LTE: Tree planting in Hopewell Township

Dear MercerMe:

It was heartening to read in the April 15 Issue that Pennington Borough will continue its 34-year history of recognition as a Tree City by planting a cherry tree on April 29 at Toll Gate Elementary. (See Pennington celebrates Tree City recognition.)

Hopewell Township is enthusiastic about tree planting as well, and the Township will commemorate the ecological significance and grandeur of trees in a ceremony at Woolsey Park on April 30 that will focus on a seedling of the famous Salem Oak now planted there. This tree joins other special trees already growing at the Park; more will follow as a planned arboretum at the Park takes shape.

Planting a tree reminds us that we can do something that significantly helps the nearby environment. Trees provide cooling shade, cleanse the air of particles and other air pollutants, and provide solace and beauty. And collectively, if done on a large scale, tree planting can help offset our species’ climate-disrupting emissions of carbon dioxide from our still promiscuous combustion of fossil fuels. By pulling carbon dioxide from the air as they grow, trees sequester carbon in their wood as well as below ground. Further, solid wood products made from harvested trees can extend carbon storage by many decades when used for building construction.

Tree planting is no substitute for hard actions to reduce carbon emissions by policies like taxing the carbon content of fuels. But planting a tree is a step in the direction of protecting Earth’s environment, and a fun step at that.

Mike Aucott
Pennington, NJ

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