Plant a Tree FAQs

Q: When and why did you start Plant a Tree?
Knowing that you, like us, want to reduce your impact on the planet, we decided in early 2007 to set up an easy way for you to promote a healthier environment. We focused on reforestation because of the inherent benefits of trees — for both ecosystems and communities. By rebuilding forests together, we can make a real difference in the endeavor to create a healthier world.

Q: Who can participate in Plant a Tree?
A: Individuals and businesses in the U.S. can take part in the program by making a payment here or by selecting the Plant a Tree option while shopping on the Dell website. Outside the U.S., you can support the tree-planting efforts by directly contributing to the Earth Day Network’s Canopy Project. No purchase is necessary.

Q: How much of my money will actually go toward tree planting?
All of it. One hundred percent of the payment support the Conservation Fund and Earth Day Network’s efforts to rebuild forests.

Q: How do I figure out an appropriate amount to pay?
On the Plant a Tree page (click here for the U.S. and here for outside the U.S.), you’ll find a list of specific dollar amounts. For U.S. customers, we have approximated a donation amount similar to what would be needed to offset a typical product in the category listed, such as the $2 donation for laptop. For customers outside the U.S., the Earth Day Network provides a chart that identifies the number of trees your donation will support.

Q: How did you determine estimated offset amounts?
The figures are based on the average expected carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from the production of electricity needed to power the products over three years. For example, laptop usage corresponds to approximately .13 metric tons of CO2 emissions; desktop usage, .22 metric tons.

Q: Who actually plants the trees?
Our partners at the Conservation Fund and Earth Day Network carry out the plantings with their associates.

Q: What types of trees are planted and where?
The tree species depends on the forest location. For each area, only native species are used. This is beneficial because native trees are uniquely adapted to the local habitat. They help the soil regain its health and support wildlife and ecologically important organisms. Trees are planted in protected locations, such as national wildlife refuges. So far, all of the program's trees have been sited in the U.S. and Central America — some of the main projects are in Louisiana, Kansas and Nicaragua — but the Conservation Fund and Earth Day Network are actively exploring additional reforestation projects around the globe.

Q: Can planting a tree really make a difference?
Yes. As soon as a seedling is planted, it starts pulling carbon dioxide out of the air. Over the tree's lifetime, it can absorb approximately one ton of CO2. That adds up when you consider the whole forest. Our project in the Marais des Cygnes National Wildlife Refuge in Kansas, for example, is on track to take 260,500 tons of carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere, the equivalent of 47,000 cars' emissions, over the next 100 years. Native trees also help to control flooding, clean local water supplies and create habitat for birds and other wildlife.

Q: How do you ensure that the trees are planted and managed sustainably?
 The Conservation Fund and Earth Day Network work with local forestry officials to make sure that management practices are sound, that project results are properly analyzed and documented and that oversight continues over the useful life of the planting. Plant a Tree's reforestation methodologies and project results are also audited by an independent third party.