Carbon Sequestration

Sequestration: How much CO2 does a tree take up?

The issue of sequestration is very complicated. Sequestration rates vary greatly according to the age, composition, and location of the forests and the type of soil.

The information TCI used for its computer brochure was taken from:
Forests and Global Change, Vol. 2, Forest Management Opportunities for Mitigation of Carbon Emissions. Neil Sampson and Dwight Hair, Washington, 1996.

Northeast, maple-beech-birch forests

25 year old forest: 12,000 lbs of carbon / 25 = 480 lbs of C per acre per year x 44/12 =1,760 lbs of CO2 per acre per year

120 year old forest: 128,000 lbs of carbon / 120 = 1,066 lbs of C per year per acre x 44/12 =3,909 lbs of CO2 per acre per year

Tree density varies, and we used an average of 700 trees per acre (this number was taken from DOE’s "Sector-Specific Issues and Reporting Methodologies Supporting the General Guidelines for the Voluntary Reporting of Greenhouse Gases under Sections 1605(b) of the Energy Policy Act of 1992")

TCI-trees.jpg25 year old forest: 1,760 lbs of CO2 per acre per year / 700 trees =
average of 2.52 lbs of CO2 per tree per year (rounded to 3 lbs)

120 year old forest: 3,909 lbs of CO2 per year per acre =
average of 5.58 lbs of CO2 per tree per year

Northeast, white and red pine forests

25 year old forest: 67,000 lbs of carbon / 25 = 2,680 lbs of C per acre per year x 44/12 = 9,826 lbs of CO2 per acre per year / 700 =
average of 14 lbs of CO2 per year per tree (rounded to 15 lbs)

120 year old forest: 246,000 lbs of carbon / 120 = 2,050 lbs of C per acre per year x 44/12 = 7,516 lbs of CO2 per acre per year / 700 =
average of 11.7 lbs of CO2 per year per tree .

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