Can Certain Trees Actually Fight Against Climate Change?

Since we were children, we were taught the importance of trees to our Earth and to ourselves. Through photosynthesis, trees take in carbon dioxide and exhale oxygen for us to breathe. With the growing concerns about our planet’s well-being, it may be more important now than ever to plant trees throughout your local community and national forests to help fight against climate change.

The Function of Trees

Trees emit oxygen as part of their respiration process, but they also return to the air small amounts of CO2, a gas that contributes to climate change. In rising temperatures, though, trees have been found to release a higher percentage of CO2 back into the atmosphere during respiration as sugars burn more rapidly, but a recent study has shed more light on this astonishing natural process.

Trees acclimated to increasing temperatures may help slow climate change since they will release less CO2 than scientists originally expected.

Research Regarding Trees and Climate Change

To learn more, a long-term field study was conducted to see how trees respond to higher temperatures. According to, during the five-year study researchers collected information on the rates of respiration rates of various tree species in close-to-natural conditions. The data indicated that the trees exposed to warmer temperatures during a long period of time only increased respiration rates by 5 as they grew, compared to a 23 percent increase in trees that were quickly exposed to increased heat. Researchers found that the findings were accurate for both deciduous and evergreen trees, as well.

This surprising difference in respiration rates gives researchers a little hope, although CO2 emissions are still on the rise. Although the act of planting trees may seem to be a small step towards environmental healing – as they absorb far more CO2 than they release, with young trees estimated to take in 13 pounds per tree annually, according to the Urban Forestry Network – it is important to remember that small steps can make a big difference.

Cold Stream Farm

Cold Stream Farm, as a bare root tree and shrub nursery, specializes in plants for wildlife habitat to residents throughout the Midwest. With no minimum order size required, you can easily start making a difference in your world today. For more information on the best tree or shrub for your home or community, call us today at 231-464-5809.