Climate change is the result of a buildup of carbon dioxide in our atmosphere. During the growing stages of a tree, they use sunlight to absorb carbon dioxide within the atmosphere through photosynthesis. This carbon dioxide is then stored as carbon in the form of wood. The more trees that are planted, the more carbon dioxide that is removed from the atmosphere.
Younger trees absorb carbon dioxide at a quick rate while they are growing. However, when the tree reaches a steady state through age, the amount of carbon absorbed lessens to an amount similar to that lost through respiration and decay. Planting new trees during this time in the growth cycle can help to keep a steady flow of carbon absorption.
During photosynthesis, when combined with the sun’s energy, the absorbed carbon is converted into trunks, branches, roots, leaves, etc. and stored in the biomass. When it is returned back into the atmosphere through natural processes or human interference, the carbon cycle is complete.
Barring any major disruptions, a newly planted, or regenerating forest can continue to absorb CO2 for 20-50 years. According to Treecartips.org, “in one year, an acre of mature trees absorbs the amount of CO2 produced when your drive your car 26,000 miles.”
For this reason, deforestation contributes to climate change and damages to the atmosphere because forests play a huge role in this carbon cycle. When forests are cut down, carbon absorption ceases and the existing carbon stored in the trees is also released into the atmosphere. It is estimated that over 1.5 billion tons of carbon dioxide is released into the atmosphere as a result of deforestation each year.
When it comes to trees on your property, although on a smaller scale, they too help to benefit our atmosphere. If you are thinking about removing a mature tree from your property for reasons other than disease and/or damages, here are some eco-friendly reasons you may want to reconsider doing so:
- The obvious – trees combat climate change by absorbing CO2
- Trees clean the air by absorbing odors and pollutant gases.
- Trees provide oxygen – in one year, an acre of mature trees can provide enough oxygen for 18 people
- Trees conserve energy – when placed strategically around a home, they can cut on air conditioning bills by reducing the energy needed to cool the home
- Trees prevent water pollution by reducing runoff and allowing the water to flow down the trunk and into the earth below it, preventing storm water from carrying pollutants into the ocean.
- Trees prevent soil erosion by slowing runoff and holding soil in place.
Did you also know that mature trees on your property can help raise the value of your home? This is not only because of their beauty and the curb appeal they provide, but also because of the known benefits listed above. A study conducted by Arbor National Mortgage and American Forests concluded that 83% of realtors believe that mature trees have a strong or moderate impact on the sale of a home listed at under $150,000 and on homes over $250,000 their perception increased to 98%.
So instead of cutting mature trees down (unless they are dangerous or diagnosed diseased beyond repair) you may want to put together a tree care plan to help foster a healthy life for your mature and growing trees. You may also want to consider planting more trees to increase the eco-friendly benefits on your property, as well as increase the value of your home.
The expert arborists and landscapers at Red Cedar can help to not only put together and execute a tree care plan that will foster a thriving life for your existing trees, but we can also help you to plant new trees and any other tree services you may need! We understand the benefits trees have and why caring for them is so important, and we want to help increase the beauty of your property, while also benefiting our atmosphere and helping to combat climate change! Contact Red Cedar today for a free consultation of your property!