:: World Tree ::


Introducing the world’s fastest growing tree


and the fast-growing company behind it that’s starting to get widespread attention as a for-profit, for-good solution to climate change: World Tree.


[Oh hey—want to hear World Tree’s vibe? Check out World Tree on Spotify while you get to know the tree and its champions.]

Founder & CEO Wendy Burton, inspiration on steroids: single mom, and former real estate agent who never finished high school!

Founder & CEO Wendy Burton, inspiration on steroids: single mom, and former real estate agent who never finished high school!

The Empress Splendor is the fastest growing hardwood tree in the world.

And with it, the female-founded company World Tree is going beyond sustainability, instead playing the game of regeneration.

With an innovative business model, World Tree’s founder, Wendy Burton, is seeing a longtime dream realized and has established a women-led, for-profit-for-good business in a male-dominated industry. [Scroll down this page for some of the details of her wild ride from selling lingerie to heading up a timber company!]

How does it work? World Tree supplies free trees to farmers, supports and mentors them during the growing process, and then splits the revenue from the first harvest, with half going to the farmer and half to World Tree and its investors—after which, the farmers own the trees outright. (Oh, and the trees grow back from the stumps, mature in 7-10 years, and will cycle through that process up to 7 times.)

This spring, the company raised more than $1 million via the crowdfunding site WeFunder.

farmers almanac 2018 cover.jpg

Farmers’ Almanac wrote about the unique Empress Splendor tree:

“Possibly the World’s Most Perfect Tree?”

…and noted that the Guinness Book of World Records referred to the Empress as “officially amazing.”


In his book Drawdown, author Paul Hawken lists agroforestry as one of the top 15 ways of reversing global warming.

His response to the World Tree team about the Empress Tree and their business model? “Brilliant.”

Drawdown Book Cover.jpg
World Tree.jpg

What’s so special about the Empress Tree?

Several things:

  • Fast growing hardwood tree; matures in 7-10 years

  • Non-invasive, non-GMO naturally occurring

  • Produces lightweight hardwood lumber

  • Regrows after harvest without replanting

  • Perfect for intercropping and permaculture

  • And due to their fast growth rate, Empress Trees drawdown more carbon dioxide than any other tree.


But this isn’t just a great climate change-related story.

It’s an awesome human interest story.


Meet Beckett Crawford, World Tree’s youngest investor, who’s thrilled to help the planet by growing trees (and his money!) at the same time.

wendy with jimmy and rosalynn carter.jpeg

When it came time for President Jimmy Carter to harvest the Empress Trees he’d planted on his grounds in Plains, Georgia, about 20 years ago, he chose World Tree to partner with him.

grover plunkett with grandsons.jpg

Meet Alabama cattle farmer Grover Plunkett, who’s hoping to leave a legacy for this grandsons through planting these trees on the family farm.


Founder + CEO Wendy Burton: A badass business woman who’s turned over a new leaf

…multiple times!


She’s tended bar, sold lingerie, worked in real estate, is a single mom, and never finished high school…

and now Wendy Burton is the Founder and CEO of World Tree, which offers the world’s fast-growing eco-timber that’s reversing climate change.

A champion of “for profit, for good” and a proponent of regeneration over sustainability, Wendy just raised more than $1 million for World Tree in a Wefunder crowdfunding campaign (https://wefunder.com/worldtree/about) and is getting the attention of people who want to offset their carbon footprint by investing in the amazing Empress Tree. (You can get the unedited scoop straight from dozens of recent impact investors themselves here.)

But this success has been hard-won—

Along the way, Wendy has been dealt some real body blows as an entrepreneur:

  • Such as the time she won a $3 million investment in a pitch competition…and then the check bounced.

  • Or the time she hocked some of her beloved art to a Tony Soprano type, and then didn’t have the money to pay him back.

  • Or the time she got a multi-million dollar contract…and then the investor died (which meant the deal died with him!)


Wendy has much to share with your audience about her story and what she’s learned.

For example, Wendy says one key to her success has been reinvention.

And one of the best ways to go about that, Wendy says, is to bring in other eyes to look at your situation. The things we see as failures are often triumphs in disguise, and sometimes there’s opportunity staring us in the face, we just need someone to point the way.

Wendy’s willingness to pivot—particularly when aided by her own intuition as well as the insights of trusted advisors—has helped Wendy’s company grow, and grow quickly. You might say the amazing Empress Tree and Wendy’s company have that in common: growing fast, growing strong, and yielding great rewards in a short period of time.

Wendy with Matthew Modine, a World Tree fan.

Wendy with Matthew Modine, a World Tree fan.

Through Wendy’s effort, the story of the Empress Tree has started to spread, and celebrities including Oprah Winfrey, Maria Shriver, Dolly Parton, and Wayne Newton have purchased trees for their properties.

Wendy’s goal is to plant 3.5 million trees (34,000 acres) over the next 5 years and to drawdown 34 million tons of carbon in the process.

A lot of people would say a single mother with a GED is not a likely candidate to be launching a big, successful, revolutionary venture like this, let alone in a male-dominated industry like lumber. And yet Wendy Burton has done exactly that.

You just never know what amazing possibilities are on the other side of that seemingly insurmountable challenge.

I’m an environmental scientist and I believe your idea is an excellent way to deal with carbon sequestration that also has economic value.
— Michiel Holley, via wefunder
empress trees with sun flash.jpg
world tree crew hurrah.jpeg
I like everything about what you are trying to do. Reducing our carbon footprint, putting farmers to work and doing so with an attractive profit sharing arrangement with investors. Thank you for your drive and initiative.
— Angela Belt, individual investor, via wefunder


Contact Deb Beroset


+1 913.219.3605 (text or call)