When you think about restoring a deforested patch of land, you likely picture someone digging holes in the ground and planting seeds or saplings. Planting trees is important (if it’s done the right way), but in many cases, it’s better and cheaper to let trees grow on their own and forests restore themselves with little human assistance.
In fact, there is a wide spectrum of approaches to restoring forest landscapes. At the passive end, there is spontaneous regeneration, where trees and other native vegetation regrow naturally on the land. Think about what happens after a normal forest fire: after some time, little shoots pop up from the ash and grow into big, strong trees without any help from people.