Plants 8 times more effective at reducing pollution than previously believed.

Both nitrogen dioxide (NO2) and microscopic particulate matter (PM) are taken up by plants in far greater quantities in “urban canyons” than what was believed.


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Real scientists say “don’t plant trees to close”

Scientific fodder in the fight against closely planted trees: apparently car exhaust gets trapped in the canopies of trees when they are placed in an “urban canyon” (rows of high buildings).

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Roots dictate: Size of pot = size of plant

Interesting implications for containerized trees:

“From their 3-D MRI root scans, the researchers observed that potted plants quickly extend their roots to the pot’s walls. It is likely that the plants use their roots to ‘sense’ the size of the pot, although the details of how the roots relay the message about the pot’s size remain the plants’ secret.”

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Role of Urban Greenery in CO2 Exchange Demonstrated

Interesting excerpts: 

“For nine months out of the year, the suburban landscape was a source of CO2 to the atmosphere; but during the summer, the carbon uptake by vegetation was large enough to balance out fossil fuel emissions of carbon within the neighborhood. Compared to the natural landscape outside the city, the peak daily uptake of CO2 in the suburbs would have been at the low end uptake for a hardwood forest in the region.

“Lawns’ peak carbon uptake occurred in the spring and fall, because they are made up of cool-season grass species that are stressed by summer heat,” said Peters, “while trees had higher CO2 uptake throughout the summer.” Evergreen trees maintained their CO2 uptake for a longer period of time than deciduous trees because they keep their leaves year-round; deciduous trees lose their leaves in fall and winter.”

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