Plant a Tree, Breath Easier

Black Hills Spruce, USDA photo

Black Hills Spruce, USDA photo

There’s a baby Black Hills Spruce sitting in my garage. I’m saving it for planting in the spring. The tag says it will last.

I picked up the little tree a few weeks ago at a fundraising dinner for the Red Cross.

I’ve often wondered just how much difference planting a tree really makes. It turns out the impact is not too shabby, and the world needs your help.

According to Global ReLeaf of Michigan Inc., the more trees you plant, the better.

If you remember science class, trees take in carbon dioxide and put out oxygen. Kind of like a backwards coal plant.

There’s a need for millions of trees, according to the Michigan group, to help offset the worst effects of global warming. A new tree can improve your property value, too, along with making shade and reducing your air-conditioning bills in the summer.

One mature tree can absorb 48 pounds of carbon dioxide a year, and release enough oxygen back into the atmosphere to support two human beings, according to the Colorado Tree Coalition.

So do your part. Plant a tree. Every little bit helps.

And if you want to double your impact, consider buying a tree from Global ReLeaf, which sells 4- to 6-foot bare root trees for $30 each, and is in danger of disappearing. The nonprofit, which has spent decades organizing community plantings, has been dealt a blow by the withering economy, says a columnist at The Detroit News.

2 Responses to “Plant a Tree, Breath Easier”

  1. Science class would also have told us that to fix carbon, plants must lose water. Very roughly, 300 molecules of H2O for one of CO2. Additonally, what science class probably didn’t say is that a forest’s denser canopy, compared with grassland or shrubland, intercepts more rain and snow, preventing it from reaching the ground (it evaporates). These factoids together mean that planting forests where they were not previously reduces river flow and groundwater recharge.

    Bottom line: Afforestation-based carbon sequestration will reduce water availability, and probably should be discouraged if you’re living in an already water-stressed environment.

  2. abfWhile it is important to have good wniritg skills, that is only part of wniritg a good article. Obviously you possess these skills, but you also have a special flair for informative wniritg. Well done.

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