All About Trees

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There are more trees on earth than expected: Can you guess how many?

If you guessed 3 trillion, you’re correct. Approached by a youth group that wanted to know whether planting a billion trees would help fight climate change, a Yale forestry researcher needed to first know how many trees are on Earth. Using ground-based and satellite measurements along with computer models, he and his colleagues arrived at the staggering result. The previous estimate was 400 billion trees. However, Earth used to have even far more trees than that. See the article here:

The fireproof tree. Has its time come?

The US Forest Service fights forest fires with different strategies—air dropped chemicals, water, and fire breaks. But what about using the trees themselves? That’s exactly what European researchers are doing. Spanish and Italian researchers are finding that the Cypress tree might be as close to fireproof as a tree can get, and think it can be used as a natural buffer to could prevent the spread of wildfires.

Cleaning up a forest fire: A look at salvage work in the aftermath of California blazes.

The headlines are always about the fires, but what happens once large forest fires are extinguished? California’s record drought last summer allowed lightning strikes to set off a round of forest fires that burned over 80,000 acres. One tract of land lost nearly 6,300 acres, which translates to about 50 million board feet.

We tend to think of forest fires destroying everything in their path—but once fires are put out, but these big fires still can leave large tracts where green wood can be salvaged.

However, a lot depends on the age of the trees—on plantations where trees that are younger than 30 years, it’s a total loss, because the logs aren’t big enough to saw. Time is also of the essence in forest salvage operations, because bugs quickly invade the damaged trees.

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