Minnesotans recently measured trees in the Tree and Woodland Carbon Capture Challenge. The goal? To find the tree and woodland in Minnesota that sequestered the most carbon!
Participants measured trees in May 2020 at the beginning of the growing season. Then at the end of the growing season in September, participants measured the same tree again to determine how much they grew. The participants shared their data with UMN Extension and the amount of carbon in their trees was calculated.
This family-friendly and close-to-home activity allowed participants to learn more about the value of trees in the carbon cycle.
Trees have mostly stopped growing for the year, and the results are in! There were 20 entries in the Single Tree Category and 5 in the Woodland Category. And now for the winners!
Single Tree category
The tree that sequestered the most carbon was a silver maple in Ramsey County submitted by Girth Getters. This tree stores nearly 5,000 pounds of carbon and is 27.9 inches in diameter at breast height. In the growing season, it sequestered 846 pounds of carbon. This amount is equivalent to:
- The greenhouse gas emissions from 3,491 miles driven by a typical passenger vehicle.
- The CO2 emissions from 158 gallons of gasoline.
- And the CO2 emissions from charging 179,000 smartphones.
The woodland that sequestered the most carbon was a woodland in Hubbard County submitted by Team Trillium. This woodland has a diversity of species, including aspen, basswood, sugar maple, and bur oak.
In May, this woodland stored 35.9 tons of carbon per acre. By September, it sequestered an additional 1.3 tons of carbon per acre. This amount is equivalent to:
- The greenhouse gas emissions from 10,730 miles driven by a typical passenger vehicle.
- The CO2 emissions from 487 gallons of gasoline.
- And the CO2 emissions from charging 551,000 smartphones.
The full results from the competition can be found below. As a prize, each of the winning teams will receive a cribbage board made from reclaimed urban wood.
Congrats to the winners and their trees!
Single Tree category
|Place||Team name||County||Species||Tree diameter (inches)||Carbon stored in tree (pounds)||Carbon sequestered this year (pounds)|
|1||Girth Getters||Ramsey||Sugar maple||27.9||4,694||846|
|2||Green Air||Ramsey||Silver Maple||59.2||29,425||779|
|4||Tree Detective Denise||Becker||Maple||19.0||1,847||206|
|5||Gupta Gang||Olmsted||Silver maple||15.1||1,056||193|
|6||Cul-de-sac Carbon Eaters||Dakota||Tilia x europaea (linden)||20.6||1,713||141|
|7||Gustafson's Carbon Farm||Wright||Green ash||24||2,503||128|
|8||Team Trillium||Hubbard||White pine||28.4||2,921||99|
|10||Tree Guyz||Saint Louis||White spruce||11.8||380||96|
|11||Wabedo Woods||Cass||White oak||15.0||1,045||90|
|12||Webster Tree Frogs 2||Rice||White oak||12.6||679||85|
|13||Drimels Brush up on Hardwoods (DBH)||Washington||White oak||33.2||7,185||53|
|14||Webster Tree Frogs 1||Rice||Sugar maple||15.4||1,107||51|
|16||Duluth Lakeside||St. Louis||Quaking aspen||10.7||320||11|
|18||Strauss Haus||Olmsted||White pine||3.4||17||6|
|19||Henry's Tree||Steele||Skyline locust||3.0||14||2|
|20||Rex's Team||Hennepin||Silver maple||34.1||7,668||0|
|Place||Team name||Species||Carbon in woods (tons per acre)||Carbon sequestered this year (tons per acre)|
|1||Team Trillium||Quaking aspen, basswood, bur oak, sugar maple||37.2||1.33|
|2||Perry Pines||Red pine||22.5||1.09|
|3||Awesome Aspen||Quaking aspen, balsam fir||8.5||0.41|
|4||Webster Tree Frogs||Northern red oak||3.0||0.39|
|5||Westwood Farm||Red pine||17.0||0.35|