Tuesday, August 12, 2008

An Unusual Role for Trees

"Advocating an Unusual Role for Trees" was the headline for a most interesting article I read in this mornings (8/11/08) New York Times about Diana Beresford-Kroeger. I knew you'd be interested in it. I am quoting from the artilcle, but I have not included the entire article. It is about
"...She favors what she terms a bioplan, reforesting cities and rural areas with trees according to the medicinal, environmental, nutritional, pesticidal and herbicidal properties she claims for them, which she calls ecofunctions.

...Wafer ash, for example, could be used in organic farming, she said, planted in hedgerows to attract butterflies away from crops. Black walnut and honey locusts could be planted along roads to absorb pollutants, she said.

...What trees do chemically in the environment is something we’re only beginning to understand.”

...Trees also absorb pollutants from the ground, comb particulates from the air and house beneficial insects.

...Some studies support a role for trees in human health. A recent study by researchers at Columbia found that children in neighborhoods that are tree-lined have asthma rates a quarter less than in neighborhoods without trees. The Center for Urban Forest Research estimates that each tree removes 1.5 pounds of pollutants from the air. Trees are also used to remove mercury and other pollutants from the ground, something called phytoremediation. And, of course, trees store carbon dioxide, which mitigates global warming.

...Trees are a living miracle,” Ms. Beresford-Kroeger said. “Leaves can take in carbon dioxide and create oxygen. And all creatures must have oxygen.”
Gardener's Supply Company


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