Why Trees For Life?

The effects of land clearing in South Australia are severe.

In some parts of our fragmented environment only 5% of the original vegetation remains. The consequences of extensive clearing are evident with some 26 plant, 23 mammal and 2 bird species now extinct in our state alone.
The need to create lasting change for South Australia’s environment is very real.

This is why Trees For Life was founded.

Since 1981, our people have worked hard to safeguard our biodiversity. We revegetate and protect bushland, farm land and urban terrain. With local knowledge, we raise awareness about native plants and animals. And with experience we empower people to take action and connect with their landscape.

A place for action

Discover how long running Trees For Life programs such as Bush For Life and Tree Scheme help protect and revegetate South Australia in urban and landscape-wide projects across the state.

A place for people

See how our 7,000 strong supporter base of members, active volunteers and donors create visible results for future generations.

A place for knowledge and sharing

Visit our workshops page to start your journey to restore native vegetation. Or explore our Lastest News, publications and resources to read about what we have been up to and how you can get involved.

Trees For Life at a glance

4,000 hectares of bushland protected on over 300 sites
35 million trees grown across SA since records began
408 species of native plants stored in our Seed Bank
100 education programs and workshops per month
2,000 active volunteers
7,000 supporters (and counting!)


Trees For Life began in 1981, when Lolo Houbein and Burr Dodd gathered some friends to coordinate a visit to South Australia by Richard St. Barbe Baker, founder of the international environmental organisation Men of the Trees.

Such was the interest in his message, the hall used for his address on 9 September 1981 was bursting at the seams. The SA branch of Men of the Trees was formed just weeks later on 30 September, with over 200 people attending.

Two years later, the group changed its name to Trees For Life.

The organisation was founded on the principle that if you want something to change you have to take action yourself to make it happen. The impetus for establishing Trees For Life was the evidence and obvious consequence of extensive clearing of the South Australian bush. Soil in South Australia was virtually being blown or washed away because there was very little vegetation left to hold it.

Trees For Life came up with a simple response: volunteers would grow native plants to give to farmers willing to plant them.

The first tree was planted on One Tree Hill in 1982, but over 30 million trees, shrubs and grasses followed, forming wind breaks, providing erosion control, creating new forests and buffers for the few remaining stands of original vegetation.

Since then our work has extended into bushcare to protect and conserve valuable remnant vegetation and broadacre revegetation, to help re-establish habitat and to act as long term carbon sinks.

Our aim has never deviated from the original vision to reinstate stands of native vegetation across South Australia and to improve the resilience of the remaining original vegetation. We do this through on ground works by our supporters and staff.

Start your Trees For Life story today

Trees For Life acknowledges the traditional Custodians of our land and waters and we pay our respects to Elders past and present. We acknowledge and respect the deep spiritual connection and relationship that First Nations peoples have to Country.