Tree planting as a simple carbon sequestration solution
Top 15 Conservation Issues of 2021
Tree planting is often seen as a solution for carbon sequestration, but it is not as simple as merely planting trees. In a report prepared by the Congressional Research Service where different land-use practices were compared, tree planting had the greatest carbon sequestration potential. Depending on the species, the intent of planting, and location, tree planting aims to plant stands of trees that can grow anywhere from 20 to 2,000 years. When discussing tree planting there are two terms that are generally used: reforestation and afforestation. Reforestation refers to planting trees that have recently been cleared through natural disasters or timber harvesting. Reforestation has the potential to sequester between 1.1 and 7.7 metric tons of carbon dioxide per acre per year. Afforestation refers to planting trees in an area cleared long ago such as pastures or crop fields. Afforestation has the potential to sequester between 2.2 and 9.5 metric tons of carbon dioxide per acre per year.