Skip to page content
USDA Forest Service
  
Treesearch

Research & Development Treesearch

 
Treesearch Home
About Treesearch
Contact Us
Research & Development
Forest Products Lab
International Institute of Tropical Forestry
Northern
Pacific Northwest
Pacific Southwest
Rocky Mountain
Southern Research Station
Help
 

Science.gov - We Participate


USA.gov  Government Made Easy


Global Forest Information Service

US Forest Service
P.O. Box 96090
Washington, D.C.
20090-6090

(202) 205-8333

You are here: Home / Search / Publication Information
Bookmark and Share

Publication Information

View PDF (0 bytes)

Related Research Highlights

Picture of Trees in Los Angeles:  Carbon Dioxide Sink or Source
PSW-2014-107
Trees in Los Angeles: Carbon Dioxide Sink or Source

Title: A life cycle carbon dioxide inventory of the Million Trees Los Angeles Program

Author: McPherson, E. Gregory; Kendall, Alissa;

Date: 2014

Source: Int J Life Cycle Assess: 19:1653-1665

Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)

Description: Purpose

This study seeks to answer the question, “Will the Million Trees LA (Million Trees Los Angeles, MTLA) program be a carbon dioxide (CO2) sink or source?” Because there has never been a full accounting of CO2 emissions, it is unclear if urban tree planting initiatives (TPIs) are likely to be effective means for reaching local reduction targets.

Methods

Using surveys, interviews, field sampling, and computer simulation of tree growth and survival over a 40-year time period, we developed the first process-based life cycle inventory of CO2 for a large TPI. CO2 emissions and reductions from storage and avoided emissions from energy savings were simulated for 91,786 trees planted from 2006 to 2010, of which only 30,813 (33.6 %) were estimated to survive.

Results and discussion

The MTLA program was estimated to release 17,048 and 66,360 t of fossil and biogenic CO2 over the 40-year period, respectively. The total amount emitted (83,408 t) was slightly more than the −77,942 t CO2 that trees were projected to store in their biomass. The MTLA program will be a CO2 sink if projected 40-year-avoided fossil fuel CO2 emissions from energy savings (−101,679 t) and biopower (−1,939 t) are realized. The largest sources of CO2 emissions were mulch decomposition (65.1 %), wood combustion (14.5 %), and irrigation water (9.7 %).

Conclusions

Although trees planted by the MTLA program are likely to be a net CO2 sink, there is ample opportunity to reduce emissions. Examples of these opportunities include selecting drought-tolerant trees and utilizing wood residue to generate electricity rather than producing mulch.

Keywords: Carbon footprint, Carbon sequestration, Climate change, Life cycle inventory, Tree planting, Urban forestry, Urban trees

Publication Notes:

  • We recommend that you also print this page and attach it to the printout of the article, to retain the full citation information.
  • This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.

XML: View XML

Citation:


McPherson, E. Gregory; Kendall, Alissa. 2014. A life cycle carbon dioxide inventory of the Million Trees Los Angeles Program. Int J Life Cycle Assess. 19: 1653-1665.

 


 [ Get Acrobat ]  Get the latest version of the Adobe Acrobat reader or Acrobat Reader for Windows with Search and Accessibility

USDA logo which links to the department's national site. Forest Service logo which links to the agency's national site.