This paper used a systems framework to assess how the Gujarat Social Forestry Project in India influenced nutrition among the poorest of local residents. Wealthier farmers benefitted most from tree-planting initiatives for several reasons, most importantly because extension agents found it easier to meet high planting targets by working with better endowed farmers. The general exclusion of women from tree-planting initiatives meant that inappropriate species were chosen, but overall the project probably had minimal effects on food supply to the poor because of the small areas planted. Future developments might provide for the poor through wider choices of species, associated non-forestry benefits (e.g. wells) or specific compensatory schemes to encourage farm forestry.