World Tree: Disrupting the Foresting Industry [Featured Startup]

By | August 27, 2021
World Tree Team on sustainable farm

World Tree is hosting a Regulation D offering on EquityNet now through November 30. Accredited investors can create a profile and explore investments in World Tree and other firms making an impact in today’s world on Invest in World Tree here!

Climate change, deforestation and degradation are issues that are affecting us all, and will only continue to worsen if a change is not made. World Tree is on a mission to connect investors and farmers to create a new narrative for the planet we all share.

World Tree started in 2002 as a business that sold Empress trees, to environmentalists, land-owners and farmers, because of the trees’ unique and beautiful properties. When dreaming up what they wanted for the future of the company, they asked, “if money was no object and there was something we could do that we’re not doing, what would it be?” Wendy Burton, founder, said: “we would give the trees to the farmers for free,” though they knew this wouldn’t be possible without the help of investors and people who wanted to make a change in the world, just as much as they do.

This prompted the idea to seek investors who wanted to fund the trees and have farmers look after the trees. Once the trees have reached maturity, everyone shares the profit.

World Tree started with farmers in Canada, US & Costa Rica. Recognizing crop failure is a significant risk factor, due to either severe weather or improper care for the climate, World Tree diversified their farms to locales thousands of miles apart in different countries, mitigating risk by having different farmers in different climates. Their Empress Tree farms now include areas in Mexico and Guatemala.

“We have to do whatever we can, to alter the future of a win/win/win.”

Angela Nauta, Director of Investor Relations

In the last 19 years World Tree has expanded and is now equipped with a team of foresters and scientists with over 50 + years combined forestry experience. They implement and execute leading-edge planting programs at a record pace. World Tree currently has approximately 550K trees planted, 220 farms comprising 5,500 acres, and nearly $7.5 million assets under management.

Why Empress Trees?

According to the UN, the demand for timber will double by 2050. Most trees take 20 to 50 years to reach maturity. This is why World Tree uses Empress trees that reach hardwood maturity in only 8-12 years, and quickly regenerates once harvested. 

Not only can Empress trees be used to meet the world’s growing demands for timber, but they also absorb a massive amount of carbon. By focusing on planting them, World Tree is fighting global warming and regenerating the soil. 

The Empress tree also has the strongest weight to strength ratio of any tree. It is highly water-resistant and easy to cut and plane with minimal chipping. Because of these qualities, the market price for Empress tree hardwood ranges between $3 and $14 a board foot depending on the quality of the wood. 

According to World Tree, an acre of trees on a well-managed farm can produce around 20,000 board feet of lumber.

How does this benefit farmers?

Farms managed through World Tree benefit farmers first; after all, they are the ones tending to and growing the trees for 10 years. Farmers first receive 50% of the profit, then World Tree and investors split the remainder.Guaranteeing that farmers are fairly compensated is a deep value for World Tree, because most farmers feed their families through crop revenues. Because Empress trees begin to regenerate once harvested, farmers can re-grow and keep 100% of the profit after the initial harvest. World Tree is helping farmers build operations that will benefit their families and communities for generations.

In the third year, Empress trees blossom and the flowers attract honey bees, opening the possibility for farmers to produce honey for additional revenue.

Empress trees are adept at interplanting. They are non-invasive, beautiful trees that benefit other plants as well as provide shade. Coffee plantations can use Empress trees to provide shade for their beans. Mountainside shade-grown coffee, like that grown in the mountains of Columbia, is some of the most prized coffee in the world. 

How does this benefit investors?

World Tree believes that in order to make a difference in reversing climate change, economic and environmental incentives must come together. 

World Tree focuses on generating returns for its investors, as well as cleaning the air, cutting down carbon and restoring the soil all at the same time. Contributing to World Tree is not only about making an investment in a stable, lucrative industry, but making a difference by alleviating economic inequality and preserving the earth. World Tree desires to bring people, profit and the planet together. 

Every year, World Tree brings in a group of investors and farmers to plant Empress tree farms throughout the Southeast United States, Mexico, Guatemala, and Costa Rica. Every $17,000 invested funds the potential planting of over 550 trees on 5 acres. Investors have the opportunity to participate in a 19% IRR timber profit potential with a 2% dividend carbon income potential.

This offering is open to accredited investors only, with varying perks and benefits. The current round of funding and terms, $1.70 a unit for accredited investors is closing November 30, 2021.

Global Impact

World Tree’s goals include promoting the Empress tree as a powerful way to impact global warming, regenerate the soil and meet the world’s growing demand for lumber, establishing a valuable sustainable timber product for the North American market participating in the Carbon-credit market.

As of August 2021, World Tree has 220 farmers in 5 countries, including Costa Rica, Guatemala, Canada, Mexico and the United States. World Tree has 5,000 acres of Empress trees planted, making it the largest grower of Empress trees in North and Latin America. Because of these efforts, 450,000 tons of CO2 are absorbed yearly, aiding climate cooling, soil repair and forest protection. 

Coming Together to Make a Better Future

“We have to do whatever we can, and planting trees is one of the best ways to impact climate conditions, health for people and future benefits,” said Angela Nauta, director of investor relations at World Tree. Steps taken together, now, can create the positive impact we wish to see in the world. 

World Tree believes in coming together to change the world. Farmers provide the land and labor, World Tree provides management expertise and materials, and investors provide the funding. 

No matter how good an idea is or the difference a company desires to make, it makes no difference if no one knows about it. “Our goal is to get the word out there so that people can participate in investments that align with head, heart and hands,” said Nauta. 

“What’s awesome about EquityNet is that if we can get the word out and reach a large group of investors and reach our 25 Million dollar goal, that would provide for the planting of thousands of acres of trees,” said Nauta. 

World Tree is currently accepting investors for a $25M round to expand operations. To invest, sign up as an accredited investor on EquityNet to contact World Tree and see investment terms. This round will close on November 30, 2021.

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