Updating the original article I have come across this article from Yale 360. The article (snippet really) indicates that 45 million acres of trees were cut down last year (doesn't really discuss regrowth). The most troubling locations being Brazil, Indonesia, and Cambodia. Recently I posted this detailing the lengths the Caiapó natives of Ka'apor have gone to protect their forests in the Amazon. I am still looking for a way to support the protection efforts in these countries so feel free to contact me if you know of any.
The Number of Trees and Some Opinions on Earth's Carrying Capacity
AwN | This is an interesting article that details recent estimates on the number of trees that exist on earth. Prior estimates were much lower and now it is estimated there are somewhere around 450 trees for every person. Before the dawn of civilization it is believed that there were twice as many trees. It is also likely that this further proves my belief that we are not really at the carrying capacity for humans on earth.
The article estimates that we lose around 10 billion trees a year, clearly that will eventually destroy the planet (whether or not you believe in global warming,) but it seems to me that is due to our economic model of growth and our general greed. I don't really believe that there is any way 450 trees per person can't support a human. Along the same lines if you consider that we have lost half of our trees it is fairly safe to assume that they are basing that on half of the land that was trees now being not trees. Surely some of that has become desert, but an enormous chunk of it is farmland. So if you believe the earth can't support a human with farmland that currently feeds humans and yields a surplus, and 450 trees on top of that, then I would have to say, flat out, that you are wrong.
There are a lot of people out there who believe humans are only parasites and that our population is not sustainable. Instead I would say this: If we live the way we are now we will destroy the planet, but if we learn to live in Accord with Nature we have some time before we reach the real limits of human population. That doesn't mean I endorse breeding like rabbits, or the 10 billion trees we lose per year, but instead that we still have time to change our ways. We can learn to manipulate the environment so as to provide for our needs, and the needs for all other species (biomass) or we can continue destroying 10 billion trees a year until there are none left and we go the way of the dodo. I believe the only way to save the planet is to accept our role as the gardeners of earth and plant the species we need to survive while allowing niches for all other species, barring this action we will never be able to meet our needs in a natural way.
Scientists reveal there are 3tn trees in the world in latest count
"The densest areas for trees were found in the northern boreal forests of Canada, China and Russia, though the authors said the latter two were some of the sparsest parts of the world for data on the ground. Tropical and subtropical forests hold most of the world’s trees, with around 1.39tn in total, while heavily human-impacted temperature regions such as Europe and Asia had just 0.61tn.
The gross loss of trees was around 15.3bn trees each year, but the net loss is likely closer to around 10bn a year because of the growth of around 5bn trees a year, the authors said."
New assessment has found people are now responsible for the loss of 15bn trees a year. Photograph: David Sillitoe for the Guardian