A survey commissioned by the Jewish National Fund reveals that 80% of Israelis wish to plant a tree while 71% have already done so.
Out of a statistical sample of 500 people, 27% said that they associate the planting of trees with greenery. Some 25% cited clean air as the advantage, whereas 21% said that plating reminds them of Tu B'Shvat.
The majority of participants noted that they perceive the Jewish National Fund as an official body promoting the planting of trees and maintaining Israel's forests.
JNF aims to plant seven million trees in the next 10 years for the purpose of absorbing carbon dioxide and supporting the fight against global warming. For this purpose, it has created a project in three centers in Israel, in addition to another initiative as part of which it provides tree seedlings for local authorities.
One can also order the plating of a tree online, at the KKL-JNF website, as part of a project which has thus far facilitated the plating of 50,000 trees, ordered by 10,000 donors from 43 countries in the world.
Plantings in 1947 (Photo: Zultan Kluger)
JNF World chairman Effi Stenzler said, "The survey's results affirmed what we have long suspected. The public wishes to plant, and therefore this year we are embarking on a campaign which calls on the public to come and plant trees with us." He noted that on the coming holiday of Tu B'Shvat the public will be invited to arrive at JNF centers and plant trees or order plating via their website.
Stenzler added that Israel is the only country in the world which has more trees now than it did 100 years ago. In 1901, the year in which JNF was founded, Israel contained only 14,000 dunam (roughly 3,500 acres) of forest land altogether.
By 1980 the figure reached 556,000 dunam and currently Israel contains 855,663 dunam of forestry. JNF has planted over 240 million trees in its years of existence.
"Each year JNF plants an average of 15-20,000 dunam. The plating period is between October and the end pf March," Stenzler said.
In addition to its plating activities, JNF also holds studies on forestation and ecology and hosts delegations from around the world interested in learning plating methods in dry conditions and forest protection.