Trees for Lurë





The expansion of our tree nursery and community projects were the main focus of our activities in 2023. We planted 10,081 trees of which 1,081 were grown in our tree nursery, built a greenhouse and planted 15,000 seedlings, and expanded our community project with educational events and developed monitoring and control system for the tree nursery.


In 2023, we successfully planted 10,081 Black pine saplings and restored an additional 6.38ha in the Lurë-Mt. Dejës National Park, bringing the total number of planted trees to 22,793 and 15.22 hectares reforested.

First trees from the nursery

This year has been special for us because, for the first time, we planted Black pine saplings produced in our tree nursery in Fushë-Lurë. This marks a huge milestone for Trees for Lurë, paving the way for substantial cost savings in the future years and contributing to our long-term goal of a sustainable reforestation infrastructure within the Lurë-Mt. Dejës National Park.

Local economy

We are incredibly proud to be able to provide regular seasonal job opportunities in the Lurë area for men and women who help us plant trees as well as take care of the tree nursery.

Planting 10 081 trees takes a lot of effort, and we are proud that all work related to area preparation and digging has been done by the local team. We are pleased to see our team growing to 35 workers ranging from 20 to 70 years old, many of the men working with us for 3rd year

Planting the trees in 2023 has been done mainly by the local workforce. We reserved only 1 000 trees for the kids who were planting during school events. The remaining 9 081 were planted by the mixed team of local men (21) and women (14) during the workdays.

More details

We have updated the timeline of the Reforestation project with detailed information and there is also a detailed report about the 2023 planting operation in Update #18: 10,081 planted in Autumn 2023.

Reforestation: An aerial view on the planting area (middle)
Reforestation: An aerial view on the planting area (middle)
2023: Kujtim planting one of nursery trees
2023: Kujtim planting one of nursery trees
2023: Fatbardha during planting
2023: Fatbardha during planting
2023: Illir & Hekuran during planting
2023: Illir & Hekuran during planting

Tree nursery

Improving and extending our tree nursery was a primary task in 2023. We worked very hard on improving processes and growing practices to have better results and expand the nursery's capacity.


Greenhouse is crucial to extend the vegetation period as much as possible in our colder climates. In Spring 2023, we built our first large 13m x 5m (65m2) greenhouse with a total capacity of 15,000 seedlings. It has become home to 5,600 Black pine and 3,000 European fir seedlings, which we planted in May 2023.


We have improved the handling of the collected seeds and the preparation of the latter for sowing. All the seeds have been cleaned and separated to achieve higher germination rates. We have also used the Stratification process to further improve germination rates. You can find detailed information about the process in Update #15.

Growing trays

In 2022, we used plastic bags to grow our seedlings. In 2023, we decided to switch to growing trays from the Swedish company BCC, made from recycled plastic and rated for 10 years of use. We use BCC HIKO V120SS to grow our 1st year seedlings.

Planting substrate

We switched to a plain peat substrate as our planting medium from the local soil for our 1st-year seedlings. The substrate has correct pH values without any fertilizers and additives, and this minimizes fungal infections in the early stages and gives us control over the fertilizers we use.

Monitoring system

We developed a monitoring and control system for monitoring vital data in the tree nursery. The system collects information about local weather, greenhouse temperature and humidity and, most importantly, soil moisture and transmits it using a GSM network. We use collected data to adjust watering, fertilizers and timing of the crucial tasks in the nursery.

2023: Building our 1st greenhouse in Fushë Lurë
2023: Building our 1st greenhouse in Fushë Lurë
2023: Planting seeds in BCC HIKO-V120SS trays
2023: Planting seeds in BCC HIKO-V120SS trays
2023: Planting substrate mix
2023: Planting substrate mix
2023: Monitoring system in the nursery
2023: Monitoring system in the nursery


We were pleased with ever increasing interest from the local community to work with us. We also introduced a new way to involve schools with kids from the village of Lurë and around Albania.

Record community involvement

In 2023, we had a record number of workers joining our planting operation. During our first planting operation in 2021, we had 6 workers, and 35 joined us this year. This considerable increase has various reasons. However, the main one is that the project has gained the local community’s trust by operating consistently and transparently for the 3rd year.

School events

This year, we introduced a new way to involve schools with kids from the village of Lurë and around Albania. The main scope was to have educational activities during the planting season as an additional program to the project. We had an opportunity to show the kids the whole process, from the seeds - to saplings in the nursery - to planting trees in the National Park. We managed to have three separate events with three different schools. You can find more information in Update #17.

