About World Tree


Wendy Burton

CEO and Founder

Meet the Tree Lady

World Tree founder and CEO, Wendy Burton, is unabashed in her commitment to the three P’s: Planet, People, and Profit. Otherwise known as “The Tree Lady” Wendy has spent the last 17 years promoting the economic and environmental benefits of the Empress Splendor tree.

Wendy, as a self-confessed tree-hugger, is living proof that it is possible to combine business savvy with a passion for improving the environment. She believes that everyone can make a difference and that one of the most powerful ways to do that is through investing.

Our Roots

World Tree was originally founded in 2002 as World Tree Technologies Inc. a US corporation based in Mesa Arizona.

Wendy has traveled to Brazil, Paraguay, Australia, New Zealand and throughout the USA to learn how to successfully grow and manage Empress Splendor trees, and has over 20 years knowledge and experience working with these trees.

While the Empress Tree is known and greatly prized in Asia, it is relatively unknown in North America. World Tree has been an innovator, leading the way in researching the best way to plant and grow the tree, educate the public in the properties of the tree, and train farmers how to successfully cultivate it.

Through Wendy’s efforts, the story of the Empress tree started to spread and celebrities including Oprah Winfrey, Maria Shriver, Dolly Parton and Wayne Newton purchased trees for their properties. The Empress tree caught the attention of Morley Safer of ’60 Minutes’. His company, the American Environmental Review did a short documentary on World Tree. Wendy and the Empress trees were also featured on Oprah and Connie Sellecca’s ‘Family and Home’.

Branching Out


In 2015 World Tree had three full-time staff but for all our efforts the company was not growing. Wendy brought in a team to review the entire business and the result was our carbon offset investment program.


This was not a minor tweak. This was a complete overhaul of the business based on Wendy’s desire to support farmers. “I wanted to give the trees to the farmers for free,” she says, “They work so hard and they have the land to grow the trees in partnership with us … I wanted to find a way to do that.”


In 2015 we reinvented World Tree and by the end of the year launched our first Offering, which sold out in 6 weeks. Since then we have received $1.5 million in investment and planted over 1000 acres of trees. We have grown from three to thirteen staff with offices in Canada, USA, and Costa Rica.


Our entire community of farmers, investors and champions is now more than 500 people and growing every day.


Reaching for the Sky

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

Meet the rest of the team


Dr. Cathy Key

Chief Operations Officer

Angela Nauta

Chief Investment Officer


Madhu Bolton

Marketing Director


Andrea Perry

General Manager


Michelle Gordon



Curtis Gobbett

Investments and Finance


Barry Comis

Lumber Division


Rita Fromholt

Marketing and Events


Nicholas Gobbett

Farmer Support


Kara Arnold

Farmer Support


Roy James

Farmer Support


Mariana Alfaro

Central America

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