According to Factocoexist.com:

Even though millions of acres of rainforest have disappeared around the world over the last decade, there are now more trees and other vegetation on the planet than there were in 2003. One big part of the reason: China's "Great Green Wall," a massive project to line the edge of the Gobi Desert in trees.

Over the last few decades, more than 66 billion trees have been planted in northern China. By 2050, the project will stretch along 2,800 miles. In theory, it's holding back the desert, though some critics say that plan might not actually work. But the trees are sucking up carbon, and without them, climate change would likely be moving just a little bit faster.

Is it true that China has managed to plant 66 billion new trees since 2003?

  • 1
    The site doesn't appear to claim that 66 billion trees were planted since 2003. It states that 66 billion trees have been planted in the last few decades.
    – March Ho
    Commented Jul 17, 2016 at 8:31
  • 1
    Planting 66 billion trees in 13 years would equate to about 13 million a day, every single day. Does that seem a little on the high side to you? It does to me.
    – user14128
    Commented Jul 21, 2016 at 11:11
  • 2
    @paxdiablo they do have 1.5 billion people to do the job. Commented Jul 21, 2016 at 11:45

1 Answer 1


No, China has planted approximately 66 billion trees since 1978.

According to the UN Forum on Forests report dated 2010, China has planted 56.33 billion trees from 1978 to 2009, with 2.48 billion trees being planted in 2009 alone.

Since 1978, 12.11 billion person-times participated in compulsory tree-planting and 56.33 billion trees were planted. In 2009, 590 million person-times participated in compulsory tree-planting and 2.48 billion trees were planted.

It is likely that the claim is due to a misunderstanding, since extrapolating the tree planting rate from 2009 to 2016 would in fact result in approximately 70 billion trees.

Other sources such as The Economist also report that China has planted 66 billion trees since 1978 and not 2003, as claimed.

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