All plants absorb carbon, but as the plant dies, most or all of that CO2 is re-released into the atmosphere. This is referred to as the “carbon cycle.” The amount of “woody biomass” and root structure determine how much carbon dioxide the plant can process. Large trees have the most biomass, and thus absorb the most carbon.
Urban planners urge people to plant trees which require relatively little maintenence to ensure that their carbon processing properties will continue to function and not lost if the tree dies. These types of trees were singled out by the US Forest Service as especially efficient at carbon sequestering: Common Horse-chestnut, Black Walnut, American Sweetgum, Ponderosa Pine, Red Pine, White Pine, London Plane, Hispaniolan Pine, Douglas Fir, Scarlet Oak, Red Oak, Virginia Live Oak, and Bald Cypress. Check which tree will work best for your geographic location before planting.
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