Tree Frog Forestry News

Daily Archives: September 9, 2019

Today’s Takeaway

Canada’s boreal forests need wildfires, just not so many

The Tree Frog Forestry News
September 9, 2019
Category: Today's Takeaway

Canada’s boreal forests are producing more carbon than they capture during bad forest-fire years. In related news: California’s slow wildfire season could change this week; wildfire’s silver lining is improved snowpack; New Zealand’s unpopular super-tree; and Iran’s unknown deforestation disaster.

In Business news: BC municipalities are upset over gov’t’s closed-door dealings on caribou; Hampton’s CEO speaks to skepticism re: Fort St. James mill rebuild; USW/Western to meet on potential mediation; and EACOM celebrates 70 years in Nairn Centre, Ontario. Meanwhile: stories on Alberta’s pine beetles; Ontario’s forestry training; and tenure reform via BC’s woodlot program.

Finally, the Frogs will be reporting live from Whistler this week—from the Global Buyers Mission and the Hoo Hoo International convention. So check here for updates and say hi if you see us!

Kelly McCloskey, Tree Frog Editor

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Special Feature

Global Buyers Mission 2019

BC Wood Specialties Group
September 9, 2019
Category: Special Feature
Region: Canada, Canada West
The 16th Annual Global Buyers Mission™ (GBM) will take place this week in Whistler, BC (September 11 – 13). If you are attending, you will be joining over 800 delegates including pre-qualified international Buyers and Specifiers. Not attending the GBM ? The Tree Frog News will provide daily updates starting this Wednesday.
 
Last year, it was estimated that over $35 million in new business was developed from this event. Pre-qualified Buyers are expected from Australia, Belgium, Chile, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Japan, Jordan, Korea, Malaysia, Mexico, Netherlands, Nigeria, Pakistan, the Philippines, Switzerland, Taiwan, Thailand, the UK, United States, and Vietnam. 

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Business & Politics

Municipalities turn up heat over province’s closed-door dealings with First Nations

By Randy Shore
Vancouver Sun
September 8, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

John Horgan

Local governments will turn up the pressure on the province to end their secretive dealings with First Nations when the Union of B.C. Municipalities meets this month. What flared up briefly as a small skirmish over dock-owners’ rights in Pender Harbour blew up spectacularly for Premier John Horgan’s government last spring when a wide-ranging land-use plan to conserve caribou was sprung on the residents of northeastern B.C. People in both locales were furious that they had been cut out of the process and in the case of the caribou recovery plan, the West Moberly and Saulteau First Nations had been given gag orders by the province that prevented them from disclosing the plan to their neighbour communities. So many municipalities have submitted resolutions demanding consultation in future agreements between First Nations and the province that the UBCM executive has made the issue its top priority for the coming year, said vice-president Brian Frenkel, a Vanderhoof councillor.

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Letter to the Fort St. James community from Hampton Lumber

By Steve Zika, CEO Hampton Lumber
The Caledonia Courier
September 6, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Steve Zika

Since Hampton Lumber announced our intention to acquire the Fort St. James sawmill and the associated timber licence from Conifex, there has been an understandable amount of skepticism about our intentions to build a new sawmill. I realize and understand that Fort St. James residents are anxious about the future. …We have operated sawmills in small communities for nearly 80 years. …We know how devastating a mill closure is to a community. …As a family-owned saw milling company, we are fortunate to have the flexibility to operate with a long-term focus. …Given the nature of our business, curtailments and shutdowns can be a reality for any company in our industry. …While other companies may be reluctant to expand or enhance operations in British Columbia, we believe that a new sawmill in Fort St. James – sized for a secure future timber supply – will be competitive and sustainable.

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Twice laid off due to sawmill closings, B.C. worker ready for a new career

By Dan Healing
The Canadian Press in CBC News
September 8, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Rachelle Dumoulin admits her second layoff in 12 years from a northern B.C. sawmill has soured her on the boom-and-bust industry. The 39-year-old lost her job in the remote community of Mackenzie. …Meanwhile, her husband, a contract log truck driver, lost his job delivering to the nearby Conifex Timber Inc. sawmill during a five-week curtailment. …”I’m not letting that happen a third time. I need to get out of this industry.” …The lack of wood fibre is expected to spill over into closures in the oriented strandboard panel sector, where two mills were closed this year, and will eventually hit the pulp and paper industry as well, said Kevin Mason, managing director of ERA Forest Products Research. Closures through the end of the year are expected to cumulatively remove about two billion board feet per year of capacity, from recent annual output of between 10 billion and 11 billion board feet, he said.

