Environmental Benefits

Greenhouse Gases

Oxygen needs

Forest Management



Greenhouse Gases      top

The 2005 Canadian government information on Climate Change estimates that you produce 3 tonnes of CO2 if you drive a mid-sized car 15,000 km a year and another 4 tonnes to cover heating, lighting and other appliances, totaling 7 tonnes of CO2 per year.

An acre of mature trees can capture 2.6 tonnes of CO2 per year.

The Kyoto target for Canada is to reduce our CO2 output by 6% of 1990 levels by 2012.

A sixth of an acre of trees can capture 430Kg of CO2 per year, which is 6% of your annual CO2 production.

So one way to meet your personal Kyoto target of a 6% reduction of CO2 is to secure a sixth of an acre of trees.  To absorb your entire personal CO2 production requires almost 3 acres of trees.

Many dismiss the Kyoto target as impractical, impossible, ineffective - but if we do nothing then we are headed for disaster.  Only by many of us acting individually can we make a real difference.

An acre of trees absorb enough carbon dioxide in a year to equal the amount produced when you drive a car 26,000 miles (41,000 km). (North Carolina State University).

An acre of trees will trap the CO2 produced by driving a car 14,000 km or 8,700 miles, or 2.6 tons of CO2 . (Source: International Society of Arboriculture)

There has been a 30% increase in atmospheric CO2 over the past 200 years.  The soil is the largest terrestrial source of CO2.  In hotter regions, organic matter decomposes quickly, releasing its CO2.  In more temperate climates, such as North America and Europe, organic matter can stay in the first metre of soil for 1000 years or more.  There is at least twice as much carbon in the first metre of soil than there is in the atmosphere.  Clear-cutting increases the soil temperature and hence speeds the release of CO2 from forest that would otherwise remain trapped for a long time.
(Source: Progress Research & Discovery 2005, Kellman Beltrami, St Francis Xavier University)


Oxygen needs      top

The amount of woodland needed to produce enough breathable oxygen for one person is a matter of debate. Estimates range from as low as two trees through to as much as 0.1 acres / 0.04 hectares.  So dedicating a sixth of an acre will not only produce all the oxygen you need, but will also help reduce your personal greenhouse gas emissions.

A typical tree produces about 260 pounds of oxygen each year. Two trees can supply a personís oxygen needs. This is a conservative estimate based on the average annual oxygen consumption for a person at rest of 400 pounds a year. (Source: David Nowak, USDA Forest Service, Syracuse, NY)


Forest Management      top

This is an extract from Mitigating and Adapting to Climate Change Through the Conservation of Nature By Sara J. Wilson and Richard J. Hebda, which was produced by the Land Trust Alliance of British Columbia:
"The immense stores of carbon in existing ecosystems are of great importance for both mitigation and adaptation of climate change, especially compared to the potential of removing atmospheric carbon by planting new forests. First, carbon storage in young forests takes a long time especially in terms of replacing lost carbon. Second, because there is so little time to slow global warming, the priority should be on preventing carbon losses and conserving the carbon stores that exist. Third, by protecting existing ecosystems there will be a wide range of habitat to provide connecting corridors for plant and animal migration as the climate warms. Fourth, the protection of intact ecosystems provides resiliency for ecosystems and the communities that depend upon them." This paragraph is good summary of the philosophy of Trees In Trust.

As far as is possible, your woodland is left completely undisturbed to allow natural regeneration and to maximize the environmental and wildlife benefits.  Your woodland is protected by the strongest possible laws available, with the aim of protecting the ecological integrity of the woodland forever. Click here for details on how each piece of woodland is protected and click here for detailed information on the history and ecology of the various Trees In Trust woodlands.

The land trust that manages your woodland is a charitable not-for-profit organization that exists primarily to secure and protect environmentally important forested areas and other endangered land.  By dedicating a plot of woodland, the future of that plot is assured.  The plot is held in perpetuity in the name of the purchaser, or in memorial of a departed friend or relative.

Clear-cutting is an all too common practice, devastating when it occurs in Brazilian rain-forest but just as damaging to the local wildlife when it occurs at home.  Mono-cultures of pine and spruce are of limited value to wildlife and, when felled, are of no value.  The ideal mix of trees is always of native hardwoods and softwoods.  Huge areas of native old-growth forest are being clear-cut each year and they are often re-planted with high value softwoods - that is high value to the corporations, not high value to the wildlife and the environment.  Natural woodland containing a mix of native species not only protects against the potential of disease wiping out the entire forest but also provides a much better home for native wildlife and migratory birds.  As noted above by Kellman Beltrami, mature woodland can trap CO2 for up to 1000 years.


Links      top

Prince Edward Island
Island Nature Trust  www.islandnaturetrust.ca
Hunter-Clyde Watershed Group   hcwg.editme.com
Prince Edward Island Eco-Net  www.peieconet.org

New Brunswick
Nature Trust of New Brunswick  www.naturetrust.nb.ca
New Brunswick Environmental Network  www.nben.ca

Ontario Nature   www.ontarionature.org
Saugeen Conservation   www.svca.on.ca

Meewasin Valley Authority   www.meewasin.com

The Green Pages  www.thegreenpages.ca (an excellent resource with a page for each province)
Tree Canada  www.treecanada.ca
Canadian Model Forest Network  www.modelforest.net
Canadian Boreal Initiative  www.borealcanada.ca

World Resources Institute  www.wri.org
The Orion Network   www.orionsociety.org  (an excellent on-line magazine)

Corkin View Beach House   www.peisland.com/corkinview
SweetSpotMarketing   www.sweetspotmarketing.ca

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