And now, new work by researchers at University College London shows that pockets of this urban jungle store as much carbon per hectare as tropical rainforests.
More than half of the world’s population lives in cities, and urban trees are critical to human health and well-being.
Trees provide shade, mitigate floods, absorb carbon dioxide (CO₂), filter air pollution and provide habitats for birds, mammals and other plants.
Urban trees are particularly effective at absorbing CO₂, because they are located so close to sources such as fossil fuel-burning transport and industrial activity.
This carbon storage potential is an extremely important aspect of their value, but is very hard to quantify.
The UCL team’s 3D lidar data are helping monitor the state of this “Hardy Ash” tree in its dotage.
This is just one of the ways new science is helping tell the stories of old trees. »