Where Will the Trees Come From? 

We need to plant billions of seedlings — soon — to restore landscapes scarred by wildfires, pests and diseases, combat climate change, and protect water supplies, recreational opportunities and human health. But where will all these trees come from? 

To reforest half of the 133 million U.S. acres that are ripe for planting, the nation’s tree nurseries would need to more than double production, to more than 3 billion seedlings a year. All while facing a crisis of labor, infrastructure and seed supply. 

American Forests is at the forefront of this crisis, leading research to address the seedling shortage, and our experts are working to identify and implement climate-adapted solutions, from federal policymaking to on-the-ground capacity building. 

This September, American Forests is raising the profile of the seed shortage crisis with a month-long campaign. Seed September will shine a light on the many components of this challenge and dig into the reasons why nursery production is low — such as difficulties finding and keeping people to do the work, a major lack of nurseries to grow seeds, and a serious undersupply of seeds and cones. American Forests is also magnifying the incredible work its team of experts and partners are implementing across landscapes in the U.S., and the ways in which policymakers are developing legislative and political solutions to address the seed shortage. 

Want to get involved? Learn about the main reasons for the seed shortage from Brian Kittler, vice president of forest restoration, follow American Forests on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, share your thoughts using #SeedSeptember or donate to help alleviate this critical shortage.