Finally, most of our forests are open. That means you can come and visit the forest where your trees grow at any time. Just check our list of forests to see if your forest is labelled ‘open to the public’.
Do I get a certificate or other proof that I own my trees?
As a tree owner with EcoTree, you get a certificate of ownership. Our IT Department stores all records of ownership, hosted on servers outside EcoTree.
On top of this, we provide proof that we are maintaining a properly accounted register annually to the financial authorities (The AMF - Autorité des Marchés Financiers) in France.
Why do we need to plant trees anyway?
Forests do brilliant things for us and for the planet. For example, they:
1. Absorb CO2.
2. Purify the air.
3. Help ensure the preservation of biodiversity.
4. Are a source of raw materials.
5. Create jobs.
6. Aid the renewal of damaged land.
7. Filter water.
8. Have agricultural benefits.
9. Provide resources for medicine.
Does the price of my tree include all taxes and fees?
Once your trees have been paid for, you will never have to pay more costs or taxes. Your initial payment covers the vital work we do to maintain a vibrant, sustainable forest (such as pruning, thinning and mushroom treatments). It also covers all the costs involved in the notary deeds, property taxes and maps or surveys of the forest where your trees are planted (cadastral fees).
Under current French tax law, any capital gain is non-taxable if it relates to the sale of trees worth less than €5,000 after 22 years or more of tree ownership.
Are the trees I buy already planted or will they be planted in the future?
At EcoTree, we work in harmony with the seasons and only plant new tree saplings in the winter. This means we need to anticipate demand for our trees ahead of time. So if you are buying a sapling, it might not be planted for a little while. If it’s listed as a mature tree at purchase, then it’s obviously growing away nicely already.
If demand for our trees is higher than we expected, we have a pre-sale system set up to ensure that everyone can still buy trees and contribute over the long term to the vital work our planet’s forests do in capturing carbon.
What happens to my tree once it’s cut and to the forest it’s harvested from?
When your tree is ready to be harvested, it is sold to a partner sawmill selected on the basis of its sustainable credentials. So it’s just EcoTree, the sawmill and you (our tree owners) in this process, making the sustainable production and use of timber as simple and efficient as possible.
Your trees are selectively cut in our forests, never clear cut. And when one tree is harvested, three more are planted in its place to ensure the continued growth of the forest. For the good of the planet!
How long do trees take to reach maturity?
Every tree species we offer is different, in terms of how long it takes to reach maturity, but we’re talking decades for all of them!
Not all the trees we offer are new planted saplings. Some have been growing a number of years already.
You can see how old a tree is when you buy it and how many years we expect it to grow before we cut it, on the tree’s product information card.
To summarise for you here, the carbon absorption capacity of a tree varies depending on a whole number of factors, including climate, species, exposure to light, soil quality and length of the growing season.
The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change uses 10kg as the average amount of CO2 absorbed each year by a tree. Experts on our forests agree that our trees absorb within the range of 10-50kg per year, so 30kg is our average.
How do you cover your costs when your tree prices aren’t very high?
Our tree prices are low, but we make up for that in volume. Because the one thing everyone is agreed on, is that the world needs more forests and we need them fast.
Even though your trees don’t cost that much, it’s still enough of a margin for us to ensure that our sustainable foresters have all the time and resources they need to tend the forest over the long term.
For us it’s vital that as many people as possible are able to afford our trees and to start engaging in the use of sustainable resources and the preservation of our forests. Because if we succeed with that, our forests will pay for themselves.
What if something happens to my tree before its expected cut?
It’s one of the great things about our model - even if your tree was destroyed by an alien invasion, you would still receive your earnings at the projected harvest date in the future. (If the aliens had not also taken over EcoTree’s office.)
As foresters, we ensure the long-term vibrancy and sustainability of the entire forest in which your tree grows. And natural hazards or necessary human intervention can mean trees are removed or destroyed, even though this does not happen often.
So we’ve committed financially to ensuring that every tree owner in a certain forest area benefits financially from development and the eventual cut of that whole area over time.
You can see exactly how we ensure this in our T&Cs.
Why is tree ownership good for the planet?
Writer George Monbiot and biologist Garret Hardin have highlighted how vital our connection to nature is in its conservation. That’s why we’re going beyond donations.
Our tree owners (like you!) have a lifetime of reasons to stay engaged and passionate about protecting forests.
How can I track my tree over its lifetime?
Because we’re a fully integrated sustainable forestry company, who own and manage our forests directly, we can ensure a high level of control and quality in all our activities.