Checking the difference between Abies alba and Pinus nigra saplings
Checking the difference between Abies alba and Pinus nigra saplings
Training how to plant correctly at the planting area
Training how to plant correctly at the planting area
Kids planting a 2-year old pinus nigra tree
Kids planting a 2-year old pinus nigra tree


Our revenue relies purely on domestic and international donations from the general public and private sector. We did not have financial support from any government agency in 2023.


Our donations came from 33 donations from donors spread across 8 countries (Switzerland and Czechia not visible in the graph), with Albanian, UK and US donors contributing the most significant portion of the donations.

We are very happy to see a significant increase in the donation value from Albania compared to previous years.

Regarding the donor numbers, the general public is our largest donor group. Corporate donors were growing in 2023, and due to their donation value, they contribute the majority of our donation revenue.

Donors donate via our website (8.49%, majority of individual donors) or use bank transfer (91.51%, corporate). You can find more information about how to donate and what services we use on our Donation page.

We also receive donations in other forms of charitable gifting from our partners. These include rental of the vehicles, planting material, audio-visual services, office space or consultancy and guidance provided for free to support our mission. The value of these gifts are not reflected in this report, but we list all the partners.


We currently do not operate any business activity which would generate revenue in the form of sales. It is, however, our goal to create revenue streams to self-finance our activities in the future.

Being a non-profit organisation does not mean we can't generate sales revenue from merchandise, consultancy or services provided to the general public and corporate sector; on the contrary.

The self-financing strategy is a key to the sustainable operation of any non-profit organisation and provides much needed-breathing space and limits organisation reliance on the donors.

2023 Donations: Country breakdown, total amount, number of donations
2023 Donations: Country breakdown, total amount, number of donations
2023 Donations: Donor type, total amount, number of donors
2023 Donations: Donor type, total amount, number of donors


Expansion of the tree nursery and expansion of our community projects contributed towards €6,921 raise in the expenses compared to the 2022. Nevertheless, the primary cost remained a contribution to the local economy and the tree nursery investment will significantly lower future expenses.

Allocation of expenses between our projects

Trees for Lurë has been working on three main projects: reforestation, tree nursery and community (Events in the graph). In 2023, we started to track the expenses for each project separately to understand the cost of each project. We have included an NGO overhead as a separate project in the graph.

The Reforestation accounts for 52.2% and the Tree nursery for 33.7% of the total expenses, making up 85.9% of our costs. These two projects are the main driver of our local economy contribution.

We expanded our Community project with the school events which accounted for 2.7% of the total expenses. We had three events in 2023 and anticipate this category to grow in the future with much higher number of events.

The NGO overhead accounts for 11.4% of the total expenses. This category includes all expenses which are not directly related to the projects above. We anticipate this category to grow substantially in the future as we will have to invest into growing the team with paid positions.

Planting material 17.4% / €6,171

This year we have been plating first 1,081 trees grown in our tree nursery! The rest of the trees we had to buy from commercial suppliers. We choose fidanishte Xhepi Sh.p.K again as we had good experience with their saplings in 2021/2022. We want to thank Xhepi Sh.p.K for their support and quality planting material which has a good survival rate in Lurë.

Planting expenses 7.7% / €2,719

A small category of expenses, such as the necessary tools, protection and miscellaneous items, necessary to execute planting events.

This category has grown due to higher expenses on the fuel required for the transport of the trees, our team, and transporting workers from the village to the planting area.

Local economy 48.6% / €17,223

This category includes accommodation, food, local team salaries, payouts and local contractors.

We are incredibly proud to be able to provide regular seasonal job opportunities in the Lurë area for men and women who help us plant trees as well as take care of the tree nursery.

We continued with a proven system from the last year, where planting the trees in 2023 is done mainly by the local workforce. We reserved only 1 000 trees for the school events who were planting over three weekends. As you can see, our expenses towards the local contractors working directly on the planting operation amount to 85% of all our contributions to the local economy.

Operational expenses 26.3% / €9,317

Operational expenses include all expenses related to operating the NGO, such as fees, taxes, salaries and equipment investments.


We use clever IT infrastructure and donation management tools to minimise fees for running our online services. Despite this, we still pay fees when receiving donations via our website and other bank fees.


We made significant investments into the tree nursery and the equipment related to growing our own trees. The focus in 2023 was the greenhouse, growing trays, tree nursery tools and monitoring system.


