About the SFMGA

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Plant Trees to Offset Global Warming

Trees are important tools in the fight to stave off global warming because they absorb and store CO2 (carbon sequestration) before it has a chance to reach the upper atmosphere where it can trap heat around the earth's surface. Trees process significantly more CO2 than smaller plants because of their size and extensive root structures. They exude oxygen as they absorb CO2, thereby serving as the lungs of the earth.


Firefly Encyclopedia of Trees, Steve Cafferty, Firefly Press

Well placed trees can also lower utility bills. a shaded house needs less air conditioning, reducing the use of fossil fuels. The evaporation of moisture from leaves cools the air around the home. The absence of leaves in winter allows the sun's rays to pass through the bare branches to help heat the home.

So, plant a tree… or many trees! Before planting, however, consult an urban forester for a list of appropriate trees for your site. Choose native trees, which are already adapted to our climate, soils, and weather conditions. Avoid trees that require a lot of maintenance, because the burning of fossil fuels for power equipment such as chain saws and trucks will only erase the carbon absorption gains otherwise made.

Google "New Mexico native trees" or Ask a Master Gardener for lists of native trees to sequester carbon.

Man – despite his artistic pretensions, his sophistication, and his many accomplishments – owes his existence to a six-inch layer of topsoil and the fact that it rains.

This article provided courtesy of the Fayette County Master Gardeners, Lexington, KY