Trees Please Hamilton

Green Solutions to Air Pollution

Ecosystem services provided by trees: Carbon Dioxide removal

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As we went about conducting tree inventory throughout the last three years, Open Tree Map has been assessing the ecosystem services provided by each tree based on its size and species.

This Kentucky Coffeetree is removing 413 pounds of carbon dioxide annually as it photosynthesizes and grows. The larger the tree, the more carbon dioxide it is able to take out of the air and convert into biomass. Naturally removing a greenhouse gas simply in order to grow? Yes please!

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While the numbers for some of the smaller trees we measured do not look too impressive yet, we are reminded that these are big investments into the future. It is especially important to plan ahead now; perhaps you have a large Norway Maple on your front lawn and it’s doing fairly well, but now is the time to plant the Sugar Maple that will take over when that one dies in a few years!

Across the city, we see old trees that were all planted around the same time lining the streets in each neighbourhood. If all these trees age and come down at once, imagine how bare the street will be, and imagine cost of losing the ecosystem services these trees provide if we don’t plan ahead and plant today?

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Author: treespleasehamilton

A project of the Hamilton Naturalists' Club and Environment Hamilton. Funding by Ontario Trillium Foundation.

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