How Many Trees Are in the World? By Country, Type, Year (Updated 2022)

Georgette Kilgore headshot, wearing 8 Billion Trees shirt with forest in the background.Written by Georgette Kilgore

Forestry, Trees and Tree Planting | September 21, 2022

Woman on the left with her hand on her chin ponders a giant globe on the right that is populated by trees on the land mass and wonders just how many trees are in the world.

Do you know how many trees are in the world?

Or, what about how many trees are in the U.S…How many are in the U.K, and what about South America or Australia?

What’s the most populous tree in the world and these countries? Thanks to satellite imagery, these questions (and many more), which would have been nearly impossible to answer 100 years ago, can now be accurately calculated.

It IS possible to know how many trees are in the world… and the latest number is somewhere around three trillion!

Since time immemorial, trees have given humanity two of life’s most essential elements: clean air and food. They offered additional necessities as humans evolved, including shelter, medicine, and tools and warmth. While it is difficult to know how many trees are in the world, satellite imaging has assisted in obtaining a general (and fairly accurate) estimate.

The most recent forest evaluations rely on satellite images to determine tree cover. Forests occupy 30% of the Earth’s total area and are home to over a billion trees, and the current world’s tree population is estimated at more than 3 trillion.9

A recent Yale University study found that for every person on the planet, there are around 422 trees.3

How Many Trees Are There in the World? Numbers by Country

The presence of green trees is a good indicator of human wellness. At the individual, communal, and social levels, they provide a wide range of environmental, health, and economic benefits. Increased physical and mental activity, improved air quality, and the creation of a sense of social relationships and community are just a few of the advantages. Generally, the larger a country is, the more trees it will have.3

The countries with the most native tree species are Indonesia, Brazil, and Columbia.

Related Reading: How many trees offset carbon footprint for the average person?

Russia: Land of the Most Trees

Russia has 642 billion trees, earning it the distinction of “Land of the Most Trees!” For some strange reason, Russian law requires landowners to keep these areas deforested, and they are even liable to pay fines if they fail to do so.

Despite the legal challenge, most of these locations are forgotten, with dozens of plants covering them.

Canada: Home to 30% of the World’s Forests

The world’s second-largest country by land mass also possesses the world’s second-largest tree population. Canada has roughly 318 billion trees, which cover almost 40% of the country. Canada’s forests account for 30% of the world’s forests, and the most common trees in the nation are spruce trees, which are distinguished by their needle-like leaves.

The red leaf on the Canadian flag is represented by the sugar maple, which is noted for its stunning colors and tasty maple syrup. Another popular tree in the area is the Eastern White Cedar, commonly known as the “tree of life.”

China: Home to the World’s Fastest Growing Tree

China has 140 billion trees, which cover around 23% of the country’s surface area. Over the years, the Chinese government has planted more than 66 billion trees so far. The country plans to cover over 30% of its land with forest by 2050. Although the concept has attracted mixed responses, it will be implemented by 2050, as planned.

Furthermore, at 1.5 inches every hour, the famed Chinese Bamboo tree is the World’s Fastest-Growing Tree, and it holds a Guinness World Record.

Brazil: World’s Largest Rainforest

Brazil is home to the Amazon, the world’s biggest forest. There are about 302 billion trees in the country, but they are in jeopardy!6 The rate of deforestation is high, and unless immediate action is done, agribusiness and power generation may collapse, leaving the country with no trees to boast about.

Aerial image of a North American watershed areas covered with green trees on both sides of snaking waterway.

Related Reading: How many trees cut down each year?

United States: Home to the World’s Oldest Tree

Forested watersheds in the United States provide pure, pollutant-free drinking water to more than 55 percent of the US population, and the nation’s National Park system is designed to protect many old growth forests and unspoiled beauties.

The country has one exceptional tree among its 228 billion trees.

At 5000 years old, the “Great Bristlecone Pine” in California’s White Mountains is the World’s Oldest Tree.

The following table breaks down trees that currently exist in various countries, as well as the deforestation rate.

