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US: California tree nursery sees surging demand for trees after wildfires

Severe wildfires can turn a dense forest into a barren, charred landscape. And to restore the forest, property owners may need to plant a lot of young tree seedlings.

“For the last two years, because of the intense and huge fires, the demand just skyrocketed,” says Kuldeep Singh, the nursery manager at the L.A. Moran Reforestation Center in California.

The state-run nursery grows pines, sequoias, and other native trees from seeds collected across the state.

The nursery expects to distribute about 250,000 tree seedlings this year, primarily to private landowners. Now, to expand its operations, it’s building a new greenhouse.

“Hopefully, if the greenhouse is ready next year, we could bump it up to a half-million,” Singh says. As the climate warms and wildfires become more extreme, the need for seedlings will continue to grow.

And adding to the demand, many companies and organizations have committed to planting trees as a way to reduce carbon pollution and meet climate goals.

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