Trees Absorb Carbon

Trees are without a doubt the best carbon capture technology in the world.

“When they perform photosynthesis, they pull carbon dioxide out of the air, bind it up in sugar, and release oxygen. Trees use sugar to build wood, branches, and roots. Wood is an incredible carbon sink because it is made entirely of carbon, it lasts for years as a standing tree, and takes years to break down after the tree dies. While trees mainly store carbon, they do release some carbon, such as when their leaves decompose, or their roots burn sugar to capture nutrients and water.

“Let’s look at a real example, a white oak can live for 200 years; all that time it is pulling carbon out of the air and storing it. After several anthracnose outbreaks the tree dies, but it takes decades for the tree to rot. While it is slowly breaking down, the rotten tree is still keeping carbon out of the atmosphere.”

From How Forests Store Carbon, Norman and Krye, PennState Extension, 2020. Read the entire article here.