CountryHow Many Trees in 2022?How Many Trees Are Cut Down Every Year?
Russia642 Billion5.44 Mha
Canada318 Billion1.20 Mha
Brazil302 Billion3.20 Mha
USA228 Billion1.59 Mha
China140 Billion328 Kha
Colombia64 M ha320 Kha
Chile16.2M ha57.3 Kha
Ecuador12.4M ha48.2 Kha
Venezuela45,822,250 ha139 Kha
Bolivia57M ha430 Kha
Uruguay1,744,000 ha1.14 Kha
Suriname15.3M ha15.1 Kha
Paraguay17,582,000 ha243 Kha
Papua New Guinea28,726,000 ha75.4 Kha
Fiji1,014,000 ha2.07 Kha
New Zealand10M ha8.53 Kha
Micronesia64,000 ha76.7 Ha
Solomon Islands4,297,600 ha14.3 Kha
Vanuatu1,228,100 ha3.94 Kha
Algeria1,492,000 ha822 Kha
Egypt70,000 ha18.1 Ha
Iran11,075,000 ha20.2 Ha
Iraq825,000 ha62.1 Mha
Palestine9,000 ha261 Mha
Nigeria9,041,000 ha97.8 Kha
Ethiopia12,296,000 ha18.0 Kha
Malta4B ha125 Mha

How Many Trees Are There in the World? By Continent

Despite being the world’s sixth-largest continent,3,4 with a surface area of 10,180,000 sq km, Europe is home to the world’s largest forest cover. As of 2015, Europe’s forest cover was 1,015 million hectares. As a result, the continent has an average forest cover of 1.42 hectares per person. The Russian Federation is responsible for 81% of the continent’s forest cover.6

The continent’s forest acreage has been steadily increasing at a rate of 0.08 percent every year. However, more than two-thirds of Europe’s forest cover is semi-natural. Northern and Eastern Europe have more untouched forest cover than the continent’s western regions.2

Abandoned homestead covered in a verity of hardwood trees during summer.

South America is second in terms of forest cover by continent, with 842 million hectares of forest. However, the agriculture business in South America, particularly animal agriculture, poses a danger to the country’s forest cover. 

Mining has also resulted in the clearing of enormous swaths of forested areas across the continent. Brazil has the continent’s highest forest cover. Unfortunately, Brazil’s Amazon rainforest is deteriorating and disappearing. Animal agriculture is thought to be the single most significant contributor to the country’s forest destruction.

North and Central America now have a combined forest cover of 750 million hectares, up from 705.4 million hectares in 2010. North America’s forests account for roughly 16 percent of the world’s total forest area. Canada contains roughly half of the region’s forest cover, while the United States has about a third of North America’s forested area. The distribution of forests, on the other hand, differs greatly between these countries.

Africa, the world’s second-largest continent by landmass, has only 624 million hectares of forest cover. According to frightening FAO data, Africa’s primary forests are being removed at a rate of 4 million hectares per year. Over 10% of Africa’s forest cover was lost in only 15 years (1980 to 1995). As a result, safeguarding Africa’s endangered forests is critical. Asia, too, is losing trees, and despite being the continent with the largest size, Asia’s forest cover is just 593 million hectares. Laos, Bhutan, and Brunei have the most forest cover in Asia.5

ContinentHow Many Trees in 2022?How Many Trees Are Cut Down Every Year?
Europe1,015 Million HectaresIn 2015, Europe did not lose any natural forestland due to efficient forest management (the 2022 report has not yet been released)
South America842 Million Hectares3.6 million hectares
North And Central America751 Million Hectares780,000 hectares
Africa624 Million HectaresA total of almost 4 million hectares per year
Asia593 Million Hectares1.1 million hectares
Oceania174 Million Hectares50 million

How Many Trees Get Cut Down a Day?

Every day, over 42 million trees are cut down, according to the science journal Nature (or 15 billion trees each year). Industrial agriculture production of commodities such as Conflict Palm Oil, fabric, grazing, and logging are the greatest danger to forests today.2,3

Deforestation Practices and Reasons

Tropical rainforests are currently seeing the highest destruction, which is aided by massive road expansion into formerly inaccessible areas. Forests may be more easily exploited if roads are built or upgraded into them. Slash-and-burn agriculture is a major contributor to tropical deforestation. Farmers burn vast areas of forest in this agricultural approach, allowing the ash to fertilize the ground for crops.

