Steve Bush calculated Trees for Canterbury, the organisation he manages, has put well over a million plants in the ground since its conception in 1990.
The organisation was created to regenerate the lost native bush of Canterbury, starting with backyard plantings but now operating out of a fully functioning nursery in Woolston.
"Canterbury, believe it or not, only has two percent of its original native bush left. So, we're trying to change that," Bush said.
He said that this percentage is low by world standards, and in some areas of Canterbury there are not even small pockets of native flora remaining.
Projects Coordinator Robin Stove said planting trees is important for us all, especially in the current climate crisis.
"They do so much for us. It's giving back to the environment, we're getting oxygen from them, they're giving life to the planet," he said.
Stove also said that the plantings created carbon sinks, a step towards the carbon neutral goal the Christchurch City Council is aiming for by 2050.
The project operates under three principles: employ, educate, and regenerate.
"The employment is to work with as many different people who have challenges in life. To give them somewhere to come... a sense of self worth, and a sense of belonging," Bush explained.
He said that Trees for Canterbury offers work to people with disadvantages (physically, intellectually, at risk youth, or people who have made mistakes in life) to give support and training for self-development, instilling self-esteem and work habit.
The organisation's website stated that almost 2500 people have gained training or community involvement through their nursery.