Planting trees slows global warming and improves the environment. Ethiopia planted 350 million trees in 12 hours, reported If you would like to help plant trees here, you can join the Morton Arboretum-Chicago Region Tree Initiative ( However, this program is not ambitious enough to address global warming.

Our planet is getting warmer due to too much carbon dioxide in the air. One tree changes an average of 48 pounds of carbon dioxide into oxygen per year for decades. Ethiopia’s trees will remove 8.4 million tons of CO2 per year. This world tree planting record equals 3.12 trees times the Ethiopian population.

In 2016, India planted 220 million trees in one day. China reports planting 66 billion trees since 1978. Nebraska citizens planted one million trees in one day on April 10, 1872. Do we have room here for planting millions of trees? America only has 10% of the forests that were here 400 years ago, says a University of Michigan calculation. Can’t we assume that these forests planted themselves? How hard could it be for humans? Oddly, our leaders in Springfield and the Cook County Board do not have a tree-planting plan to slow the existential threat of global warming.

We Oak Parkers live in the state’s first municipal arboretum, with 130 different tree species. Each spring and fall, we can just pick up many, many free tree seeds. 

For Cook County and Illinois to help slow global warming, where are the best places to plants lots and lots of trees? This is something that our elected leaders could discuss. Illinois has plenty of tree experts. Hundreds of Illinois residents belong to the Illinois Forestry Association ( 

I think the general public is interested in slowing global warming and many people would volunteer for mass tree planting.

Robert Sullivan, Oak Park

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