We needed a law to force the owners of these trees to properly maintain them decades ago but as usual just sits on its hands and does nothing.
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