It also means we can give you lots of lovely data, drone footage, news and exciting reports of your trees online.
How is a forest subscription different from a one-time tree purchase?
With a forest subscription, new trees are automatically added to your account every month.
A subscription allows our foresters to build forestry management plans that are even more effective over time and to anticipate demand.
They are so vital to the success of our forests, that we offer exclusive benefits, like special species, only for subscribers.
Plus each year you subscribe, we’ll give you a month’s worth of your trees for free. So if your subscription is for 2 trees a month, we’ll give you two free trees every year!
How do you choose which trees I get each month with my forest subscription?
Specifically, it’s Vianney, our Forestry Manager! Each month, he puts together the combination of trees for our subscribers based on new forests we’ve acquired, the species available and biodiversity considerations.
And as our VIPs, Vianney ensures our subscribers receive original and limited species and when possible trees with short cutting horizons.
Can I give a tree or forest subscription to a child?
To give a tree or forest subscription to a child, you can either designate a legal representative for the child who can provide their email address and set up an account on their behalf.
Or you can keep the tree in your own account until the child is old enough to responsibly take care of their own online account. When that happens, you can create a gift card to accompany the transfer of the trees and celebrate.
Sharing the progress of the life of your child’s tree with them is a great way to engage them and prepare them for when they take over their account themselves, as the next generation of foresters.
Can I give my tree to someone else?
Once logged in on our website, you can give any of the trees in your portfolio at any time. Simply go to the Gifts tab on your account, add the name of the person you’re giving to and then allocate your selection of trees to them.
We’ll then send them a gift card to let them know the great news, by post or by email, on a date of your choice. You can also print a card to hand over in person.
The card contains a gift code that your gift recipient must enter to receive the trees. We’ll take it from there with them after that!
Can I offer a forest subscription as a gift?
To give a subscription to someone else, simply choose which forest subscription in our treeShop and buy it. Then in your account, head to the subscription details.
Once there, we’ll take you through the steps for giving the subscription to someone else and sort a gift card for it too, if you’d like that.
Does the cost of the trees added to my subscription each month always match the regular amount I pay?
As our forest subscriptions enable us to mix species and tree ages, the trees you receive don’t always have the same price. That means there might be trees in your account that are worth more than your original payment, or some worth less.
But we always ensure we even out the cost, so the price of your overall tree portfolio matches your monthly payments over time.
If you decide to cancel your subscription and there is a negative imbalance in your account, you can settle it by exchanging trees or paying the difference at that time.
Can I add trees I’ve bought individually to a forest subscription?
Your tree subscription doesn’t change, whether you’ve made purchases in the past or want to make one-time purchases in the future.
These trees are not part of your forest subscription, but we will add their CO2 absorption and potential future value to your account.
Can I stop my subscription at any time?
You’re free to stop your subscription at any time. Just email us to let us know, and we’ll send a link back to you to cancel your subscription.
Your subscription will be stopped at the latest three working days after the return of the form, and you’ll, of course, remain the owner of all your trees. P.S. You can also restart at any time!
How do I get money back when my tree is felled?
When your trees have performed their miraculous job of keeping nature in balance through a long life, they are harvested selectively. All the proceeds from the cut are transferred directly to you.
This is why you need to add your bank details and contact details of another trusted person to your EcoTree account, so we can ensure the funds are transferred efficiently in the future.
What happens to my trees if I die or you are unable to contact me?
As per general inheritance laws, unless specified otherwise (e.g. in a will) we will contact your beneficiaries in the case of your death to receive your money.
When you set up an EcoTree account, we ask you to provide the contact details of a trusted third party, who we can contact in this event or if we’re unable to reach you when the money is available.
How does the value of my tree grow 2% every year?
We all know trees grow, but did you know that they grow on average 2% in size each year? So it makes sense that a bigger, more mature tree has added value by the time it’s eventually sold to the sawmill for quality timber. That 2% profit each year goes to you - you do own it after all!
If EcoTree were to close down, what would happen to my trees?
Whatever the financial situation of EcoTree, you always remain the owner of your tree. And in the absolute worst-case bankruptcy scenario, a liquidator would still be mandated by a judge to preserve all of your rights, including the maintenance and management of our forests.
Anyway, we have no intention of going under. We've got too big a mission and too many institutions supporting us with investment to let that happen!
I want to opt out, can I get back my initial investment now?
You get paid the value of your tree when it is felled and made into timber. Its value is tied to the obligations that exist when conserving and maintaining forests. Therefore, it is important that you see your purchase as a long-term commitment with no guarantee.
