Truckee volunteers plant 360 trees as part of world record attempt |

Truckee volunteers plant 360 trees as part of world record attempt

Margaret Moran

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TRUCKEE, Calif. — While a recent Sugar Pine Foundation and Tahoe Donner tree-planting effort exceeded expectations, it’ll take weeks to confirm whether a Guinness World Record was set.

On Wednesday, May 20, 69 local participants planted 360 trees — 240 western white pines and 120 red firs — in a fire-damaged area of Tahoe Donner within an hour. The original goal was to plant 250 trees.

“The more trees, the better,” said Maria Mircheva, executive director of Sugar Pine Foundation. “It’ll help restore the (1960) Donner Ridge Fire area, and diversify our forests.”

The year-old seedlings planted last week are generally resistant to blister rust fungus, which poses a threat to forests in the western United States and Canada.

“I truly am excited we had this opportunity to plant rust-resistant trees,” Bill Houdyschell, Tahoe Donner forester, said in a statement. “In addition to the world record challenge, we returned something to the environment that should have been here all along.”

The record attempt was to plant the most trees in an hour in multiple locations, simultaneously, by groups of 25 to 100 people.

According to SFI Inc., the independent nonprofit organizing the attempt, more than 200,000 trees were planted by more than 1,100 participants in 28 communities across the United States and Canada.

“It was a great feeling to be planting trees, knowing that at the very same moment my shovel broke into the earth to help make the world a greener place, other communities … were all doing the same thing to make a difference in the communities they serve,” Kathy Abusow, president and CEO of SFI Inc., said in a statement. “It was an experience that connected people and the earth on both a local and global level.”

This effort represents the organization’s work to promote responsible forest management and sustainable communities.

Video, photos and independent witnesses recorded the attempt at each location, which Guinness World Records will use to determine if a record has been set. The verification process is expected to take six to eight weeks.

All participants will receive a personalized Guinness World Records certificate upon record confirmation.