The benefit of trees for carbon absorption

tree sprouting

Tree sapling growing near the stairs on the path towards the football pitch. It is a tree that nobody removes and can grow to 20m in height.

Whilst a study, carried out in the USA concluded that mature tree forests can absorb and store a lot of carbon emissions, as soon as a tree or shrub gets cut down, all that stored carbon gets released into the atmosphere, which in fact has no benefit at all from an environmental point of view.

One has to calculate the cost against the benefits.

In one of my recent posts I praised the Council for cutting down the shrubs around Rosebery House for the purpose of it being more secure but, the cutting down of shrubs around Rosebery House alone took one garden worker a whole week.

That is a lot of money being spend on 2 housing blocks on a council estate. Taking into account the materials and wages spent, I fully understand that leaseholders complain about their costs.

There is little environmental benefit on growing and cutting bushes and shrubs regularly as all the captured carbon gets released back into the atmosphere.

I have complained to the council about the over planting on the estate and the regular cutting down does little to alleviate the problems.

There would be a much better benefit for mental health and environmental considerations if the current shrubs (which are often cut short trees) get removed and replaced by soft shrubs with softer leafes, which could be fruit shrubs or flowering shrubs, that can also provide a home for small insects and bugs.

There would be much less maintenance required, which is very much cheaper for our residents.

hedghog

Hedghogs live on Parkview and proper planting will support their environment.

The hard leafed shrubs in the Rosebery House area do not attract butterflies or insects or small mammals like hedgehogs., they have no benefit whatsoever with the exception of looking green. In fact their roots could weaken the building structure of the house.

It would be much cheaper to maintain the area and be of more benefits to the residents if we could have the hard leafed shrubs removed and replaced with soft and low level plants.

Some of the trees around Rosebery House have quickly sprouting off-shoots as can be seen in the pic above. They just grow everywhere quickly into tall plants.

As already listed there are recommended distances from trees to buildings and it can actually devalue house insurance if trees are too near and I think the council does not consider this when allowing the over-planting of our estate.

And as there is the myth about oxyden production. I quote a popular site, which says:

“Humans consume 550 L oxygen per day (ref 1). How much plant growth do we need to produce that amount of oxygen? Plants produce 22 L for every 150 g of growth (ref 2). They would need to increase in weight by 3.75 Kg (8 pounds), each day, to produce the oxygen used by one person.” Ref

“It takes six molecules of CO2 to produce one molecule of glucose by photosynthesis, and six molecules of oxygen are released as a by-product. A glucose molecule contains six carbon atoms, so that’s a net gain of one molecule of oxygen for every atom of carbon added to the tree. A mature sycamore tree might be around 12m tall and weigh two tonnes, including the roots and leaves. If it grows by five per cent each year, it will produce around 100kg of wood, of which 38kg will be carbon. Allowing for the relative molecular weights of oxygen and carbon, this equates to 100kg of oxygen per tree per year.

A human breathes about 9.5 tonnes of air in a year, but oxygen only makes up about 23 per cent of that air, by mass, and we only extract a little over a third of the oxygen from each breath. That works out to a total of about 740kg of oxygen per year. Which is, very roughly, seven or eight trees’ worth.” Ref.

 

 

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