However, you can transfer ownership to someone else at any time. When you buy a tree from EcoTree, it is important to understand that the tree grows slowly in value and you only get that value back when it is felled and turned into timber.
EcoTree and its forestry group are also insured in terms of civil liability and in the event that they fail to meet their obligations of good forest management.
Our insurance also covers all damage in Directive 2004/35/EC of the European Parliament, which is negative, serious and measurable changes in a natural resource and/or in the ecological functions it fulfills. This could be damage affecting soils, waters, protected species and natural habitats.
What happens if my tree falls down or it gets a disease?
Our purpose at EcoTree is clear. By financing trees, you participate in the preservation and development of the whole forest. As part of this, you also benefit from the proceeds of the cut within the forest, as per our T&Cs.
It wouldn’t be fair to leave the fate of your trees to chance. So if something happens to your tree, you’ll still benefit from the proceeds of the cut of other trees within that area of the forest. We’re in this together after all!
What does sustainable forestry management actually mean?
Here at EcoTree, our foresters make every effort to allow your trees to grow in the best conditions, through meticulous management and maintenance.
Vianney, our Forestry Manager and Co-Founder, is responsible for our sustainable forestry and with the team ensures rigorous maintenance of our forests. This includes treatment of fungi, clearing, pruning and thinning to ensure the optimal growth of your trees.
EcoTree and its forestry group use an approach based on close to nature forestry. So we avoid monoculture and ensure varied ages within forest plots. We prefer natural regeneration to clear cutting and avoid brutal cuts that could damage the forest soil and habitats.
We also plant a mixture of deciduous and coniferous trees to improve biodiversity and allow trees to be more resistant.
How do you calculate the increasing value of the tree and is it guaranteed to grow?
The resale price of a tree as timber is based on indicators like timber prices, supply and demand, which is rising sharply. We also base it on the quality of the yield of the forest, which we optimise with expert forestry management.
Rather than send you to the detailed figures on which our analyses are based, we encourage you to take a look at the many official reports describing the enormous potential of wood and price indicators for timber, as established by the French national organisation, France Bois Forêt.
From sources like this, you can get an objective idea of the yield we can expect in EcoTree’s forests, but which we can’t guarantee. Our estimates are conservative (2%) and established in agreement with the Autorité des Marchés Financiers (AMF).
No but seriously, how could you cut trees down?!
We’re a forestry company that has a bigger mission to spread forests and access to them. That means that our forests are constantly growing and always thriving, even though we selectively cut individual trees to sell for timber.
And in fact, if wood is left to rot it releases methane, a gas 21 times more harmful to the environment than CO2. And the wood doesn’t efficiently fulfill its vital role of releasing oxygen into the atmosphere.
That’s why even though many consider the Amazon to act like lungs for the planet, old virgin rainforest actually has a zero CO2 balance. That doesn’t mean it’s not important to allow wood to rot and give room to natural regeneration. It just means there’s loads of opportunity to balance the CO2 benefits with natural habitat preservation through the sustainable management of forests for timber.
In selectively cutting trees (and replanting three for every one cut) we’re actually supporting the work of nature. Our foresters are lovers of nature, who nurture trees to maturity and promote forest renewal.
Maintenance, cutting and reforestation also maintain the biological diversity and vitality of the forest. Our forests are the combined work of nature and humankind.
And we minimise our intervention to keep our forestry as close to ‘close to nature’ principles as we can.
But how could you capitalise on and commodify nature?!
EcoTree does not finance the forest. And we don’t promote any form of speculation.
We are foresters on a mission to bring as many people into sustainable forestry as possible, giving them a personal motivation to protect and develop forests.
How can I trust this is not some scam scheme?
It’s so important you look into who we are and how and why we do what we do. Not least because a market has sprung up for carbon offsetting that doesn’t always provide the benefits it promises.
We’re a well-established company in France, where our headquarters are based. And we’re controlled by the regulators, Autorité des Marchés Financiers.
We’re often in the press too. For good reasons! We’ve even won a number of sustainability awards.
Finally, our Ethics Committee is made up of highly respected third-party industry professionals.
Others offer tree planting schemes for cheaper, so why can’t you?
We’ve written a whole manifesto about this! Because we passionately believe that in order to ensure real, long-term ecological benefits, you must allow time and money to develop a forest sustainably.
We don’t plant and leave. We manage our forests for the good of the planet and our tree owners. And we know you’ll like being part of a commitment to the future of forests that comes with EcoTree tree ownership.