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Maples, birches, ash trees: the ranking of the "smog-eating" trees

Trees as Norway maple, birch warty, ginkgo biloba, hackberry, ash tree, black alder, small-leaved linden, elm, are able - over a period of twenty years of life - to capture almost 4000 kg of CO2 and , at the same time, to block dangerous fine dust, lowering the temperature of the surrounding environment during the hottest summers.

This has been said by a Coldiretti study, also highlighting that several Regions, starting from Emilia-Romagna passing through Piedmont, Lombardy and Veneto, have already taken steps in this direction, in order to support and increase the green equipment in their territories.

The most virtuous, among the smog-eating trees, is the Norway maple, which reaches a height of 20 meters and has large leaves: each specimen is able to absorb up to 3800 kg of CO2 in twenty years and it has an excellent ability to mitigate pollution and to reduce heat in urban environments.

Next in line, with 3100 kg of CO2 removed from the air, there is the birch warty, which grows even on the most rough terrain, and the cerro, which can reach up to a height of 35 meters.

Among the oldest trees (the origins date back to about 250 million years ago), there is the ginkgo biloba that, in addition to absorbing 2800 kg of CO2, also boasts a high capacity to curb gas, dust and heat and has a strong adaptability to all terrain, including the urban ones.

The ash tree is another "green giant" that can reach up to 40 meters in height, while the black alder is the smallest of the group, with an average height of 10 meters, but despite its small size it is able to block up to 2600 kg of carbon dioxide and to ensure a strong absorption of gaseous pollutants.

VEG-GAP Project - LIFE18 PRE IT 003
Duration: December 2018 - December 2021
Total Budget: 1,666,667 Euro
European Financial Contribution: 1,000,000 Euro
Coordinated by Mihaela Mircea, ENEA (IT)