However, the land is only fruitful for a few years before the farmers move on to another location to continue the process. Tropical forests are also removed to make space for logging, cattle ranching, and plantations of oil palms and rubber trees.

Overhead view of an area of rich green trees cut and cleared with gashes of brown earth roadways and brwon water runoff.

Conversion to cropland and pasture, mostly for subsistence (growing crops or rearing animals to fulfill daily requirements), is the single most significant direct driver of tropical deforestation. Multiple direct causes normally contribute to the conversion of land to agricultural use.

Countries, for example, construct highways in rural places to boost overland freight movement. The road construction itself results in a small amount of deforestation.7 Roads, on the other hand, allow access to previously inaccessible and frequently unclaimed territory. Road expansion is frequently followed by logging, both legal and illicit. Loggers leave a region once the important timber has been taken. In other circumstances, logging-degraded woods become fire-prone and are finally deforested as a result of frequent unintentional fires from nearby farms or pastures.

Related Reading: What is my ecological footprint?

Industrial-scale cattle ranching and soybean production for global markets are becoming more important sources of deforestation in the Amazon, and In Indonesia, the transformation of tropical forests into commercial palm tree plantations to create biofuels for export is a major cause of deforestation in Borneo and Sumatra.1, 2, 3

Trees Being Threatened (How Many Trees Are Lost Every Day?)

Although exact figures are difficult to come by, most experts believe that the world is losing upwards of 80,000 acres of tropical rainforest per day, with another 80,000 acres being substantially degraded on top of that. Along with the loss and deterioration of the forests, we are losing 135 plants, animals, and insect species every day, or 50,000 species per year.

Rainforests also house almost half of the world’s species. Environmentalists also point out that while rainforest chemicals make up a quarter of contemporary medications, just around 1% of the trees and plants in the tropics have been investigated for medicinal characteristics.

Deep green old growth forest with rushing stream at the bottom of a valley ravine.

According to a recent analysis by the Global Tree Assessment – the first attempt to quantify the conservation status of all of earth’s trees shows that one in every three tree species is on the verge of extinction. Species such as magnolias, oaks, and maples are among those threatened. Over 400 species have fewer than 50 wild individuals, and 142 tree species have already gone extinct. Forest removal for farming, logging for timber, and the development of invasive pests and diseases are all major contributors to the problem.2

Scarily, some of the most important and beneficial species are on the verge of extinction. Here are four examples.

1. Dipterocarps

Dipterocarps are a vast family of wood trees with 680 species, the majority of which are located in South Asian tropical forests. Most dipterocarps are tall, with evergreen leaves and winged seeds, and are related to hibiscus plants. They are frequently the most numerous trees in the canopy of the woods in which they live.

The timber from these trees is of exceptional grade, costing roughly $170 per cubic meter (£123). The island of Borneo alone exports about US$3.5 billion in dipterocarp timber each year, with 182 species threatened with extinction, including the world’s tallest tropical tree, Shorea faguetiana.

2. African Cherry

The bark of the African Cherry Prunus Africana has a variety of anti-inflammatory substances, making it effective for treating a variety of conditions such as malaria, renal disease, and prostate issues. The bark trade is worth $200 million on the international market, but overharvesting has put this species in jeopardy across its entire range in central and southern Africa.

3. Agarwood

Agarwood is a fragrant wood that produces aloes, a highly precious resin used in perfumes and incense. It is one of the most precious raw minerals on the planet, with a value of up to $100,000 per kilogram and global commerce worth $3.2 billion. When these trees are attacked by a fungus, the production of this resinous wood increases. Over-harvesting the resin has put over 20 species, including the main source of agarwood, Aquilaria malaccensis, in jeopardy.

4. Mahogany

Swietenia macrophylla, also known as mahogany, is a prized tropical hardwood used to make furniture and musical instruments such as guitars. Mahogany wood is strong and has a lovely color. Thousands of dollars can be spent on a single tree. Due to widespread illicit logging, mahogany, which is native to the tropical forests of the Americas, was one of the first trees to be designated as an endangered species.

