The population awareness about environmental conservation is raising and this brought about an increase in the number of environmental restoration studies. Nucleation is a technique used for environmental restoration, where small nuclei of vegetation are established within degraded land. The aim of this paper was to evaluate, by doing a bibliometric analysis, the tendencies and gaps in the study of environmental restoration using the nucleation technique. Data were collected using The Web of Science© and Google Scholar© databases, from 1996 to 2012. Keywords used in the search of papers were nucleation, soil recovery, transposition of soil, bird perches, ecological succession, seed rain, restoration ecology, forest regeneration, degraded area and natural regeneration. Results showed that the number of published studies was low, although increasing in the last decade. The majority of the studies used more than one restoration technique or used natural perches as nuclei. Most of the studies were conducted in the Americas and by Brazilian researches. Many studies were not published as papers in scientific journals, but were available as master thesis or monographs. Natural and artificial perches, soil transposition and natural regeneration were the most successful techniques. The number of nucleation studies must increase and spread through the world, and their results need to be published to help other researches in the environmental restoration.