According to Newsweek, South Korean researchers at the Forest Research Institute (FYI) have discovered that cherry trees are desirable natural agents in combatting carbon emissions. Not only is that good news for the environment, it’s also good news for Buffalo’s Cherry Blossom Festival over the long run. Although there have been no announcements, one way or another, regarding the status of this year’s festival, it doesn’t mean that we can’t be thinking about planting these beautiful earth friendly trees strategically throughout more parts of the city.
The article references cherry trees as efficient carbon emission fighters (a single mature cherry tree can offset 20 pounds of carbon emissions each year), but it also points to other tree varieties that are even more adept at offsetting emissions, including black walnut, horse-chestnut, Douglas fir, and pine trees. Pine trees (coniferous evergreens) are great to have in Buffalo because they offer excellent protection against the wind when positioned properly, while providing a bit of color during monotone winters.
The average mature tree can absorb 48 tons of carbon each year according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
When we look at planting trees in Buffalo, we should take into consideration the amount of carbon emissions that they can ultimately neutralize, while ensuring diversification so as not to revisit the American Elm travesty that took place in the 50s. Once of the goals of The Cherry Blossom Festival has been to line the circumference of Mirror Lake at Delaware Park with cherry trees. Maybe this would be a good year to contribute further towards that effort. Cherry trees are some of the most aesthetically pleasing trees that can flourish in Buffalo’s four season climate. And in years to come, they are superb people attractors because everyone wants to gather around them when they are blossoming in springtime.
Lead image by Michael LaRosa