Wisconsin Expands Trillion Trees Pledge

By Carmen Hardin, DNR Applied Forestry Bureau Director;

Photo of seed cleaning equipment at Hayward State Nursery

Existing seed cleaning equipment at Hayward State Nursery is scheduled for an update.

Landowners across the state have stepped up in a big way when it comes to planting trees.

At the end of 2023, more than 32 million trees had been planted and tallied as part of Wisconsin’s Trillion Trees Pledge. The program started in 2021 when Governor Tony Evers committed the state to planting 75 million trees and conserving 125,000 acres of forestland by 2030.

Feeding off the program’s early success, Governor Evers increased the pledge to 100 million trees during a tree planting at Governor Nelson State Park on Earth Day 2024.

Photo of Members of the DNR's Urban Forestry team assisted with the Green Bay Packers' "First Down for Trees" event.

Members of the DNR’s Urban Forestry team assisted with the Green Bay Packers’ “First Down for Trees” event.

Governor Evers and the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) also recently released the 2023 Annual Report for Wisconsin’s Trillion Tree Pledge. The report covers numerous accomplishments across the Division of Forestry and with partners, including tree planting, conservation efforts and supporting actions.

Highlights from the report include:

  • Planting 92,500 trees in urban areas, almost 2,000 of which were funded by DNR Urban Forestry grants.
  • Planting 9.7 million trees in rural areas on public and private lands.
  • Conserving 2,400 acres of forestland.
  • Establishing two white oak seed orchards in Wisconsin as part of the White Oak Initiative.
  • Initiating updates to the Hayward State Nursery for more efficient seed processing, with completion slated for 2026.
  • Working with the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point’s Wisconsin Forestry Center to produce Silvicast — a podcast devoted to silviculture that has been downloaded more than 19,000 times by listeners from 52 countries.
Photo of Iron County Forest sign23 with assistance from Knowles-Nelson Stewardship funds.

Iron County Forest acquired 79 acres of forestland in 2023 with assistance from Knowles-Nelson Stewardship funds.

With the expanded goal, tree planting efforts and the many benefits trees and forests provide will continue to be at the forefront of Wisconsin citizens, communities and forestry organizations. You can help by:

As part of the announcement, Governor Evers also issued a proclamation declaring April 22-26 as Forest Appreciation Week in Wisconsin, culminating with Arbor Day observations on April 26.

The proclamation recognized the state’s century-long commitment to reforestation and the DNR’s 40-year program of providing tree seedlings to state fourth-grade students as part of Arbor Day celebrations.

The proclamation, pledge and other activities highlight the value state residents place on their 17 million acres of forestland, providing natural climate solutions, countless environmental and quality-of-life benefits and supporting social connection.

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