Everyone knows that trees are good for the environment. They have been on the planet far longer than humans and appear on every green logo. With the looming climate change crisis, many homeowners wonder if planting trees in their yards would help fight climate change. While you can decorate your yard with all kinds of trees with the help of professionals by searching for “landscape companies near me”, knowing about your individual contribution to climate change certainly helps. Let’s figure out if you should plant trees in your yard to fight climate change:
Climate Change Benefits of Planting Trees in Your Yard
- Remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere – Rapid deforestation throughout the world is an alarming scenario since forests are responsible for removing a major fraction of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. That’s why planting a tree or two in your yard may seem inconsequential. However, that’s not the case. An average tree can remove a ton of carbon dioxide in its lifespan. The carbon dioxide is stored both in the trunks and transferred back to the soil. According to NASA, if humanity can plant around 900 million hectares of trees, global carbon dioxide levels can be reduced by as much as 25 percent. That number may seem ridiculously high. However, if everyone does their part and plants three or four trees in their yard, it’s an achievable number.
- Energy Efficiency – Apart from the direct effect of reducing carbon emissions, carefully planting trees can also bring about a ripple effect that can increase your energy savings. American households consume a lot of energy and have the highest carbon footprint in the world. Even the smallest carbon footprints of Americans are several times higher than the global average. However, carefully planting trees on your property can offset that figure by a significant margin. When you plant trees with widespread and dense foliage, you create thick shade that keeps the area cooler than unshaded areas. If you have paved surfaces, it’s going to make a bigger impact since those surfaces do a better job at trapping heat. When those surfaces get less hot throughout the year, they are less prone to cracking and damage. This doesn’t just save you money in maintenance and repair costs but also prevents emissions that may have been caused due to repairs.
This shading effect can have far greater consequences for the energy efficiency of your home, if you’re able to plant the right trees at the right place, your air conditioner or HVAC system would have an easier time keeping your home cool. This has the potential of cutting down your energy expenditure by as much as 40 percent. When you plant trees make sure that you plan their estimated spread upon full maturity and the shade should cover most of the windows and doors from direct sunlight and keep your home cooler. This helps you to reduce your carbon emissions and also save money at the same time.
- Invite beneficial wildlife – Planting trees also invite a lot of animals and wildlife to your home. It can create a micro-ecosystem and provide nourishment for important animals, bees, and birds who are vital pollinators. These animals also provide natural fertilizer to the surrounding soil that benefits more plants. It creates a cycle of positive change that promotes more greenery and reduces more carbon dioxide from the environment.
- Gardening – Planting trees don’t need to be limited to large hardwood trees. If you have a very small yard, you can grow your own veggies and have a positive effect on climate change. When your food doesn’t need to travel thousands of miles to reach you, you prevent tens of pounds of carbon dioxide from going into the atmosphere. Moreover, if you’re smart with your garden and can minimize the use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides, you can reduce your carbon footprint even more.
Trees That Can Fight Climate Change
- Douglas-fir – The state tree of Oregon is a classic American pine tree that has a lot of wonderful characteristics. When young, its branches are in a cone shape and change to a pyramid-like structure when the tree matures. With a spread of 25 feet, it can provide you ample shade. Its cones also smell wonderful and act as natural scenting products in your home.
- American sweetgum – A spread of 50 feet on full maturity makes this tree an excellent choice for shading your yard. According to a 2001 study, it is also listed as one of the best trees for capturing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. If there is abandoned space on the ground, the spiky fruits of the plants can quickly dig in and take over. It’s a very effective tree that can multiply quickly and removes a lot of carbon from the atmosphere.
- Scarlet Oak – Scarlet oak is another excellent tree that is great at trapping carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. It’s a large tree that grows rapidly and is known for its beautiful features with a small trunk and a canopy that looks like a giant bush. During the autumn season, the leaves turn into beautiful shades of red, brown, and orange to create a wonderful sight.
- Balsam fir – Narrower than the Douglas-fir, the thick emerald-green needles growing on the tree branches are one of its signature attributes. It’s a hardy tree that can grow in many conditions and different types of terrain.
By now you are aware of the effect of trees on climate change and how planting even a single tree on your property can make a lot of difference. If you want to make a positive change to your carbon footprint then you should consider planting some of the above-mentioned trees. You can leave the tree planting and other landscaping jobs to pros if you’re short on time. Finding reliable landscaping professionals is as easy as searching “landscape companies near me”.