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Striking Western Forest Products mill workers await word on potential mediation

By Karl Yu
Alberni Valley News
September 6, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

With a work stoppage entering its third month, striking Western Forest Products mill workers rallied in Nanaimo on Friday. Workers represented by United Steelworkers Local 1-1937, including those from Western’s Duke Point sawmill, began striking on July 1 and Stephanie Empey, Duke Point mill strike captain, said they moved pickets to Terminal Avenue in Nanaimo to raise more awareness. “A lot of people don’t even realize why we’re on strike or that we’re actually on strike,” said Empey. “We just want to let people know that we are on strike and we’re still fighting.” Empey said the union is taking issues with concessions being proposed. “There’s more than 20 concessions that Western has put in place,” said Empey.

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EACOM celebrates 70 years in Nairn Centre

By Molly Frommer
CTV News
September 8, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

The EACOM Sawmill in Nairn Centre, located about 50 kilometers southwest of Sudbury, celebrated a major milestone today. The Sawmill has been operating for 70 years now. Over that timeframe, the facility has been forced to adjust with the changing times and increased use of technology. “Making mining timbers for the mining industry and then ships for the pulp mill, that was started in 1920’s,” says Wade Zammit, EACOM Vice President. “So what’s changed? Everything’s changed! The way we operate in the forest has changed, the sustainability issues, the replanting responsibilities and environmental responsibilities.” Since 2015, EACOM has invested more than twelve million dollars into technology and equipment upgrades into the facility.

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Wood, Paper & Green Building

Sustainable Missoula: Green building materials can reduce Missoula’s carbon footprint

By Caroline Lauer and Sarah Ayers
The Missoula Current
September 7, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States, US West

When we think about reducing our community’s carbon emissions, buildings are a huge piece of the puzzle. …Green building practices are an important part of the conversation, and we’re lucky to have a suite of possible tools and an array of local professionals dedicated to the task. …Different materials have different amounts of embodied carbon: Concrete, for example, has roughly 22 percent more embodied carbon than wood. …Using less carbon-intensive building materials offers co-benefits in addition to emission reductions. Cross-laminated timber (CLT), for example, is a light yet extremely strong prefabricated and engineered wood, and its popularity in the building and design world is growing. Not only does it have lower embodied carbon than other traditional building materials, but it also helps to accelerate the building process, saving money by shortening the timeline between construction and occupancy. …Building materials are an important consideration at the end of a building’s life, too. 

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Developing a forest-friendly home building technique

By Patrick Armijo
The Journal
September 8, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States, US West

If Kyle Hanson is right, three to five years down the road, a small-scale lumber industry will be enjoying a renaissance in Southwest Colorado, aided by the pioneering efforts of his firm Timber Age Systems. His idea is to introduce cross-laminated timber made from beetle-killed ponderosa pine from the San Juan National Forest as a prime material in homebuilding in Southwest Colorado and throughout the Four Corners. …“The gist of the project is to address forest health along with the intersection of other regional issues – increasing the availability of locally skilled labor and helping alleviate the high cost of homebuilding,” Hanson said. …Timber Age Systems has received a $243,000 grant from the U.S. Forest Service to show proof of concept of the viability of introducing cross-laminated timber from ponderosa pine.

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Researchers Study Behavior of Cross-Laminated Timber Panels in New Hall

The University of Arkansas News
September 9, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: US East, United States

FAYETTEVILLE, Arkansas. – A new residence hall on the University of Arkansas campus will provide more than just a vibrant living experience for students. The buildings themselves will serve as a testbed for researchers to study a unique building material. …With a $100,000 grant from the U.S. Endowment for Forestry and Communities, U of A professors… have collaborated to measure and analyze the moisture content of these panels. Through this grant, the research team will add to existing data that reveals the behavior of CLT in various regions around the country. A CLT structure performs differently in the varying climates and conditions. These results can help inform protocols and procedures regarding manufacturing of the panels – as well as transportation, construction and installation – that may demand a tailored response for different regions, he said.

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Bamboo lights a fire under Australian construction industry

By Genevieve Worrell, University of Queensland
TechXplore
September 9, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

A passion for sustainable construction led University of Queensland Ph.D. student Mateo Gutierrez to explore the potential of bamboo as an environmentally friendly local building material. Bamboo is fast becoming a popular choice in Australia for flooring and furniture, but Mr Gutierrez said global construction industries could be transformed if building regulations incorporated bamboo as a structural building material option. …”Like timber, bamboo suffers a reduction in structural integrity at high temperatures, but our goal is to understand how that reduction occurs and how we can predict the failure of load-bearing elements in a building. “We aim to develop design frameworks that can predict how bamboo buildings will fare in fires, and these could be used to inform revisions of the Australian building regulations.”

