Planting trees is great. For PR.

Sami Kent, for the Guardian:

Up to 90% of the millions of saplings planted in Turkey as part of a record-breaking mass planting project may have died after just a few months, according to the country’s agriculture and forestry trade union.

The ministry of agriculture and forestry denied the claim and said that “as of today, 95% of the more than 11 million saplings planted are healthy and continuing to grow”.

The union cast doubt on the government’s claims. “Even with normal time and preparation, the success rate is between 65 and 70%,” said Durmuş. “The 95% rate given by the ministry is never true.”

Mass-tree planting sure does sound like a good thing, and states and companies know it all too well. But if the planting itself is not sustainable, then I guess it is just a big waste of time and energy for everyone involved.

Anyhow, operations like this are often widely covered unchallenged by the press, focusing on the “record” aspect of it, ignoring the sustainability and science angle.