Forest ecosystems are more at risk of collapse as tree species become extinct. Climate change can be mitigated and biodiversity can be preserved by preserving forests and the tree species that inhabit them.8 Threatened trees must be protected immediately, degraded forests must be restored, and the exploitation of useful tree species must be sustainable.

Although 3 trillion trees may appear to the average person to be a large number of trees, the threat remains. Fortunately, many carbon offsetting tree planting programs can provide solutions when offered through one of the best carbon offset programs. So, when future generations ask, “How many trees are in the world?” hopefully, the answer will be more than there are now.

Frequently Asked Questions About How Many Trees Are in the World

How Many Trees on Earth?

There are an estimated 3.04 trillion trees on the planet. According to research published in the journal Nature, this is the case.

Are There More Trees Than People on Earth? 

There are around 422 trees for every human on the planet.

How Many Trees Are in the United States?

With 228 billion trees, the United States ranks fourth overall in this list.

How Many Trees Were There 100 Years Ago?

There were around 70 million trees.1

Are There More Trees Than 100 Years Ago?

There are far more trees in the United States, which includes 8% of the world’s forests than there were 100 years ago.

How Many Trees Are Left in the World in 2020?

Trees have never been more important than now, as the globe suffers from the terrible impacts of global warming and deforestation. There are an estimated 3.04 trillion trees on the planet.

How Many Trees Are Lost Every Day?

Although exact figures are difficult to come by, most experts believe that we are losing upwards of 80,000 acres of tropical rainforest per day, with another 80,000 acres being substantially degraded on top of that.

How Many Trees Are in the World 2022?

3.04 trillion trees are expected to exist.

How Many Trees Are Cut Down Each Year?

According to the experts, around 15 billion trees are cut down each year, and the worldwide tree population has decreased by 46% since the dawn of civilization.1

How Many Trees Are Cut Down Every Day?

Every day, about 42 million trees are cut down, according to the science journal Nature (or 15 billion trees each year).

How Many Trees Were There Before Humans?

There were an estimated 6 trillion trees, which is about double the current amount of trees.

How Many Trees Are Planted Each Year?

According to statistics obtained from many sources, including the United Nations Environmental Program, about 1.9 billion trees are planted each year.


References

1Local Tree Estimates. (2021). How Many Trees Are In The World? Local Tree Estimates. Retrieved April 27, 2022, from <https://localtreeestimates.com/how-many-trees-are-in-the-world/>

2World Population Review. (2022). How Many Trees Are in the World. World Population Review. Retrieved April 27, 2022, from <https://worldpopulationreview.com/geography/how-many-trees-are-in-the-world>

3Nature Video. (2018, November 27). How Many Trees Are There in the World? Scientific American. Retrieved April 27, 2022, from <https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/how-many-trees-are-there-in-the-world-video/>

4The Environmentor. (2022). Were There More Trees 100 Years Ago Vs Today? The Environmentor. Retrieved April 27, 2022, from <https://blog.tentree.com/fact-check-are-there-really-more-trees-today-than-100-years-ago/>

5Mooney, C. (2015, September 16). The world’s 3 trillion trees, mapped. The Washington Post. Retrieved April 27, 2022, from <https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/energy-environment/wp/2015/09/16/the-countries-of-the-world-ranked-by-their-tree-wealth/>

6Pearce, F. (2018, October 9). Conflicting Data: How Fast Is the World Losing its Forests? Yale Environment 360. Retrieved April 27, 2022, from <https://e360.yale.edu/features/conflicting-data-how-fast-is-the-worlds-losing-its-forests>

7Pennisi, E. (2015, September 2). Earth home to 3 trillion trees, half as many as when human civilization arose. Science. Retrieved April 27, 2022, from <https://www.science.org/content/article/earth-home-3-trillion-trees-half-many-when-human-civilization-arose>

8Wikipedia. (2022). Biodiversity. Wikipedia. Retrieved April 27, 2022, from <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Biodiversity>