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What are you wearing right now? If it’s rayon or viscose, chances are it comes from the Amazon

By Sam Rogers
Vogue Magazine, Australia
September 9, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

Do you know what your clothes are made from? If the label says ‘rayon’ or ‘viscose’ then it’s likely that you’re wearing the rainforest, possibly from Canada, Indonesia or the Amazon, which continues to be ravaged by the estimated 2,500 active fires spreading throughout Brazil, Bolivia, and Paraguay. The plant-based fibres used for much of your wardrobe, from those silk-imitation dresses to that trusted cotton-blend T-shirt, were once thought to be eco-friendly alternatives to polyester due to their biodegradability. This is no longer the case, as Nicole Rycroft (founder and executive director of Canopy) points out, because these manmade materials are produced via the deforestation of the world’s last-remaining, irreplaceable old-growth forest. 

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Forestry

Forestry Ink: Tenure reform through expansion of the woodlot program

By Jim Hilton, retired forester
BC Local News
September 8, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

In contrast to replaceable forest licences with a few large corporations controlling over 50 per cent of the Allowable Annual Cut (AAC), there are approximately 865 active woodlots in British Columbia with an AAC of 1.579 million cubic meters annually — or 2.3 per cent of the provincial cut. …Despite being small in terms of area and the amount of timber harvested, woodlot licenses make significant economic, environmental and societal contributions. …A number of governments have attempted an expansion of the woodlot program for the past 40 years. …Based on the good compliance track record that the woodlot licensees have, my suggestion is to consider a larger area for new woodlot licences (to make it economical), along with minimal government regulations, supported by a professional reliance approach to management. 

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Forest board’s defence of logging predictable, Peachland group says

The Kelowna Daily Courier
September 8, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Natural environmental factors, not logging, are mainly responsible for boil-water notices in Peachland, a new report says. Heavy snow and frequent rain washed organic material into a creek that provides most of the town’s drinking water, the Forest Practices Board says. …Overall, the board says, holders of forestry licences near Peachland did a “good job” of minimizing environmental impact of logging in the town’s watershed. Members of a Peachland group that has been raising concerns about logging near the town say they’re disappointed but not surprised by the board’s report. …”The Forest Practices Board works for the same government that is controlling the questionable logging in our watershed,” Skalbania says. “Licencees may be legal, yes, but ethically and morally their practices leave much to be desired,” she says. 

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Province proposal to turn part of Trans Canada Trail to industrial use ‘mind-boggling’

By Glenda Luymes
The Vancouver Sun
September 8, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

A historic rail trail that was donated to the province by the Trans Canada Trail society could be opened to logging trucks if a government proposal to cancel its trail designation gets the green light, say trail advocates. The Ministry of Forests is seeking to transfer management of a 67-kilometre portion of the Columbia and Western Rail Trail to unspecified agencies to reflect local interests and support “access for industrial activity”. …A major logging company holds tenure for several cut blocks near the trail, which runs from Castlegar to Fife, east of Christina Lake. …In its letter to stakeholders, the Ministry of Forests recognized vehicles are already accessing the trail, explaining the proposed administration change would ensure it was being maintained for that use.

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Pine Beetle appears to be spreading in Alberta

Pipestone Flyer
September 6, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Assar Grinde has a special attachment to the pine trees that line the driveway to his mother’s home located north of Rimbey. The trees have been part of his family history for generations. Needless to say, when he noticed the trees starting to turn yellow he feared a Mountain Pine Beetle infestation. Unfortunately, his worst fears have been realized and he has discovered several of the trees to be infected with pine beetles. “I won’t be planting any more pine trees,” said the young farmer who lives about six miles north of Rimbey. According to information on Wetaskiwin County’s website mountain pine beetles attack and kill pine trees, usually mature ones aged 80 to 120 years old. All species of pine including Lodgepole, Jack Pine, Scots Pine and Ponderosa Pine are vulnerable.

