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Counting the World’s Trees Reveals Some Crazy Numbers

How many trees do you think are on the planet? Millions? Billions? Try trillions.

A new study that was more than two years in the making as finalized the number of the world’s trees. The findings were published by the journal of Nature, but were founded by Thomas Crowther who was working at Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies.

The number Crowther came up with is…three trillion trees.

This number is more than eight times greater than the previous estimate which was only 400 billion trees; 61 trees per every person.

Beautiful Fall Color on Giant Cypress Trees Reflected in the Cle

Crowther had a friend who was working with a group trying to plant one billion trees in the fight against global worming. They weren’t sure how these trees would contribute to the overall number of the world’s trees, or if there was even room for that many trees.

Crowther went to the Internet in search of the total number of trees in the world and to his surprise he could not find the answer anywhere. So he set out to discover that number himself.

Crowther says they used ground-sourced information meaning “all the information that went into [their] models were gathered from people standing on the ground counting numbers of trees in a given area.” They also used information from different countries’ forest inventories.


After the study was conducted, a geographer at University of Maryland, Matthew Hansen, states he hopes new instruments will be created that will allow others to conduct a tree census year after year to track the changes.

The result of the total number of the world’s trees does come with a fear says Crowther. He hopes people will not think there are so many trees in the world that they do not have to worry about killing them or cutting them down; that the world has trees to spare.

He states they are “not discovering new trees. [They’ve] just generated a new number that will help [them] to understand the global forest.”

The goal for the group who wanted to plant one billion trees has changed since these findings. Their new goal is to now plant one trillion trees.

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Counting the World’s Trees Reveals Some Crazy Numbers