IKEA recently purchased over 3,000 acres of land in Florida that was damaged by Hurricane Michael, with plans to plant a forest on the damaged land, writes Sophie Hirsh for Green Matters.
The two plots of land that were purchased by Ingka Group, the company that controls most of IKEA stores, is called Tupelo Honey forest. Before the hurricane, there wasn’t a forest at the location; it was a pasture. But IKEA plans to plant a forest there now, a process called afforestation.
The process of restoring the land will first involve removing the debris and restoring the previous pasture fields. Then when the land is ready, various local plant species and trees – primarily longleaf pine – will be planted.
Ingka’s plan will help restore the land from Hurricane Michael’s devastation and also support biodiversity in the region.
Over the next 40 years, it’s estimated that over 650,000 trees will be planted in Tupelo Honey, with the forest operating on a 40-year cycle.
Ingka plans to eventually cut down the trees and use them as lumber, which the company says will “ensure sustainable timber production.”
“The Tupelo Honey acquisition is a fantastic opportunity to demonstrate the responsible forestry management approach Ingka Investments uses on all our properties: caring for the environment and the planet, meeting the needs of the local community through long-term, sustainable stewardship,” said Krister Mattsson, director of Ingka Investments.
Tupelo Honey is not the first forest planted by IKEA; in the past, Ingka has purchased several hundred thousand acres of land to protect and sustainably grow timber in the U.S. and Europe.
Read more about IKEA’s afforestation project in Tupelo Honey at Green Matters.