Can trees combat climate change?

30th May 2022

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The short answer is no, not on their own. However, tree planting and responsible forest maintenance can play a significant role.

Tom Crowther at the Swiss university ETH Zürich has stated that tree planting “is the cheapest solution possible and every one of us can get involved.” Individuals could make a tangible impact by growing trees themselves, donating to forest restoration organisations and avoiding irresponsible companies, he added. For our tree planting guide <click here>.

As we all know, trees contribute to the environment by providing oxygen, improving air quality, conserving water, preserving soil, and supporting wildlife. During the process of photosynthesis trees absorb and store carbon dioxide through their leaves and turn it into sugars needed for them to grow.

Less trees means extra carbon in the atmosphere which then increases the greenhouse effect (warm air being trapped in the atmosphere leading to the Polar ice caps melting etc.)

Did you know?

Trees also naturally clean pollutants out of the soil and either store them in their root systems or convert them into less toxic substance <shop trees>

According to the Woodland Trust, long living native species such as oak and maple are most effective at storing carbon dioxide. However, we don’t all have room in our gardens for an oak tree, or indeed time to wait for it to grown.

Here are some smaller options that will suit most gardens <shop trees>:

  • Corylus avellana (Hazel)
  • Prunus spinosa (Blackthorn)
  • Malus (Crabapple)
  • Salix caprea (Goat Willow)

Find out more about ways we can reduce carbon release in the garden click here