Tree Frog Forestry News

Daily Archives: November 25, 2019

Today’s Takeaway

Tolko, Mosaic announce additional downtime in BC

The Tree Frog Forestry News
November 25, 2019
Category: Today's Takeaway

Tolko Industries is moving to a 3 day work week at its Soda Creek mill, with woodland and head office layoffs likely to follow. Meanwhile, Mosaic is shutting down its coastal logging operations ahead of the usual winter shutdown—impacting 2000 workers; and COFI renews the call for a “working forest” to revitalize the sector. In other Business news: Repap backs away from purchasing Resolute’s old Fort Francis, Ontario mill; and a former cabinet minister on Northern Pulp’s sweetheart loan. 

In Forestry/Climate news: logging to proceed on BC’s Sunshine Coast (the Narwal); the link between herbicides and forest fires (CBC News); and Florida’s iconic palms come up short when it comes to carbon sequestration.

Finally, the UK wood awards and a computer-driver wooden nail gun.

Kelly McCloskey, Tree Frog Editor

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Business & Politics

CN Rail conductors strike carries on; federal gov’t resists pressure to end dispute

By Angie Mindus
BC Local News
November 24, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada

The trains have stopped moving in Williams Lake as Canadian National Railway Co. conductors, trainpersons and yardpersons have been on strike since Tuesday, Nov. 19. …The Forest Products Association of Canada says a chronic shortage of truck drivers is compounding concerns about the impact of the strike which as halted freight trains across the country. As of Sunday, the federal government was resisting calls to intervene in the strike despite the spectre of a propane shortage in Quebec and rising pressure from premiers and CEOs across the country to reconvene Parliament ahead of schedule and legislate the 3,200 Canadian National Railway Co. employees back to work. …The last CN Rail strike occurred in late 2009 when 1,700 engineers walked off the job for three days.

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Tolko’s Soda Creek Division moving to 3 day work week

By Rebecca Dyok
My Cariboo Now
November 24, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

It’s unfortunate that it’s the workers that are left suffering according to the First Vice President of the United Steelworkers Local 1-2017. Tolko will be further reducing its operating capacity at its Soda Creek Division in Williams Lake. This will result in approximately 150 employees having their four day work week now reduced to three starting Monday. Paul French says the frustrating thing for them is industry has gotten themselves in this spot. “Years ago we had the appurtenancy clause where timber was sent to the mills for a designated area in the free market,” he says.  “Just basically now they compete to buy the timber off each other, and so unfortunately when the market drops and the cost that they paid for logs isn’t valued for the price that they’re selling it for it’s the members that take the hit and our members are dropping like flies.”

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B.C. NDP celebrates at convention despite education, forestry and transit unrest

CBC News
November 23, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

At the B.C. NDP’s fall convention in Victoria on Saturday B.C. Premier John Horgan celebrated people, progress and what he calls his party’s many achievements over the last two years. …Despite the celebratory mood at the convention, outside teachers rallied to draw attention to stalled contract talks. …The NDP is also facing a crisis in the province’s forestry sector as 25 mills have ceased operating this year, which has left more than 6,000 people out of work. David Elstone, spokesperson for the B.C. Truck Loggers Association, said Friday that the situation is grim for many families who rely on a healthy sector for their livelihoods. “It’s devastating,” he said “People are going to food banks, people’s trucks are being repossessed, there’s fundraisers. This is for an industry that’s been here for over a century. It’s been a breadbasket for us. And it’s crumbling.”

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Port McNeill mayor calls for end to Western Forest Products strike

By Kendall Hanson
Chek TV News
November 24, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

…It comes as the Western Forest Products strike nears the end of its fifth month, prompting Port McNeill’s mayor to pen a personal letter calling for an end to the strike.“It has been phenomenal how communities have come together but it’s heartbreaking to see,” said Gaby Wickstrom.“I know families that are paying their bills with IGA gift cards that have been donated to them.” …Port Alberni resident Lunn Lyons is among the subcontractors impacted by the strike. …He says it’s time the two sides reach an agreement but he believes the industry is broken.“They’re shipping our raw logs down to the United States and all over the world….”During his address at this weekend’s NDP convention, Premier John Horgan said it’s time for the forestry industry to change how it operates.“We need to create more jobs, more innovation.”

