Postcrossing Blog

Stories about the Postcrossing community and the postal world

Blog > Postcrossing's tiny forest expansion update!

  icon

Today is Earth Day, which means it’s time for our annual report on the expansion of Postcrossing’s tiny forest!

Some years ago, as part of our commitment to minimizing Postcrossing’s ecological footprint, we started organizing a new type of meetup: one without postcards, in which people roll up their sleeves and plant trees instead! This year, it happened on a bright sunny day in early February, and the location chosen was adjacent to last year’s plot — which was perfect, because we had a nice view over last year’s trees, and also of the ocean in the distance!

If you’re new to these blog posts, you might not know the history of the Pinhal de Leiria, a 11080ha (29146 acres) pine forest in the center of Portugal that was planted in the 13th century, in an effort to stop the sand dunes from coming inland and conquering arable soil. The forest stood for centuries, and the wood from it was even used to build the Portuguese caravels that sailed around the world in the 15th and 16th centuries… but it burned almost completely back in 2017 in a devastating wildfire. Since then, several groups and organizations come together every year to do the laborious work of replanting the forest, tree by tree. Including us, the postcrossers from Portugal! 💪

Paulo inserts a tree into the pottiputki tube

After a short briefing on how to plant trees for the newbies, we were off! This year, we had the help of 2 professional “planters”, two men hired by the organization to speed up the plantation — they had lots of experience in these things and were amazingly fast! Paulo also managed to get a hold of an extra “pottiputki”, a metal tube with a beak at the end, that speeds up the planting of seedlings. It’s heavy, but very handy!

 8J8B1921

The whole morning, our group carried trays of seedlings, dug holes and cozied over 3300 trees in their new homes in the sandy dunes, all while chatting back and forth, and even singing some popular hit songs! Sand is relatively easy to make holes in, and I think we all felt really grateful that we didn’t have to dig through packed soil and rocks to make room for our baby trees. As in previous years, we planted maritime pine, a species native to South Atlantic Europe that is well adapted to the coast that thrives in our cool, rainy winters and hot, dry summers.

Girls kneel down to plant trees plant trees. Men plant trees and dig up holes for more trees.

Planting trees is hard work, and we were thankful for every pair of hands that came to help. At the end, we had a lively picnic in a nearby park, sharing food and Postcrossing stories, and everyone felt chuffed with a job well done.

 A group of people standing/sitting on a hill where trees have been planted,  smiles and waves to the camera

These environmental themed meetings are becoming a favorite of ours, and we’d love to see them replicated in other countries too. If you know a good organization in your area that might need a hand planting trees, picking up trash, doing a wildlife census or some other activity that could benefit from a group of enthusiastic people with lots of hand and arm muscles (from all that postcard writing!), why not organize a meetup to give them a hand? 💪

PS: A big thank you to Tetyana (aka tatytrofamets), for being our brilliant photographer for the day!

55 comments so far

alter3ch0, Finland

Can't wait to join you in the future! A near future, preferably!

Thank you for everything. This is amazing and you rock (or must I say: you wood?)!

on
werewegian, United Kingdom

Lovely blog post and photos. Well done everyone!

on
Florallle, United Kingdom

This is fabulous. I love reading about it every year. Well done 💕

on
Aguaroble, Lesotho

Wonderful! Obrigado!
Postcrossing is wonderful, I wish one day I can visit the forest...
Happy Earth day to all, and Happy Postcrossing!

on
SarahLovesSnailMail, United States of America

So awesome. ❤️

on
Demmi, Romania

Well done everyone & Congrats on the nice event!
Happy Earth Day to all & Happy Postcrossing!

on
littleglitterwoman, Germany

Good thing to do, that forest! Trees are our "eldest ancestors", and we can feel the spirit of a tree in each one we plant.

Even though they are small.

Let's hope they grow.

Keep up the good things 👍😉.

on
mysweetlife63, United States of America

Happy Earth Day!
Thank you for your hard work & dedication.

on
Mamaduke, Australia

"The one who plants trees, knowing that he/she will never sit in their shade, has at least started to understand the meaning of life." Well done everyone.🌲🌳🎄

on
Illusearch, India

That's lovely!!! :D

on
jjmedusa, United States of America

With all of the bad things happening in the world, it is so nice to read about something positive. Reading this blog post filled me with optimism and hope. Thank you for planting these trees. Thank you for caring. Thank you for being a beacon of hope to others, like me. And thank you (of course) for creating and maintaining Postcrossing. I wish you a wonderful Earth Day, and I hope that all of the trees that you planted will thrive for a very long time. :)

on
NellyMuc, Germany

Really nice to read these lines. For a better future.

on
Indreni, United States of America

Amazing!

on
TygressWrites, United States of America

This is wonderful! 😍

on
MollyK, Germany

Thank you so much for this wonderful report.
May the Postcrossing forest, which was planted with so much work and love, grow and flourish.

on
Luziaceleste, Brazil

Thank you fr the example of being environemntal responsible. We certainly must consider do some kind of 'compensation' to all the postcrossings we stimulate the travels arounf world!

on
rococoabean, Australia

And the fact that the postcards we love to send are made from paper that comes from trees (even if not *these* particular trees) closes the loop in a way that's really satisfying! Bravo, everyone!!

on
Geminiscp, Portugal

Nice memories!!! Can't wait for next February! :)

on
heidiblooms, United States of America

What a wonderful meetup! Happy Earth Day, and thank you to our fellow Postcrossers in Portugal for leaving a positive mark on the world!

