Vin Diesel Starts “Plant a Tree for Groot” Challenge

There are very few instances in the forestry community when we get the opportunity to mention celebrities, but Vin Diesel has provided a great one.

The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge has been spreading through social media, with thousands of people around the country participating and raising money for valuable research into the disease. Vin Diesel was challenged by the director of Guardians of the Galaxy, Diesel’s most recent movie, which he accepted. Except then he took it one step further. In return for participating in the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, Diesel challenged director James Gunn to “plant a tree for Groot.”

The new challenge is slowly gaining steam. Are you up to taking on this challenge?


Vin Diesel Redirects Ice Bucket Challenge to “Plant a Tree for Groot!”


(August 18, 2014) — Action star Vin Diesel puts his own spin on the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. After Guardians of the Galaxy director James Gunn challenged Diesel to take an ice bucket for ALS, he accepted, but issued his own challenge back to Gunn: “But I raise you, plant a tree for Groot.” The tree planting challenge is gaining steam. Your turn: Accept our challenge to plant a tree during October’s National NeighborWoods® Month.

Vin Diesel posts tree planting on his Facebook page.

Diesel uses his latest role, the character of “Groot” in this summer’s blockbuster, Marvel Comics movie Guardians of the Galaxy, to bring attention to trees. In the movie, Groot is a large, extraterrestrial tree being of immense strength but with limited vocabulary.

On YouTube, Diesel called out Guardians director James Gunn to “plant a tree for Groot.” Diesel later posted a photo of himself planting a tree (we hope an arborist is nearby). Gunn accepted the challenge. And so have some of Diesel’s Facebook and Twitter followers.

The challenge is gaining steam according to an article in, which encourages everyone to get involved and sees it as a “great way to build momentum for National NeighborWoods® Month in October, when thousands of volunteers help plant trees in their communities.” We couldn’t agree more. Read the article, “Vin Diesel’s Plant A Tree For Groot Challenge Starting To Gain Steam.”

Here’s Diesel’s challenge:


Up to the challenge? Make it count. Register your October tree planting and care events at to be part of this national action campaign. Find an event near you to volunteer. Don’t miss this opportunity to be part of NeighborWoods® 10th anniversary. Need some guidance? Locate an Alliance for Community Tree member and work with them to help you plant the “right tree in the right place.”

The Christian Science Monitor has also picked up on the “plant a tree for Groot” challenge and used it as an opportunity to talk about the environmental benefits of trees. This includes featuring recent US Forest Service research, “Trees and Forest Improve Air Quality and Human Health,” that finds urban trees help to remove fine particulate pollution from the air, helping to save lives and improve quality of live. Read the full CSM article, “Vin Diesel redirects ice bucket challenge: ‘Plant a tree for Groot’.”


PlantaTreeforGroot by Yehudi Mercado
















Yehudi Mercado, Art Director of the Guardians of the Galaxy: The Universal Weapon video game, drew this picture in response to Diesel’s challenge, encouraging everyone to #PlantaTreeforGroot during National NeighborWoods® Month. You can follow Mercado on Instagram.


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