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Province provides $2.4 million in Funding for Training in Forestry Sector

Sault Online
September 6, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

Ontario’s Government is helping people across Northwestern Ontario prepare for successful careers in the forestry sector by partnering with employers and investing in publicy-funded access to skills training. Today, Ross Romano, Minister of Training, Colleges and Universities, announced over $2.4 million in provincial funding for two innovative skills training projects. These training projects help get people working by providing them with the technical and job-ready skills they need. The training projects also help employers by providing sector-focused employment services, including job matching and placement, and post-employment retention services. “Our Government knows employers are looking for job-ready people to help fill vacancies in Northern Ontario,” said Minister Romano. …“Our government is committed to opening up the forestry sector to jobs and this funding will help the industry find the skilled workforce it needs to grow,” said John Yakabuski, Minister of Natural Resources and Forestry. 

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California’s wildfire season is off to a quiet start. That could change this week

By Jorge Ortiz
USA Today
September 8, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Hurricane Dorian’s pernicious path from the Bahamas to Canada provided yet another reminder of the damaging force of wind in storms. Less known but just as significant is the role wind plays in wildfires. Forecasts of strong winds in Southern California this week have heightened concerns that the state’s fire season, tame in its early stages compared to the devastation of last year, could swing into destructive, even deadly mode. Sustained winds of 20-30 mph with gusts up to 50 mph are expected in parts of Southern California through Tuesday, increasing the fire danger in an area that has been ravaged by blazes in recent years. “We have a strong high pressure off the coast,’’ AccuWeather meteorologist Jake Sojda said.

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There’s a silver lining to California’s wildfires: More snowpack and water storage, study finds

By Michael Finch
The Sacramento Bee
September 6, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Wildfires in California leave behind acres of scorched land that make snowpack formation easier and more water runoff downstream from the Sierra Nevada to basins in the Central Valley, increasing the amount of water stored underground. That’s the finding from researchers at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, who discovered that blazes in some parts of the state could result in more water availability. Scorching the earth and killing a forest also can lead to changes the makeup of the snowpack, researchers said. Because wildfires usually burn through many tree canopies, there’s more room for snow to build up, said Fadji Maina, the lead author of the study. “You just have surface soil without any vegetation which means the snow is going to reach the soil and then accumulate,” Maina, an expert in earth and environmental sciences.

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Chip-And-Ship Forest Clearing May Help Prevent Wildfire Disasters

By Ryan Heinsius
NPR – National Public Radio
September 8, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

A huge mechanical claw scoops up several ponderosa pine logs and feeds them into an industrial chipper. …Jeff Halbrook, a research associate with Northern Arizona University’s Ecological Restoration Institute is overseeing what’s fondly known as the chip-and-ship pilot project about 20 minutes west of Flagstaff. These trees being fed into the chipper were recently cut from the nearby Coconino National Forest. …In about two weeks, nearly 60 containers will arrive at a port in South Korea. “They primarily use these wood chips for production of energy. Moving away from the fossil-based energy operation in South Korea,” says Northern Arizona University forestry professor Han-Sup Han. …If all the pieces fall into place, chip-and-ship could be key for South Korea to move away from fossil fuels while helping make U.S. forests more resilient to wildfire.

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Daines, Feinstein on right track for U.S. forest management

By Nick Smith, executive director, Healthy Forests, Healthy Communities,
Billings Gazette
September 8, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Unlike Steven Krichbaum in his Aug. 31 guest opinion, I applaud the bipartisan efforts of U.S. Sens. Steve Daines and Diane Feinstein to work together and attempt to end the gridlock in the management of our federally-owned forests. For the past quarter-century, we have tried the hands-off approach to forest management and it’s not working. Paralyzed by litigation and bureaucracy, this approach has only contributed to unhealthy forests and economically-depressed rural communities. It’s time for something different.We need better forest management. According to the National Insect and Diseases Risk Map, Montana ranks third nationally for the percentage of treed acres at risk. Twenty-one percent of the state’s 36 million forested acres could lose at least a quarter of trees to insect and disease by 2027.

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Training future loggers for good-paying jobs in the forest products industry

By Sen. Susan M. Collins
Courier-Gazette & Camden Herald
September 7, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

Maine’s timber industry is an integral part of our economy and continues to be the primary economic driver of countless rural communities throughout our state. To prevent severe worker shortages and to provide good jobs, it is essential that the next generation be prepared for the logging profession as experienced operators of modern timber harvesting equipment. I recently visited the Mechanized Logging Operations Program, a three-month training program located in the woods of western Maine. MLOP is an outstanding initiative created in partnership by the Professional Logging Contractors of Maine, Northern Maine, Eastern Maine and Washington County Community Colleges, logging contractors and industry partners, including Milton CAT and Nortrax. …This three-month professional training program introduces participants to state-of-the-art logging machinery and equipment, and the program provides a more efficient way to train new technicians, saving companies $100,000 per operator.

