Geeking Science: Plant Trees

Photo by Eyoel Kahssay on Unsplash

Planting trees is essential for reversing climate change.

I mentioned my “duh” moment of the important of trees back in 2018 (Geeking Science: Trees and Oxygen). Because trees are MUCH taller than everything humanity replaces them with, the VOLUME of tree oxygen production is much higher than crops or grass.

Trees also STORE a lot of carbon, much more than grass. A study shows that trees planted in a manner that doesn’t impact human cities or agriculture can still store two-thirds of the carbon humanity needs to pull out of the atmosphere to mitigate the worse aspects of climate change. (Good News Network, 2019)

You may wonder if planting trees will really make a difference. Seems possible based on what happened in the 1500s when within a single century the indigenous population of the Americas was reduced by 90% from 60 million to 6 million. All that farmland used by the Inca, Sioux, Cree, etc. became reclaimed by the forest. Antarctic ice core studies show a reduction in carbon by 7 to 10 part per million because of that. While the Little Ice Age started before the 1500s, its onset spurred by volcanic eruptions, the temperatures reached their all-time lows during century where nearly all farmland in America disappeared. (Geggel, 2019)

Now this particular study of agriculture losses in the Americas impacting carbon levels is still in the “lots of questions” stage of scientific investigation. Until at least two or three other studies are needed to support or refute the postulate; a grain of salt needs to be taken with these “facts.” They are not facts per se, just theories, and not widely accepted ones as yet. But they have enough heft, they do warrant further study.

Trees also have other benefits, especially when added to an urban area. They reduce pollutants. Make life prettier and reduce noise. Decreases stress and family violence. Connect eco-spheres isolated within the urban setting. Control storm water, holding water in their leaves and roots to reduce flooding issues. And, most importantly (and easiest to prove), reduce urban heat island effects – reducing heat-related illness and death, air conditioning costs, and road maintenance.  All this on top of controlling carbon levels which MAY help mitigate climate change. (Grants Pass Oregon)

I’m willing to take climate change as a BONUS, and make Urban Forests into reality just for all the other benefits.

Acquired from the internet hive brain (Copyright © 2014 CartoonArts International)


Geggel, Laura. “European Slaughters of Indigenous Americans May Have Cooled the Planet. LiveScience. 2019 February 8. (last viewed 4/10/2022)

Good News Network. “For First Time Ever, Scientists Identify How Many Trees to Plant and Where to Plant Them to Stop Climate Crisis.” 2019 July 7. (last viewed 4/10/2022)

Grants Pass Oregon. “Appendix A: Benefits of Trees in Urban Areas.” (last viewed 4/10/2022)