Is the Instagram “plant a tree promise” trend real?

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Is the Instagram
Is the Instagram "plant a tree promise" trend real?

An Instagram trend that promises to plant a tree for every photograph of a pet shared on a story has “spread out of control.”

According to Instagram page PlantATreeCo, their Instagram trend that promises to plant a tree for every photograph of a pet shared on a story has “spread out of control” with millions sharing photos.

The post that, so far, has been shared by more than four million people reads: “we’ll plant 1 tree for every pet picture.”

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However, Instagram users began to question where the post came from and whether PlantATreeCo can actually commit to the planting of this amount of trees.

Is the Instagram "plant a tree promise" trend real?
Is the Instagram “plant a tree promise” trend real? Image – Laura Kemp

Instagram, owned by Meta, lets its users start trends that can include using stickers, soundbites and certain labels. The trends can then be shared all across the social media app.

PlantATreeCo’s trend used a sticker, promising users that if they shared an image of their pet on their Instagram story, using the sticker, they would plant a tree for each one.


PlantATreeCo is apparently an environmental organisation that was set up with the aim of planting a million trees by the end of 2021, however, there have been some questions in the past about whether this foundation is actually legitimate.

The group said they didn’t realise how popular the “pet picture” trend would be.

In a statement on Instagram, PlantATreeCo wrote: “Thank you for sharing your pets, they’re adorable.”


“We posted the new “Add Yours” story as a fun tree planting campaign where we can show off our awesome pets! We immediately realized the post would grow too big and that we didn’t have the resources to plant that many trees, so we deleted it 10 minutes later.”

“Even though we deleted it, the stories continued to spread out of our control. Our credit for the post was also removed, because of what seems like an @instagram bug. We want to use this awareness for lasting impact, so we created this fundraiser.”

“It is raising money towards @treesforthefuture which is an organization that we love, who is dedicated to planting trees. We are not affiliated with @treesforthefuture, we are simply raising money through this fundraiser which will directly go to them, so that they can use it to plant trees.”

“Please share this post and the fundraiser on your story, and tag all your friends, celebrities, and @instagram so they can see this and so we can ACTUALLY plant 4 million trees.”

Is the Instagram "plant a tree promise" trend real?
Is the Instagram “plant a tree promise” trend real? Image – Instagram

The group has said that they can’t immediately plant four million trees, however, it will use the publicity to find the financial backing to commit to its promise.

“Even though we deleted [the post], the stories continued to spread out of our control”, PlantATreeCo wrote on Instagram.

“We want to use this awareness for lasting impact, so we created this fundraiser.

“Please share this post and the fundraiser on your story, and tag all your friends, celebrities, and Instagram so they can see this and so we can ACTUALLY plant 4 million trees.”

Instagram said of the trend: “The ‘we’ll plant one tree for every pet picture’ trend shows the power of the Instagram community to raise awareness on important topics.”

However, the social media app also said the trend was started by an independent account, and not Instagram itself.


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Laura is from a small seaside town in North Wales and has also lived in Liverpool and Manchester, where she studied English Literature and worked in social media and marketing. Laura moved to the city of Zaragoza last August to teach English, but after missing the coast she decided to move to beautiful Nerja to enjoy the sun and sea. Laura has a passion for animals, films, outdoor activities, writing and the environment.

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