Aug 28 2023

Tiny Forests Offer Carbon Footprint Reduction in Small Space

Tiny Forests are a Bargain, Typical Cost Equals 5 Street Trees

While Piedmont removed a block-long tree canopy for a public construction project, ecologically concerned communities are demanding “tiny forests” in addition to preservation of the tree canopy.

Tiny Forests are created by sowing multiple layers in a dense arrangement of shrub and canopy plantings.  “The plants compete for resources as they race toward the sun …”  reports the New York Times.  Woodlands and healthy canopies absorb carbon dioxide, but tiny forests multiply the ecological effect on little land, absorbing storm water, suppressing weeds, remaining lush through droughts, and “grow as quickly as ten times the speed of conventional tree plantations.”  In Cambridge, MA 1400 shrubs and saplings grow in a basketball size plot after only 2 years.

New York Times, 8/27/2023

Adding a tiny forest to a community with a sufficient tree canopy provides a boost to the reduction of the community carbon footprint.  It should never be a choice between a tiny forest and the protection of a neighborhood tree canopy.  Street trees are also important for healthy communities.  Tree canopies

  • Remove pollutants from the air, soil and water
  • Release cool the surrounding areas, mitigating the urban heat island effect
  • Intercept rainfall and reduce stormwater runoff
  • Provide shade and reduce greenhouse gas emissions
  • Provide carbon sequestration
  • Aesthetic effect Increases adjacent property values


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