on
booboo_babies, United States of America

This is such a great idea! I would love to see more tree planting all over the world!

on
luvwhidbeyisland, United States of America

Great job! Such an important project. Thank you Postcrossers 🌲❤️

on
UrbanFlange, Canada

This is wonderful! Thank you for sharing these updates. As I'm new to Postcrossing, I really enjoyed learning about this great initiative.

on
inesmonteirocm, Portugal

Congratulations on another successful tree planting meetup! 🌲🎉 I'm sad I couldn't join this year, but I'm hopeful for next time! Next time, why not consider planting trees at Lagoa da Ervedeira? 🌳 It could be a fantastic location choice! 🌳 Looking forward to it! 😊💕 Sending love and tree-hugging vibes to all! 💚🌳 Keep up the amazing work!

on
Angelthepup22, United States of America

Very nice!

on
SonaliS, United States of America

This is such inspiring work you're doing together as a Postcrossing group.

on
BeckyS, United States of America

Good Form!

on
DianeM, United States of America

Wonderful to hear that over 3300 more trees were planted! Well done ♥

on
Poste, United States of America

Happy Earth Day! Postcrossers are especially awesome folks. Thank you all for your hard work and having a very enjoyable time as well.

on
400050, India

Kudos team! 🌍❣️

on
Miguel-Isaias, Portugal

What an incredible day!
This became my yearly favorite meetup.
See you all next february/2025.

on
beesknees, United States of America

Fabulous. Great job.

on
dogfan, United States of America

Amazing job!

on
lkolze, United States of America

Bless you all for your efforts. Many small and not-so-small efforts do add up.

on
Zulhma, Argentina

Hello. Thank you very much for publishing and sharing this very positive note. Thanks to this group for their task of loving their country and the planet. Greetings

on
Flippie, Canada

Thank you for doing this....it's great.

on
melilot, France

Good job!
Seems you don't only add little trees but also seeds then with the Pottiputki (what a word!).

Here I'm member of Aspas (among others) : association pour la protection des animaux sauvages, but it's complicated to help (except sending money) because they are in the south, although there are some groups elsewhere. I'm not sure if they are planting trees, but they are buying lands in the aim of rewilding. Hunting is forbidden and nature is left with the least human intervention there.
Other actions include informing the publc, and in the medias and even fighting in justice to protect wild animals and biodiversity.
There are several other organizations, some with a focus on wild fauna, some about environment (including climate questions), some about the sea, the water, the soils, a sustainable agriculture, etc. There is so much to do.
What we buy (and don't buy) and how we choose to live is already doing something I think, even if it's never enough.

on
melilot, France

And since last year, I'm making seedbombs (or seed balls) :)) I throw them in Paris. Last year was with mitigated results because it was too hot and dry, let's hope it's better this year.

on
3Meredyth, Australia

FYI there is an organisation in Australia called "Trees for Life", for regenerating any land; farm or scrubland. My husband & I have been participants for over 30 years and grow on average 600 seedlings per year in our backyard.

on
ABHoot, United States of America

Amazing!

on
clbrown, United States of America

What a wonderful project! I hope you aren't planting a mono-colony, as forests need a variety of species to thrive:) I wish I lived closer to help you. Keep up your much needed work.🌳🌲🌱♥️

on
Philatelist, United States of America

Reminds me of a school field trip in 3rd grade 1963 we planted baby trees in a burn scar near Tillamook Oregon. I sometimes wonder how that forest is now doing. Thank you!

on
Kewl, Philippines

Great idea! Congratulations! We should do something like this here in the Philippines...

on
Dar, United States of America

How touching and inspiring! Wonderful job!!

on
PaiviM, Finland

In the article the tool pottiputki was mentioned. That is Finnish language and the tool was invented by a Finn. We happen to have some trees up here in the north. Potti is the small tree plant and putki is the tube. Still some snow left in the forests but the spring and the birds are coming in the near future!

on
Powell, South Africa

A huge shout out to all of you.

on
Prolietuva, Lithuania

Great job 🌱🌳🌿

on
jjjPagaimo, Portugal

I loved it.
This meeting is a celebration of LIFE, PEACE and FREEDOM.
It will always remain in my memory as a space for the affirmation of MAN.
Yes, as Fernando Pessoa once said, "God wills, man dreams, the work is born."
See you next year.
Thanks to POSTCROSSING.

on
moonlessnite, Canada

Thank you to all who participate in this very admirable and worthwhile project! I wish i were there to have helped a bit!

on
Irina_G007, Russia

This is a very important action and work. It’s a pity that our forests are burning in Russia and no one is putting them out. then it is considered economically unfeasible

on
cerres, Estonia

❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️

on
suewrites, United States of America

Oh how I wish I could help in Portugal! I help, by purchasing trees, in the village of Ikamiro, in SW Uganda. The entire village comes out to plant native trees to mitigate the effects of climate change. The village experienced deadly landslides in 2017, the hills are very steep there. So deep trenches were dug by hand, native trees and elephant grasses are planted on the edges, and voila! it has been a huge success. To date, 90,000 trees have been planted. I was able to plant some myself in 2019.

on
Anactf, Portugal

Great job!

on
Errol42, South Africa

Well done, folks!

on
Poste, United States of America

I would love to attend next year to help plant 🪴 trees!

on
LakeErieWriter, United States of America

What a fantastic idea! I loved reading about this.

on
You need to sign in to leave a comment!

Back to top