We need trees. Now more than ever.
Global warming. Climate change. Greenhouse gasses. These terms are not only becoming more popular, but are also a sobering reality of the consequences of deforestation and increased carbon dioxide (CO2) in our atmosphere. In our backyards, parks and forests, quietly combating these forces, is the humble super hero that will play a vital role in reversing this damage.
- Our trees provide carbon sequestration that can reverse the high levels of CO2 in our atmosphere (!)
The amount of carbon on our planet has never changed… What HAS changed is the form and location of the carbon we have. As we draw fossil fuels out of the earth, the carbon is released into our atmosphere in the form of CO2. As we cut down forests, we are compounding the rate in which the CO2 is forming in the atmosphere. Carbon stored in the soil is released into the atmosphere as the soil is disturbed and at the same time, the vector that would capture and store this carbon (our trees) is also being removed. Some would say that we are “burning the candle at both ends.”
Trees require CO2 during the process of photosynthesis. The carbon captured from the atmosphere is used as the building blocks for the structure of the plant, including the foliage, the stem, branches and roots. As the foliage falls to the ground in the autumn season, it decomposes and the carbon is released back into the soil where it becomes a feeding ground for microbes and bacteria.
Terrestrial Carbon Sequestration is the process of improving, growing and maintaining our forests, marshlands, grasslands and croplands. Each of these ecological areas provides an immense CO2 sequestration capacity. This is especially important in our cities, where higher population means more pollution and less soft scape for trees. Terrestrial carbon sequestration can take place in our cities by planting young, native trees while maintaining the existing canopy. Large trees with wide canopies and thick foliage are typically the most efficient in the matter, but site location plays a major factor in species selection.
We can all help contribute to the rescue of our planet by supporting the plants that have been doing so all along.
Cohen & Master Arborist