Urban forests have been recognized as important storage sites for green house gasses, primarily CO2. This process is known as carbon sequestration, or the removal of carbon from the atmosphere and depositing it into a reservoir. Terrestrial carbon sequestration is the process through which carbon dioxide (CO2) from the atmosphere is absorbed by trees, plants, and crops through photosynthesis, and stored as carbon in biomass (tree trunks, branches, foliage and roots) and soils. The urban forest vegetation can reduce atmospheric carbon dioxide in two primary ways:
- Trees directly sequester carbon dioxide in their stems and leaves while they grow.
- Trees that grow near buildings can reduce the demand for air conditioning and heating, thereby reducing emissions from energy production methods.
The Village of Howard’s urban forest produces many benefits to the community including energy savings, reducing atmospheric CO2, improving air quality, reducing storm water runoff, and aesthetics as well as other social , economic, and health benefits.