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COFI renews lobby for ‘working forest’ as measure to help revitalize forest sector

By Derrick Penner
Vancouver Sun
November 22, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

By Susan Yurkovich

The idea of designating an area of British Columbia’s forest land base as a so-called “working forest” isn’t new, but with the industry in crisis, an industry group thinks now is the time to bring it back into consideration. B.C.’s forest sector is at the start of a major period of transition and taking a step to create for industry secure access to a portion of the province’s dwindling timber reserves is the industry’s No. 1 priority, said Susan Yurkovich, CEO of the Council of Forest Industries. “Access to fibre is hands down the most important,” Yurkovich said Friday during a speech to the Greater Vancouver Board of Trade that laid out her Council’s priorities in dealing with the long list of challenges facing the industry. …“Let’s have a balance,” Yurkovich said. “Let’s say out loud that we value forestry also as a working forest, as a place that drives jobs and economic benefits.”

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More layoffs may be coming for Tolko Industries: unconfirmed report

By Doyle Potenteau
Global News
November 22, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

It appears Tolko Industries will be laying off more people — two weeks after the company announced that it was permanently closing its Kelowna lumber mill.  An email sent to Global Okanagan contained an unconfirmed one-page letter, titled, “Message from Brad to employees.” Brad Thorlakson is the president and CEO of Tolko Industries. The unconfirmed letter said the company will be eliminating “44 positions within Woodlands, Operations, and the Vernon office.” “This decision was made after a long and careful review of the options, realizing that many good people would be affected,” continued the first paragraph of the letter. “This is in no way a reflection of the commitment or contributions of our employees.” Global Okanagan has reached out to Tolko Industries for comment, but has yet to hear back from the company.

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New shutdown to put thousands of B.C. loggers out of work Monday

By Scott Cunningham
CTV News
November 22, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

VICTORIA – Vancouver Island’s forestry sector is about to suffer another blow as forest management company Mosaic plans to temporarily shutter its logging operations. In a statement released Thursday, the company said harvesting operations will cease on Monday, Nov. 25, a move that will impact roughly 2,000 workers. “We are currently experiencing very challenging pricing and market conditions,” said Pam Agnew, communications manager for Mosaic Forest Management. “As a result, we are shutting down earlier, ahead of a usual winter shutdown.” Following Mosaic’s early curtailing announcement, B.C. Minister of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations, and Rural Development Doug Donaldson told CTV News that that province sympathized with the company’s workers. …“The temporary curtailment impacts contractors, both union and non-union – approximately 2,000 people across the coast,” said Agnew. 

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Sault Ste. Marie lumber company receives large sum of funding

CTV News Northern Ontario
November 22, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

Ross Romano

SUDBURY – Avery Timber Limited, a Sault Ste. Marie lumber company, is getting close to $400,000 which should help create seven new jobs. Ross Romano, MPP for Sault Ste. Marie made the announcement on behalf of Greg Rickford, Minister of Energy, Northern Development and Mines. With this funding, Avery Timber, a subsidiary of Avery Construction Limited, will expand its production capacity by purchasing a feller-buncher and a log trailer. The two pieces of timber harvesting equipment help harvest more trees and bring more products to market. …”This investment will help create good, well-paying jobs in the Sault and strengthen Avery Timber’s reputation as a responsible and productive harvester in Ontario timber.”

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Northern Pulp got sweetheart deal

Letter by Glenn Ells (former Liberal cabinet minister)
The Chronicle Journal
November 22, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

Re: “Provincial loans top $85 million.” The Nov. 18 front-page story by Aaron Beswick about Northern Pulp brought back memories. This article reported some interesting facts about loan amounts and when they were made. When I was appointed minister of the environment in 1978, it was quite a shock to learn that over half my budget was going to the Pictou County pulp mill to operate the facilities that supplied water and accepted untreated effluent. When I read the contract that established the pulp mill, which dated back to the Stanfield-Smith era, it was spelled out that the province was responsible to deliver fresh water to and accept the waste from the mill. What seemed to be a good job-creating deal then has become a taxpayers’ burden over the years, as factors keep changing.

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Repap backs away from local mill

Fort Frances Times
November 21, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

Rainy River Packaging, formerly known as Repap Resources, is no longer interested in purchasing the Fort Frances mill. The company has been interested in the mill property since December of last year but its investors have backed away due to the restrictive covenants that Resolute Forest Products attached to its sale to Riversedge Developments in July. Although, Rainy River Packaging would still like to be kept up to date on news surrounding the mill incase anything changes, Mayor Caul said. “They would still be interested, they really believe this mill can be up and running again,” she noted. Mayor Caul sent a letter to Resolute yesterday morning asking for clarification on what the mill property can be used for in lieu of the restrictive covenants. 

