Trees are something we cannot live without–lining our streets, framing the entrance of stately homes, and even carefully supporting a swing or hammock in the backyard of the all-American home, our lives are enhanced by trees. Without trees, we would be forsaking more than beauty and comfort, we would be putting our very future at risk.
As homeowners become more aware of the benefits of plants, adding trees is one way Tarheel Gardening is seeing people go–even if the first reason for doing so may just be to add beauty. But did you know trees are a major plant source for carbon sequestration? They are.
As a little reminder, carbon sequestration is the process through which agricultural and forestry practices remove carbon dioxide (CO2) from the atmosphere. The term “sinks” is also used to describe this practice.
Humans breathe in O2 and release CO2. Trees use a process called photosynthesis where plants use light energy to convert CO2 and water into sugar (glucose) and O2. Humans and plants make a good team.
Trees sequester carbon from the atmosphere, improving air quality, and thereby reducing our carbon footprint.
The U.S. Forest Service has developed a carbon sequestration calculator for trees, click here to access. According to the U.S. Forest Service, “It’s meant to help people estimate how much carbon might be sequestered over the lifetime of a tree they plant and to help direct them in choosing the right species for their climate.”
Sadly, I’m on a Mac and was unable to run the program. I’m curious to see how my garden, Helen’s Haven rates on the carbon sequestration meter. I’d like to think my 30 foot Southern Magnolia (Magnolia grandiflora), is doing an awesome job; plus the other trees I grow. If you run this program, we would love to hear what you learned.
Adding trees to your landscape will bring you more than beauty, they will provide with the very air you breathe.
By: Helen Yoest
The TarHeelGardening blog is published and edited by Helen Yoest. For more information on Tarheel Gardening, please visit our website at Tarheel Gardening - your online resource for North Carolina gardening enthusiasts.
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