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Tag: trees

Climate change: Will planting millions of trees really save the planet?

Climate change: Will planting millions of trees really save the planet?

Science
From Greta Thunberg to Donald Trump and airlines to oil companies, everyone is suddenly going crazy for trees. The UK government has pledged to plant millions a year while other countries have schemes running into billions. But are these grand ambitions achievable? How much carbon dioxide do trees really pull in from the atmosphere? And what happens to a forest, planted amid a fanfare, over the following decades?How many will the UK plant?Last year's...
Secrets of ‘1,000-year-old trees’ unlocked

Secrets of ‘1,000-year-old trees’ unlocked

Science
Scientists have discovered the secret of how the ginkgo tree can live for more than 1,000 years.A study found the tree makes protective chemicals that fend off diseases and drought. And, unlike many other plants, its genes are not programmed to trigger inexorable decline when its youth is over. The ginkgo can be found in parks and gardens across the world, but is on the brink of extinction in the wild."The secret is maintaining a really healthy defence system and being a species that does not have a pre-determined senescence (aging) programme," said Richard Dixon of the University of North Texas, Denton. "As ginkgo trees age, they show no evidence of weakening their ability to defend themselves from stresses." ...
World’s oldest fossil trees uncovered in New York

World’s oldest fossil trees uncovered in New York

Science
The earliest fossilised trees, dating back 386 million years, have been found at an abandoned quarry in New York.Scientists believe the forest they belonged to was so vast it originally stretched beyond Pennsylvania.This discovery in Cairo, New York, is thought to be two or three million years older than what was previously the world's oldest forest at Gilboa, also in New York State.The findings throw new light on the evolution of trees.What did they find?It was more than 10 years ago that experts from Cardiff University, UK, Binghamton University in the US and the New York State Museum began looking at the site in the foothills of the Catskill Mountains in the Hudson Valley.Since then, they have mapped over 3,000 square metres o...
New hope for trees affected by ash dieback

New hope for trees affected by ash dieback

Science
Scientists say there is new hope in the fight against a disease that is devastating ash trees.A study has identified the genes that give trees resistance to ash dieback, which arrived in the UK in 2012 and has now spread to almost every part of the country.The discovery suggests that trees could now be bred that are unaffected by the epidemic.The research is published in the journal Nature Ecology and Evolution.Prof Richard Buggs, from the Royal Botanic Gardens Kew, said: "I hope this work will lead to us safeguarding ash populations for future generations." Media playback is unsupported on your device Ash dieback is caused by the fungus Hymenoscyphus fraxineus, which originated in As...
Trees often better, cheaper than technology at mitigating air pollution, study says

Trees often better, cheaper than technology at mitigating air pollution, study says

Science
Nov. 6 (UPI) -- Planting trees and shrubs around factories and power plants may be a better air pollution mitigation strategy than installing scrubbing technologies, according to a new study. When researchers analyzed the potential of natural and technological mitigation strategies for dozens of pollution sources, including factories, roadways, power plants, oil and gas drilling sites and more, they found natural interventions were superior roughly 75 percent of the time. The findings, published this week in the journal Environmental Science and Technology, showed natural remedies reduced air pollution by an average of 27 percent. "The fact is that traditionally, especially as engineers, we don't think about nature; we just focus on putting technology into everything," lead study author ...