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Wood, Paper & Green Building

Pioneering Ali-deck system on display at London Build Expo 2019

Specification OnLine UK
November 22, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

The team behind Ali-deck, the quick-fit, non-combustible aluminium decking system, will be showcasing their ground-breaking solution at this year’s London Build Expo. …London Build is one of the country’s leading construction and design shows. Attended by over 25,000 industry professionals, the event brings together over 350 exhibitors and more than 500 speakers from across the industry. The Ali-deck team will be presenting their full range of non-combustible decking systems. Mark Wood, Founder of Ali-deck comments: “Since bringing Ali-deck to market earlier this year, we’ve seen incredible demand for the range across both trade and commercial sectors. …the biggest market has been as a safe and effective replacement for composite decking in high-rise balconies, rooftops and other commercial settings. As the industry and central government aims to raise standards post-Grenfell, solutions like Ali-deck will continue to play a vital role.

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Wood Awards 2019 winners announced

By Neil Mead
DIY Week
November 24, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

LONDON, UK — The winners of the annual Wood Awards were announced at a ceremony held on the 19 November at Carpenters’ Hall in London hosted by Priya Khanchandani, editor of Icon magazine. …The judges selected Cork House as this year’s Gold Award and Private category winner. …The Commercial & Leisure winner is Royal Opera House ‘Open Up’. …The Interiors winner is Battersea Arts Centre. …MultiPly, this year’s Small Project winner, is the is the first structure made from UK manufactured CLT. …This year’s Structural Award winner is House in a Garden, chosen from all the shortlisted buildings. …The Furniture & Product judges selected two winners within the Bespoke category.

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Why in the world would anyone want a computer-driven wooden nail gun?

By Lloyd Alter
Treehugger
November 22, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

A few years ago we asked Why in the world would anyone want a wooden nail? It was about the Lignoloc from Beck Fastener. It was a special nail gun that drove compressed beech nails into wood where they bonded with the softer wood.  …a major problem with recycling wood is the nails. Wood nails are not as hard as steel, but they really bond well with the wood. They don’t rust or stain siding; you can barely see them. They do not act as thermal bridges (the heat transfer through metal nails can add up). The special design of the LignoLoc® nail tip and the large amount of heat generated by friction when the nail is driven in cause the lignin of the wooden nail to weld with the surrounding wood to form a substance-to-substance bond. …Beck has a new version … called an Automated Nailing Head. The possibilities of this are even more exciting.

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Forestry

Northern Engineered Wood Products gets good audit

BC Forest Practices Board
November 22, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

VICTORIA – An audit of Northern Engineered Wood Products’ (NEWP) non-renewable forest licence A85566 found the company met all requirements of the Forest and Range Practices Act and the Wildfire Act, according to a new report. “Our audit found that all activities met the legal requirements,” said Kevin Kriese, chair of the Forest Practices Board. “We are pleased to note that NEWP protected more wildlife trees than legally required in order to meet the chief forester’s Guidance on Landscape- and Stand-level Structural Retention in Large-Scale Mountain Pine Beetle Salvage Operations and planted some Douglas fir and larch in anticipation of climate change.” The audited activities include harvesting of 16 cutblocks, construction of 35 kilometres of new road, maintenance of 12 kilometres of existing road and deactivation of one bridge. Regeneration and fire prevention activities on logged sites were also examined.

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Island Voices: Saving old growth requires more than government talk

By Ken Wu, Endangered Ecosystems Alliance
Victoria Times Colonist
November 24, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

The maxim “Justice delayed is justice denied” is nowhere more true than regarding the fate of B.C.’s endangered old-growth forests. The battle over B.C.’s old-growth forests has been one of the most enduring conflicts in the province’s history. For half a century, hundreds of thousands of British Columbians have placed their time, money, and freedom on the line to protect these globally significant forests, home to trees up to 2,000 years old. …This is a time-constrained issue. Already, 80 per cent of the original, productive old-growth forests on Vancouver Island have been logged …However, there are several government initiatives that could finally end B.C.’s “War in the Woods” if the political wisdom exists. A provincial panel chaired by foresters Gary Merkel and Al Gorley is soliciting public and stakeholder input until Jan. 31 on how to manage B.C.’s old-growth forests, submitting its findings to the province next spring. Now is the time for the B.C. public to fully speak up.

