February Focus: Sustainable Forestry

published on 09 February 2021
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What’s in season? Forests!

That’s right, this February we at SettleUp Earth have set our focus on sustainable forestry.

We’ve spent the best part of a year working with academics and partners to delve into the meaning, value, and the significance of forestry. It is in collaboration with our partner, Forest Carbon that we proudly support core practices for renewable forestry. From considerations of soil health to species mix to consideration of waterways and native species, their work stands as a standard of excellence for a holistic approach to afforestation.

So what does a sustainable approach to forestry look like?

First off, it requires caring for the tree planted. An average UK native broadleaf tree offsets 1 tonne of CO2.[1] But it doesn’t do so overnight. It does so throughout its entire lifespan. Secured for a minimum duration of 65 years, each oak, birch, alder or hazel planted stands as a long-lasting investment in our future.

Needless to say, trees can grow much older than this. By protecting the land upon which trees are planted with an emphasis on long-term, permanent change of land usage, Forest Carbon ensures their oak woodlands have time to grow. Just as positive returns on investment require patience, trees require many years to reach maturity.

Given time and space, trees can grow old. In fact, the oldest tree alive to date is 4,852 years old. [2] Named Methuselah, this great basin Bristlecone Pine stands proud in the White Mountains in California. So what is the secret to old age?

A balanced diet of soil nutrients, regular fresh rains, and a very immobile lifestyle. Paying attention to reforested regions also certainly helps. With regular monitoring of qualities such as tree-girth, planting density and species mix, Forest Carbon and the Forestry Commission ensure that we have a good understanding of the carbon dioxide these forests actually take out of the air. Alongside attentive monitoring of their wider ecosystems, these acts ensure oaks planted can peacefully spread their roots. Growing taller, thicker, and stronger, they slowly absorb and accumulate more emissions over time.

Reminding ourselves of the root cause (pun totally intended) of needing to plant trees, we come back to the concept of seasonality. Just how choosing for locally sourced and in-season food helps reducing your footprint, selecting a sustainable forest-planting partner to help offset your emissions is equally important.

And at SettleUp Earth, we help you select the most sustainable partnerships to invest in. Because to us, it’s not just about storing carbon. It’s about creating a thriving ecosystem.

Forestry: the science and craft of creating, managing, using, conserving and repairing forests, woodlands, and associated resources for human and environmental benefits. Forestry is practiced in plantations and natural stands.

References:
[1] https://www.carbonfootprint.com/plantingtrees.html
[2] “Pinus longaeva”. Gymnosperm Database. (2007) Archived from the original on May 17, 2019. Retrieved 2008–06–20.

<i>Written by: </i>Inga Van den Bossche
Written by: Inga Van den Bossche

Who, what, when, where, why? These are the questions driving Inga’s curiosity, both in her role as community manager at SettleUp Earth and as a materials engineer. Sharing her passion for nature by creation of inspiring content, she has a wealth of knowledge to share.

And in her spare time? That’s when scuba diving, hiking, and even planting the occasional Sequoia tree take place.

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