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One Thing You Can Do: Know Your Tree Facts

The New York Times – “We recently told you about a study that looked at how many more trees could grow on Earth and how much carbon they could absorb from the atmosphere. The answer: The planet has room for about 2.5 billion acres of forest, and all those trees could suck up an additional 200 gigatons of carbon. While that wouldn’t solve climate change, it would be a huge help. That kind of reforestation would be a monumental global undertaking, but every single tree still counts. They all sequester carbon. So, if you plant a tree, what kind should it be? Peter Del Tredici, senior research scientist emeritus at the Arnold Arboretum at Harvard University said that, for trees to sequester a lot of carbon, they need to live long and healthy lives. “You want a tree that is going to survive in your climate with the minimum amount of maintenance,” he said. To have a meaningful effect, he said, a tree must live at least 10 to 20 years. “It takes that long for a tree to build up enough foliage so that it can have a substantial impact on the environment,” Dr. Del Tredici said. With that in mind, oaks can be great in the Northeast, while ficus trees might work better in Southern California. In the Northwest, just about everything does well. Nonnative, noninvasive species like the ginkgo tree are good options, too…” [Important note – we have had more than 6 weeks in much of the DC Metro area with almost no rain and the trees are suffering. Please water them so they will be prepared for winter, and next spring. They need water now – many trees are losing leaves weeks, and in some cases, months earlier than “normal.” And while you are watering, do not forget your perennials as they too are parched.]

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