In terms of salaries, Trees for Lurë continued to be a volunteer-based organisation, and members of the team worked for free. This however, will have to change in the future as the amount of work and responsibilities of the team members are raising.

Tax & Fees

We pay our tax & administration fees as per current law in Albania. As the planting operations grow in size and we use more workforce, the amount of tax we pay is also growing.


In 2022 we decided to invest in our 1996 Mitsubishi L200. We had to invest into the repairs and the maintenance, maybe a bit more than we hoped for, however the car has been used extensively throughout the 2023 season transporting material for building the greenhouse, transporting the trees, substrate, team, tools and workers to the planting area.

2023 Expenses: Allocation of expenses between our projects
2023 Expenses: Allocation of expenses between our projects
2023 Expenses: Category breakdown
2023 Expenses: Category breakdown
Expense category breakdown details
Accommodation / Local economy €1,233
Cost of accommodation during our events when we work in the field.
Admin / Operational expenses €549
Administrative costs such as website, payment processing and law required fees.
Contractors / Local economy €14,368
Labor and services we contract locally in Lurë area to help us execute our activities.
Food / Local economy €936
Expenses related to feeding everyone working in the field on planting.
Fuel / Planting expenses €1,343
Expenses for the fuel to run our vehicles.
Material / Planting expenses €1,376
Material and consumables required for planting activities. For example shovels, gloves, substrate, etc...
Salaries / Operational expenses €0
Salaries for the team members of Trees for Lurë.
Tax / Operational expenses €3,988
Amount of tax we have to pay in Albania based on our activities.
Transport / Local economy €686
Contracted transportation cost, if we can't provide transportation ourselves.
Trees & Seeds / Planting material €6,171
Cost of the material (seedlings & seeds) which we plant.
Vehicles / Operational expenses €941
Cost of using and maintaining our Mitsubishi L200 pickup
Equipment / Operational expenses €3,839
Long term equipment for nursery and reforestation, tools, growing system, monitoring system, etc...
TOTAL €35,430


Forests play an important role in supporting the environment, habitats and protecting biodiversity. They also function as carbon sinks because forests are able to capture huge amounts of CO2.

Trees we plant will capture the carbon from the atmosphere for another 30 years before they get saturated with CO2. Based on the calculation from EcoTree a tree can absorb 10—40kg of CO2 in a year.

This number is significantly lower for the saplings we plant due to the size of the planted trees. We are using 0.025kg of CO2 per tree per year for our calculation at the beginning of the report. Therefore for 22,973 trees planted in 2021, 2022 and 2023 we estimate to offset 575kg of CO2 per year.


Trees for Lurë would not be able to plant trees or perform any other activities without generous support of our individual and corporate donors.

There has been a major shift in terms of proportion between the corporate and individual donors. While the individual donations dropped significantly, the corporate donations increased and made up majority of the funding for the 2023 season.

We had opportunity to work with new partners in Albania and abroad. We are especially proud to have partners committing to a long support for the project which is crucial for our long-term planning and investment in the tree nursery.

Huge thanks goes to our major partner risr/, UK. The 2023 was a 3rd year they are supporting our project. rirs/ donated €16,839 toward the reforestation and nursery projects.
We are proud that BestSeller, AL became our partner in 2023. We are happy to see a major brand from Albania joining our efforts. BestSeller decided to support us financially on a long-term basis starting in 2023 by donating €10,000. addiotionally, they are promoting our projects on their website and social media channels.
One Tree Planted
We were working with One Tree Planted, US since the beginning of 2023 to deliver their first reforestation project in Albania. They provided co-funding, $10,000 towards the reforestation project and expertise in setting up rigorous monitoring methodology for our reforestation project.
Non-financial support and cooperations
Donations of €1000 or more
Donations of €100 or more
Anisa Kulla
Leopold Kamp
Margit Schwed
Donations up to €100
Anxhela Shehi
Ariton Damani
B. Rexhahmetaj
Briselda Karaj
Burim Morina
Dirk Ohle
Elisabeth Luftensteiner
Erisa Saraci
Eva Wagner
Franz Giel
Gentjan Qeriqi
Georg Ackermann
Guidi Kanaar
Horst-Dietrich Frank
Lilian Van der Wijngaart
Maier Heiztechnik
Marco Ortmann
Michal Aichinger
Tobias Schröder
Tom Foley
Tramoria GmbH