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Meadow Lake Provincial Park logging worrying for some but necessary to mitigate risks, gov’t says

By Scott Larson
CBC News
November 24, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

SASKATCHEWAN — A plan to log parts of Meadow Lake Provincial Park has some people who use the park very concerned. The province has awarded Tolko Industries a contract that allows the company to harvest up to 3,100 hectares over a five-year period in the park, or more than 7,660 acres of forest. …Lynn Klemmer, who lives in the nearby village of Goodsoil… “I’m worried about the wildlife. …Do they care? …Pat Mackasey, a park forest ecologist with Saskatchewan’s Ministry of Parks, said there are reasons for why the government want to allow targeted logging in the park. Some are weather-related disturbances that have happened in the last couple of years. …Mackasey said there are also threats from dwarf mistletoe, a damaging, and the possibility of mountain pine beetles making their way east from Alberta.

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‘We’ve been cheated’: Sunshine Coast community braces for logging of forest at heart of park proposal

By Judith Lavoie
The Narwhal
November 22, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

If you were to take a walk through the Clack Creek forest, a 24-hectare hotbed of biodiversity criss-crossed by well-used trails, you’d find more than 1,000 felted hearts stapled to the bark of towering trees. The hearts are meant to symbolize the hope of the local community that Clack Creek will remain the heart of an expanded Mount Elphinstone Provincial Park — and not a logging cutblock.  But, despite numerous objections from the Sunshine Coast Regional District, a legal challenge and predictions of a renewed war in the woods from the conservation group Elphinstone Logging Focus (ELF), the trees are about to fall.  In May, BC Timber Sales, the provincial government agency responsible for auctioning off 20 per cent of the province’s annual allowable cut of timber to the highest bidder, awarded a logging contract to Black Mount Logging of Squamish to cut 29,500 cubic metres of timber around Clack Creek.

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Grooming forests could be making fires worse, researchers warn

By Jill English
CBC News
November 24, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

Researchers are growing increasingly critical of a common forest management practice, as studies show it may be causing fires to travel farther, faster. “In 2017 and 2018 here in British Columbia, in both summers, we burned over 1.2 million hectares of forest,” says Lori Daniels, a forest ecologist at the University of British Columbia.  “Diversifying the forest … is a really effective way to create resilience in our landscape and resistance to these major fires we’ve been witnessing.” Meanwhile, much of the Canadian forestry industry is doing the opposite, spraying thousands of hectares of public forest with glyphosate each year to promote profitable coniferous growth, and eliminate hardwood species like aspen and birch. The primary ingredient in the Monsanto-made herbicide Roundup, glyphosate has been under scrutiny in both agriculture and forestry for years.

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U.S. Department of Agriculture and Georgia Sign Shared Stewardship Agreement

By U.S. Department of Agriculture
Southeast AgNet
November 23, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: United States

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue joined Georgia Governor Brian Kemp to sign a Shared Stewardship agreement between the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Forest Service, the Natural Resources Conservation Service, and the State of Georgia. … “Shared Stewardship offers a great opportunity to coordinate and prioritize land management activities in tandem,” said Secretary Perdue. “The USDA and its agencies have a long and strong history of collaboration with the State of Georgia and this agreement will make that working relationship even stronger. I thank Governor Kemp for being a great partner in ensuring Georgia’s forests are properly managed.” …The Shared Stewardship agreement strengthens the commitment between federal and state agencies to work together to accomplish mutual natural resource management goals, and effectively respond to the increasing ecological challenges and natural resource concerns in Georgia. 

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Humboldt State University Earns Recognition for Excellence in Fire Ecology

Humboldt State University
November 20, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Humboldt State University has once again received recertification for its contribution to the study of fire ecology. HSU joins only eight other universities in the country in receiving the AFE certification for contributing to the field of fire ecology. After conducting an external and independent review, the AFE named HSU as a Certified Academic Program in 2019. Housed within the Forestry & Wildland Resources department, the Wildland Fire & Management concentration previously earned the AFE certification in 2013. “We have one of the largest programs in the nation and offer more fire-related courses than nearly any other university,” says Jeffrey Kane, professor of Forestry. Kane teaches a range of fire ecology and management courses to undergraduate and graduate students and was chiefly responsible for submitting HSU’s application for resubmission.

