Trees – Absorbing Carbon Dioxide

Q: I am looking for a formal listings of trees that absorb more carbon dioxide in the photosynthesis process than other trees. Since we live in such a harsh urban environment, I would like to be able to recommend those type trees to people.

A: Hmmmmm….that’s not something I’m very qualified to answer.

I would speculate that trees that have the most leaf surface area and which grow fastest would absorb the most carbon dioxide – after all, the carbon in CO2 is what makes the carbohydrates, cellulose and lignins that keep the tree upright and healthy.

But that would mean you’d have to recommend weed trees, like paulownia, ailianthus and silver maple wouldn’t it? Dr. Kim Coder at the UGA Forestry School would know more than me.

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