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A project close to our hearts: Growing around 130,000 Paulownia trees on our Croatian plantations and thereby absorbing 8,000 tons of CO2 a year

The Earth’s population is growing, rainforests are shrinking, and raw materials and resources are diminishing on a daily basis. Timber could soon become a scarce commodity in future. The fact that our climate is changing is undeniable.

Since 2017, we have been growing on our plantations in Croatia approximately 130,000 Paulownia trees (also known as princess or empress trees) on around 300 hectares in ownership. The trees were planted on 100% recultivated fallow land away from Croatia’s coastal tourist spots. We planted the Paulownia trees with our own fair hands and, since then, they have been cared for, nurtured and maintained by our Plantation Manager Tomislav Presecan and his expert team, who will continue to do so for the next few years.

The plan is to plant another 25,000 trees in spring 2024.


In 10 years’ time, when they’re ready to harvest, the trees will have long since been towering above us. Their valuable timber will be sent the short distance to Europe’s raw materials markets, where they’ll be in high demand.


The wood from Paulownia trees is a (bio)logical alternative to other hardwoods and many other types of material that are either unecological or becoming harder to source.

As well as being an alternative to hardwoods sourced from rainforests, Paulownia trees also absorb many tonnes of CO2 over their lifetimes and release oxygen via their huge leaves. 600 Paulownias release 59 tonnes of oxygen per year and can sequester 10 times as much CO2 with their large leaves as a normal timber forest.

Fast growth

Paulownia trees are the fastest-growing hardwood in the world. The wood is also non-resinous.

Large leaves, beautiful flowers

The leaves of Paulownia trees absorb CO2 and release oxygen. More so than a regular timber forest.

Numerous areas of application

Such as sports, furniture, housebuilding, boatbuilding, skis, surfboards and musical instruments

Lightweight, strong wood

Due to its light weight and stability, Paulownia wood is also known as “renewable aluminium”.
Europe´s first Co2 certifictes from sustainable Paulownia plantations.
Our Partner Dealin.Green guides farmers and growers at every stage of the carbon credit process to create and sell CO2 credits: from project planning to CO2 certification measurement and sales through the Dealin.Green Trading platform. This is done in close collaboration with Proba, a leading carbon crediting program that facilitates the issuance of carbon credits. Each of these credits is securely certified and registered on the Proba platform, ensuring authenticity and traceability. Naturevest's Carbon Credits are issued by Proba, which ensures transparency and accountability every step of the way while adhering to ISO 14001 and 14064-2 standards.
Unsere Initiative
in Deutschland: Treevest
Im Rahmen von TreeVest haben wir bereits ca 50.000 Bäume gepflanzt und etwa 120 Hektar brachliegende Fläche rekultiviert.
Unsere Initiative
in Österreich: treesource

Seit 2017 wachsen auf unserer eigenen Plantage in Kroatien 10.000 sogenannte »Paulownia«-Bäume auf 20 h Agrarland.

Images from Croatia
The project team
We are the team behind this environmental project by NatureVest, working from Kilb in Lower Austria.

We’re working to combat climate change and promote environmental sustainability.

Tomislav Presecan
Plantation manager

Tomislav Presecan is our Plantation Manager in Croatia. He and his team of 25 are responsible for cultivation work on the plantation. Tomislav is also responsible for managing any seasonal workers as and when required.

Arjen Crul
Project Manager

Agriculture is a constant, dependable fixture in Arjen’s life. His first experiences of agriculture while training Holland made their mark on his career and shaped the person he is today. Arjen Crul manages the plantation in Croatia and is the main point of contact at Naturevest.

Michaela Reifböck
Executive assistant

Michaela Reifböck is an administrative all-rounder who supports everything we do at Naturevest. She manages and arranges all our processes from Kilb in Lower Austria with unflappable composure and proven expertise.

DI Leopold Sandler
Founder and CEO

Leopold Sandler is an international achiv entrepreneur in the field of real estate, development and investment. In 1996 he founded GLD Invest Group. He was introduced to Paulownia trees in 2014 and instantly recogniced their ecological and economical value.