Air Quality

Urban trees may do more than you think

A recent state-by-state study finds that U.S. urban trees store carbon and provide billions in economic value. America's urban forests store an estimated 708 million tons of carbon, an environmental service with an estimated value of $50 billion, according to a recent Forest Service study. The annual net carbon uptake by these trees is estimated at 21 million tons and $1.5 billion in economic benefit.

National Arbor Day is April 26

Everyone has a favorite tree – a source of fun, shade or solace when we just need a quiet place. Thanks to a recent report, “Vibrant Cities & Urban Forests: A National Call to Action,” we now know our trees also provide so much more. Trees can create jobs and help reduce chronic illnesses like asthma and obesity. Trees can increase home values and lower summer temperatures. Trees make our air cleaner and provide habitat for native animals. In short, trees are the key to a vibrant, healthy community.

What is the value of a tree?

After more than 20 years of research, David Nowak, who heads USFS’s Northeastern research unit, thinks he knows. He’s leading an effort to standardize tree valuation. The U.S. Forest Service’s i-Tree platform calculates a city’s "leaf surface area," and gives trees an economic value, from the environmental services they provide. How much carbon stored? How much ozone, nitrogen, particulates, removed?

Finalists announced for first-ever Wood Stove Design Challenge

Last week judges announced 14 finalists for the Wood Stove Design Challenge. This is the first international competition to build an affordable, cleaner-burning wood stove for residential heating.

In selecting finalists, judges looked for designs that could produce ultra-low emissions, high efficiency, in addition to innovation, affordability, and marketability.

Maryland starts Clean Burning Wood Stove Grant Program

Wood is often ignored in renewable energy discussions in favor of the "sexier" alternatives: solar, wind and ethanol. But when we look at the numbers, 85 percent of all renewable energy in Maryland is from wood heating. For years, Maryland has been giving generous rebates to families to install solar photovoltaic panels, geothermal systems and wind turbines. That's great, but the rebates typically go to Maryland's wealthiest residents.

Biomass and Renewable Energy

State Foresters view forests as a strategic national resource of vital importance to meeting the nation’s economic, environmental, and energy needs. Biomass from the nation’s public and private forests can and must be part of any solution to meeting the nation’s renewable energy goals, particularly in regions where solar, wind, and other renewable resources are less prevalent.