According to recent research, the majority of trees planted to restore tropical and subtropical forests do not live past five years, but there is huge variation in results. The study analyzed tree survival and growth data from 176 recovery sites in tropical and subtropical Asia, where natural forests have been degraded. The team found that an average of 18 percent of planted saplings died within the first year, rising to 44 percent after five years. However, survival rates varied widely between sites and species, with more than 80 percent of trees still alive after five years at some sites, while a similar percentage had died at other sites. The findings are published today in the Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences.