Every tree, especially trees in the city, serves to mitigate and adapt to climate change to its maximum. It means that the tree becomes an asset, not a liability.
Maximize the ecosystem services of carefully selected trees while preserving their safety and longevity.
Implement measures that can achieve these objectives.
Optimize these measures to make the most efficient use of resources and leave the lowest carbon footprint.
Find the financial resources to implement such measures.
Initiate and research measures that lead to the maximization of tree ecosystem services.
Initiate the implementation of urban forestry innovations into practice.
Ing. Martin Tušer
Mgr. Jaroslav Tušer
Technical infrastructure, databases and AI
Climate change is humanity’s most pressing problem. If we do not combat it, all other values and pleasures will become irrelevant. Our education, wealth, and beauty will have no meaning.
Big trees in cities are an unused tool to fight climate change and are disappearing from our settlements. The bigger the tree, and the more it grows, the more it adds to mitigating climate change through carbon storage and sequestration, and adapting to it, e.g., by cooling the environment.
In doing so, it is relatively easy to preserve them and encourage them to grow to their maximum potential. Measures to promote growth are known and proven. These include watering, improving the soil in the root zone, limiting the influence of harmful organisms, and many others.
Will a new planting replace a tree that was removed?
A large tree is an entirely irreplaceable tool for urban adaptation to climate change. A small one will never replace it. Neither 100 nor 1000 newly planted trees can replace one large tree. The exact replacement can be calculated. For example, in terms of carbon storage, a 100-year-old oak tree must be replaced by about 3000 seven-year-old trees with a 14-16 cm trunk circumference.
If the wood from the fallen tree is burned, we must double the number. (Leverett, R., Tuser, M. WE CAN’T PLANT OUR WAY OUT OF THE CLIMATE CRISIS. TREEIB.COM. LEDASCO Ltd. 2021. https://www.treeib.com/carbon-storage-in-trees-metric-robert-leverett*.
Regarding carbon sequestration or cooling, one large tree can be replaced by several hundred new trees, depending very much on how fast the trees grow. But it has its pitfalls.
The Paradoxes of new tree planting
New city plantings are carbon positive for about 30 years, meaning that their carbon footprint is erased after that time, and only then do they help us fight climate change. Scientific studies also state that the life expectancy of a tree in a city is, on average, 7-28 years, meaning that trees will never reach carbon neutrality. So we are essentially harming ourselves by planting trees instead of helping ourselves.
There is also generally little room for new plantings in settlements. So even when replacement planting is imposed, new trees are planted on the city’s periphery, far from where they originally grew.
Many cities are trying tree species for plantings that are described as drought tolerant. This is undoubtedly a way to have trees in the towns in the future, but it must also be said that their cooling and shading effect, for example, is far less than these benefits are with our existing species. The linden or willow, for example, is unsurpassed in cooling.