We show in climate model experiments that large-scale afforestation in northern mid-latitudes warms the Northern Hemisphere and alters global circulation patterns. An expansion of dark forests increases the absorption of solar energy and increases surface temperature, particularly in regions where the land surface is unable to compensate with latent heat flux due to water limitation. Atmospheric circulation redistributes the anomalous energy absorbed in the northern hemisphere, in particular toward the south, through altering the Hadley circulation, resulting in the northward displacement of the tropical rain bands. Precipitation decreases over parts of the Amazon basin affecting productivity and increases over the Sahel and Sahara regions in Africa. We find that the response of climate to afforestation in mid-latitudes is determined by the amount of soil moisture available to plants with the greatest warming found in water-limited regions.