Does planting Trees actually deliver carbon capture

very well written letter, I totally agree, however I do not have the scientific references to back up my opinions. Remember, at the moment we have "group think" that trees=good, animals/meat=bad. and as I have posted here before, science advances one funeral at a time, so I fear the present orthodoxy will not change, until the presents "experts" are all dead and buried.
 
Location
southwest
Can't read the letter as I'm on a palm top, but my answer would be:

Yes, but it takes a couple of generations, planting or maintaining the same area as grassland would have a better, and more immediate effect. Anyone thinking planting a few thousand whips today could immediately cancel out the carbon footprint of even 1 jet plane flight is an idiot.
 

DaveGrohl

Member
Location
Cumbria
There are 2 'kinds' of carbon; the carbon that is part of the carbon cycle which goes round and round (clue's in the name) and the extracted carbon which comes from oil , coal and gas.
There is no point in fiddling with the carbon cycle until the problem of extracted carbon is dealt with.
Why do people have so much difficulty understanding this??
I don't mind the hard of thinking not understanding this. I do mind govts setting policy on the basis of complete bollox.
 

Muddyroads

Member
Location
Devon
I too have serious doubts that trees will help anything.
Carbon release causing global warming fundamentally comes from burning oil, gas and coal, releasing GHG’s which have previously been locked away for millions of years. To a lesser degree, burning other carbon based fuels such as wood and straw will play a lesser part. The natural methane cycle, whether it’s from ruminants or rice, is just that, a cycle.
Anyone who thinks planting trees in this country will be a suitable replacement for those burnt in the Amazon is misguided, especially if they’re replacing permanent pasture.
Unless the timber from trees is used or locked away, any gain they give will be short lived.
What never seems to get mentioned is the likely viability of the trees now being planted. We have Dutch Elm, Sudden Oak Death and Ash Die Back. Our changing climate is only likely to lead to more tree diseases, particularly fungal attacks, which render the timber useless, so it either rots or gets burned, releas all the carbon back into the atmosphere.
 

Longlowdog

Member
Location
Aberdeenshire
Woodlands do not need to be anaerobic to capture carbon. Yes vegetation rots but it is in symbiosis with fungal, yeast, worm, mammal, avian, insect, reptilian, etc production along with retention in timber. A wood is an ecosystem not a collection of trees. Even row cropped softwoods contribute to a capturing system that extends beyond yield class evaluation of timber gains. Further more calculations based on yield class growth take no account of leaf drop, fruit production, branch casting through shading etc during the life of the tree and make no consideration of lop and top remaining on the site at felling.
If a deer that would not previously inhabit an area is born and raised in a developing woodland it is capturing carbon, if a worm eats a leaf it is capturing carbon, likewise every bacteria, microbe and animal that belongs to that system.
I know my p.p builds soil because rocks visible 15 years ago are now covered with soil, but, my deciduous trees have one heck of a natural mulch below them. I wouldn't like to bet on which is the better performing system without a great deal of site specific research and evaluation.
 

Kiwi Pete

Member
Livestock Farmer
There are 2 'kinds' of carbon; the carbon that is part of the carbon cycle which goes round and round (clue's in the name) and the extracted carbon which comes from oil , coal and gas.
There is no point in fiddling with the carbon cycle until the problem of extracted carbon is dealt with.
Why do people have so much difficulty understanding this??
Because it simply doesn't suit - point the finger and the other fingers point back at you!
 

egbert

Member
Woodlands do not need to be anaerobic to capture carbon. Yes vegetation rots but it is in symbiosis with fungal, yeast, worm, mammal, avian, insect, reptilian, etc production along with retention in timber. A wood is an ecosystem not a collection of trees. Even row cropped softwoods contribute to a capturing system that extends beyond yield class evaluation of timber gains. Further more calculations based on yield class growth take no account of leaf drop, fruit production, branch casting through shading etc during the life of the tree and make no consideration of lop and top remaining on the site at felling.
If a deer that would not previously inhabit an area is born and raised in a developing woodland it is capturing carbon, if a worm eats a leaf it is capturing carbon, likewise every bacteria, microbe and animal that belongs to that system.
I know my p.p builds soil because rocks visible 15 years ago are now covered with soil, but, my deciduous trees have one heck of a natural mulch below them. I wouldn't like to bet on which is the better performing system without a great deal of site specific research and evaluation.
You're following it through well, - and it's very good that several here are thinking about/grasping some of the building blocks of what happens when you plant trees/burn oil.
And the OP letter is a good one- if open to discussion. (like...where will the carbon come from in a second crop of trees grown on former arable?)

But something I'm watching, and thinking about, is the long term storage. (decades/centuries...which i realise is a bit pathetic given the origin of the oil)
The boulders still poke through very ancient forests I've rummaged around, suggesting a carbon cycle involving the complex biome (is that the word?) once a forest has built carbon to a point, has a ceiling.
I can't find meters deep soil grown through sequestration anywhere short of saturated peat.

And where I've seen increased OM on my own pasture, the ground quickly becomes hugely unstable- it poaches (cattle) and/or ruts (tractors) very easily.
Oh, and I've planted woodland where canopy closure has left soil more vulnerable to erosion than it seemed before.

At the very least, it's complicated, and merely a smokescreen for the continued burning of fossil fuel.
 

holwellcourtfarm

Member
Livestock Farmer
A paper released last year (don't have the reference to hand) found typical modern forestry planting techniques lead to significant release of stored carbon when used in grassland sites, such that it takes over 20 years for the trees to make up for it.

It looks increasingly like the evidence shows planting trees to replace established pasture is a serious mistake in climate terms.
 
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Rejuvenating swards: Which option is best?

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Written by Brian McDonnell

Maintaining grass quality during mid-season grazing is important. Farmers can maintain quality by entering ideal grazing covers of 1,300 – 1,500kg DM/ha, and grazing down to a residual of 4cm every rotation.

If you are now in a situation where cows are not cleaning out paddocks as well as they should be, leading to the development of steamy grass within the sward, here are some options.

Common options for rejuvenating swards include:

  1. Take a silage cut, probably into bales, remove the material and start again with the aftermath...
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