Reader's View: Trees work hard every day for all of us

Regarding ozone, for example, the best tree to reduce it is the eastern white pine, of which 48,253 pounds were removed over a 40-year period in Duluth.

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We are part of The Trust Project.

The Davey Tree Expert Company , Casey Trees , the U.S. Forest Service , the Arbor Day Foundation , the Society of Municipal Arborists , and the International Society of Arboriculture partnered to develop a series of tools that quantify the values of trees and woody plants to society. Trees are unique because they not only provide habitat for birds and animals, they also are capable of sequestering carbon and reducing air and water pollution.

An ecosystem evaluation was done of climate-resilient trees planted in proximity to the interstate in Duluth by this i-Tree partnership program . The data help put problems and solutions in perspective.

Regarding ozone, for example, the best tree to reduce it is the eastern white pine, of which 48,253 pounds were removed over a 40-year period in Duluth. Other trees that contribute to the removal of ozone include the northern red oak, northern pin oak, quaking aspen, black cherry, red maple, white oak, and sugar maple. The following pollutants are equally or similarly affected by these trees: nitrogen dioxide, sulfur dioxide, and particulate matter.

If the pollutant is carbon dioxide, as another example, the i-Tree program found that, over a 40-year period, the best tree to sequester it is the eastern white pine. Other contributing trees include black cherry, red maple, quaking aspen, northern pin oak, northern red oak, sugar maple, and white oak.

The trees around you remove hazardous pollutants from the air you breathe. They absorb carbon dioxide from the air to store as wood and control stormwater by intercepting and absorbing rainfall. Trees provide more than just beauty and shade. They work hard for all of us every single day.


Kent Worley

Grand Rapids, Michigan

The writer was a landscape architect in Duluth from 1967 through 2007. He designed Lake Place, the Lakewalk, Leif Erikson Park and Interstate 35 through downtown Duluth.

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