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Iran’s Government Destroy Country’s Ecosystem

By Pooya Stone
Iran Focus
September 5, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: International

The deforestation disaster in Iran has been kept silent. In Iran, when we talk about the ecosystem, this phrase only evokes words like disaster, destruction, vanishing and annihilation! This is so serious that some experts predict that many parts of the Iranian plateau will become uninhabitable for decades if the current destructive trend continues! Without exaggerating, what the current regime of Iran has done with the country’s nature in four decades, tens of tyrannical and criminal regimes failed to do with Iran over thousands of years! …In fact, we are facing a chain of destruction and vanishing in the ecosystem cycle in Iran. Damages that, if not prevented, could make the same catastrophic prediction for the Iranian plateau! …Between 1900 and 2012, Iran’s forest acreage decreased from 19 million acres to 14.4 million, and shrunk to 10.7 million acres by 2015. That year. With the current deforestation, Iran will have no forest in the next 75-100 years.

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Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

N.W.T.’s record wildfire season in 2014 tipping point for boreal forest, says study

CBC News
September 7, 2019
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: Canada

Canada’s boreal forests are producing more carbon than they capture during bad forest-fire years, and a new report from Wilfrid Laurier University expects this trend to continue.  “The boreal forest is a really critical carbon store for the planet. It stores about a third of the terrestrial carbon,” said Jennifer Baltzer, Wilfrid Laurier University associate professor and co-author of a paper recently published in the scientific journal Nature.  Baltzer and her family have spent several summers in the Yellowknife area, including the summer of 2014 — the worst wildfire season on record for the N.W.T. It was this summer that kicked off an indirect collaboration with the N.W.T. government to look into the impacts of extreme wildfire seasons and ultimately fuelled Baltzer’s research in this area. 

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Should Dartmouth Heat its Campus with Wood Chips?

By John Ackerly, President, Alliance for Green Heat
Biomass Magazine
September 7, 2019
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: US East, United States

John Ackerly

…In 2017 Dartmouth…came up with an ambitious roadmap that included switching from No. 6 heating oil to wood chips. The project is steadily moving forward, but in July, several prominent Dartmouth alumni published an open letter calling on the college to scrap plans for a biomass heating plant. The letter…concluded that switching to biomass would increase Dartmouth’s carbon emissions. …Dartmouth has done its homework and is in this for the long-term.  It has based its projections off peer-reviewed scientific assessments of biomass heating, and it understands the capacity of local forestry operations to provide low-grade wood that will be losing its carbon content quickly …If people around Dartmouth are concerned about particulate matter in wood smoke, they can tackle it more easily by reducing residential wood heating, rather than worrying  about the incredibly high-tech scrubbers that will make the Dartmouth plant run without visible emissions other than steam. 

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An Artist Just Planted 300 Trees in a Stadium to Warn About Climate Change

By Nick Mafi
Architectural Digest
September 6, 2019
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: International

…Klaus Littmann [is] attempting to open the public’s eyes through his art. The 67-year-old artist has just planted some 300 trees in an Austrian soccer stadium—an incredible feat of physical art meant to challenge our perception of the future of our earth. Littmann had been wanting to do this project ever since he went to a Vienna exhibition and witnessed a 1970 drawing by the Austrian artist Max Peintner… Peinter’s work was a forest of trees planted in the middle of a stadium with a crowd of onlookers there for no reason but to look at the vegetation. …Littmann’s forest consists of a variety of trees that are native to Austria, as well as Central Europe. The instillation… is called For Forest—The Unending Attraction of Nature. …”The exhibition aims to challenge our perception of nature and question its future,” said Littmann.

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The unpopular tree sucking carbon from our air

By Eloise Gibson
Newsroom.co.nz
September 9, 2019
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: International

Pinus Radiata grows like a weed, which is why it’s so fast at sequestering carbon. But since many people prefer native trees, forestry scientists are proposing an unconventional solution to get the best of both worlds. To measure how much carbon is in a tree, you first have to kill it. You slice up the trunk, branches, twigs, leaves and roots and dry the dismembered tree parts in an oven. Then you weigh them. “It takes a long time,” says Euan Mason, a professor at the University of Canterbury’s School of Forestry. “I did some in 2012 with two students, and in six weeks I think we did 25 trees.” Sacrificing trees like this is expensive, but researchers need these measurements. Typically, about half a tree’s dry weight is carbon, which you can multiply by roughly 3.7 to work out how much carbon dioxide the tree has sucked from the atmosphere.

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