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 2021 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.
Now, the results are in! There were eight entries in the Single Tree category and five in the Woodland category. And now for the winners!
Single Tree category
The tree that sequestered the most carbon was an eastern white pine in Itasca County submitted by Team Rommel/Roerick. This tree stores nearly 2,000 pounds of carbon and is 24.0 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 1,622 miles driven by a typical passenger vehicle.
- The CO2 emissions from 73 gallons of gasoline.
- And the CO2 emissions from charging 78,000 smartphones.
The woodland that sequestered the most carbon was a woodland in Houston County submitted by Kara K. This woodland has a diversity of species, including shagbark hickory, bitternut hickory, and hackberry.
In May, this woodland stored 18.4 tons of carbon per acre. By September, it sequestered an additional 3.9 tons of carbon per acre. This carbon sequestration amount is equivalent to:
- The greenhouse gas emissions from 32,000 miles driven by a typical passenger vehicle.
- The CO2 emissions from 1,200 gallons of gasoline.
- And the CO2 emissions from charging 1.5 million 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!
This year's Carbon Capture Challenge was sponsored in part through funding from the Minnesota Forest Resources Council.
Single Tree category
|Place||Team name||County||Species||Tree diameter (inches)||Carbon stored in tree (pounds)||Carbon sequestered this year (pounds)|
|1||Team Rommel/Roerick||Itasca||Eastern white pine||24.0||1,939||388|
|2||Arbor Yard||Ramsey||Silver Maple||54.3||23,796||319|
|3||The Property||Dakota||Bur oak||29.2||5,278||118|
|4||Tree Lady||Washington||Eastern white pine||22.1||1,586||86|
|5||Sylvan Ridge Woodlot||St. Croix (WI)||Eastern white pine||40.2||6,828||62|
|6||Roseville Silver Maples||Ramsey||Silver maple||15.4||1,115||42|
|7||Grow Team, Grow!||Ramsey||Sugar maple||8.2||242||10|
|8||Wabedo Wanderer||Cass||Bur oak||14.9||1,022||3|
|Place||Team name||County||Species||Carbon in woods (tons per acre)||Carbon sequestered this year (tons per acre)|
|1||Kara K||Houston||Shagbark and bitternut hickory, hackberry||22.3||3.9|
|2||Sunrise River Partnership||Chisago||White oak, eastern white pine||47.9||2.7|
|3||Westwood Tree Farm||Kanabec||Red pine||19.2||0.5|
|4||Sylvan Ridge Woodlot||St. Croix (WI)||Red pine, eastern white pine||15.0||0.2|
|5||Norway Guy||Pine||Red pine||16.5||-5.5|