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Spence Mountain receives grant for purchase

By Becca Robbins
Herald and News
November 24, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Spence Mountain is one step closer to becoming a community forest managed by Klamath County after the Trust for Public Lands received $435,000 from a National Fish and Wildlife Foundation Acres for America grant to go toward the purchase of the 7,500-acre property. TPL is also looking for a grant award of $2.5 million from the U.S. Forest Service Forest Legacy Program and was one of the three proposals selected by the Oregon Department of Forestry to more forward to national review. TPL needs about $6 million to purchase the land from the current owner, and the NFWF award was the first major grant the project received… According to a TPL document, “Acquisition of this land will permanently protect access to the trail network, and help the community strengthen their recreation economy…, while also managing the health of the forest.”

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Trump administration ignores court order stopping 85,000-acre logging, burning project; conservation groups sue

By Mike Garrity, ED, Alliance for the Wild Rockies
Idaho State Journal
November 22, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Mike Garrity

The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in August 2018 ruled in favor of the Alliance for the Wild Rockies, Idaho Sporting Congress and Native Ecosystems Council and halted a massive Forest Service timber sale that would have logged a mammoth 40,000 acres — over 62 square miles! …  The court ordered the Forest Service to stop all activities on the Lost Creek-Boulder Creek Timber sale in the Payette National Forest because the agency was violating its own Forest Plan. Although it seems almost unbelievable, the new Lost Creek-Boulder Creek decision by the Forest Service basically tells the 9th Circuit the agency has no intention of complying with the court’s order and intends to proceed with its plan to log and burn a combined 85,000 acres in the New Meadows Ranger District and forcing us to once again challenge the Forest Service in court.

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Secretary of State’s attorney billing taxpayers $690 an hour in forest initiatives lawsuit

By Rob Davis
The Oregonian
November 21, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Bev Clarno, center

Secretary of State Bev Clarno’s decision to reject three forestry initiatives on an unprecedented basis will cost taxpayers as much as $30,000 – and potentially even more. Clarno hired a private law firm, Schwabe Williamson Wyatt, after Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum refused to defend a lawsuit resulting from Clarno’s rejection. Documents released Thursday show Clarno’s office agreed to pay $690 an hour to Schwabe attorney W. Michael Gillette, a former Oregon Supreme Court justice. Other Schwabe attorneys working on the case are charging $320 to $400 an hour.  In contrast, state attorneys working for Rosenblum’s Department of Justice charge $214 an hour to the agencies they represent. The contract caps those fees at $30,000, but the lawsuit’s ultimate cost to taxpayers could run higher if Clarno loses and advocates are awarded their attorneys’ fees. 

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Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

As P.E.I. looks to heat more buildings with wood, MLAs question environmental benefits

By Kerry Campbell
CBC News
November 22, 2019
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: Canada East, Canada

As the P.E.I. government looks to convert more public buildings to biomass heat, the Official Opposition is questioning the net environmental impact, and government says it too is looking for answers. The capital budget tabled by the King government last week commits $6.6 million to add 13 more public buildings to the list of 33 schools, hospitals and other buildings converted from heating oil to biomass heat. But as the Opposition pointed out in question period Friday, the environmental benefits of switching to wood heat depend on how the wood is harvested, whether plantings keep up with harvested trees, and how long trees are allowed to grow before they’re cut. “When we burn biomass for energy, we initially and immediately emit greenhouse gases, more than burning coal per unit of energy,” Green Party energy critic Stephen Howard told the House.

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Oaks instead of palm trees? Florida’s iconic palms don’t cut it with climate change

By Kimberly Miller
Phys.org
November 22, 2019
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: US East, United States

South Florida’s palm trees are postcard promises of sighing sea breezes and sandy beaches, but the icon of the tropics may be an impractical adornment in an era of climate change. From the regal royal palm to the sometimes shabby cabbage, the perennial symbol of the Sunshine State offers little shade to baking urban heat islands and captures minimal amounts of carbon—a greenhouse gas contributing to global warming. As city officials look for more ways to cool concrete jungles and balance carbon emissions, the priority for new plantings is often broadleaf hardwood trees, not the idyllic palm. Live oaks can absorb and store 92 pounds of carbon a year with a mature tree’s canopy spanning more than 100 feet. That’s compared to less than one pound of carbon for a royal palm and its compact crown of 15 to 20 fronds.

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