Tree planting has the potential to improve the livelihoods of millions of people as well as to support environmental services such as biodiversity conservation. Planting however needs to be executed wisely if benefits are to be achieved. We have developed the GlobalUsefulNativeTrees (GlobUNT) database to directly support the principles advocated by the ‘golden rules for reforestation’, including planting tree mixtures that maximize the benefits to local livelihoods and the diversity of native trees. Developed primarily by combining data from GlobalTreeSearch with the World Checklist of Useful Plant Species (WCUPS), GlobUNT includes 14,014 tree species that can be filtered for ten major use categories, across 242 countries and territories. The 14,014 species represent roughly a quarter of the tree species from GlobalTreeSearch and a third of the plant species from WCUPS. GlobUNT includes over 8000 species used as materials (9261 species; 68.4% of the total in WCUPS for that use category) or medicines (8283; 31.1%), over 2000 species with environmental uses (3317; 36.9%), used as human food (3310; 47.0%) or fuel (2162; 85.5%), over 1000 species used as gene sources (1552; 29.8%), animal food (1494; 33.7%), social uses (1396; 53.8%) or poisons (1109; 36.8%), and 712 species (68.4%) as insect food.
A xlsx file for metadata is also uploaded for information. The dataset paper open access(https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-023-39552-1), please download it to understand the database.