|Carbon dioxide concentration in the atmosphere as measured by the Mauna Loa Observatory on Hawaii.From NOAA|
The "General Sherman" sequoia tree in California is the largest living thing on Earth by volume. Its volume of 52,500 cubic feet, or about 1486 cubic meters, contains over one million kilograms (and over 2.2 million pounds) of stored carbon. This volume of stored carbon pulled over one thousand metric tons of carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere.
Americans, on average, produce 16.6 metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions per year (although this number has been decreasing recently due to efficiency gains). The General Sherman sequoia is so large that as a single tree it has stored about 65 years worth of a person's carbon emissions. In other words, one very large tree has been able to counteract almost a lifetime of carbon emissions.
|General Sherman Tree, from National Park Service|
These facts about the largest giant sequoia would be interesting but not particularly actionable if not for one simple fact. The giant sequoia can be grown in much of the United States - not just California. We ourselves are growing two giant sequoias in Indiana. The sequoia's main requirement is sufficient water, and its water needs can be significant. However, the need for consistent water is most critical during the first few years of a sequoia's life outdoors. We have found that due to soil evaporation, you cannot manually water sequoias enough for them to stay alive. Some other system is needed to prevent evaporation and ensure sufficient water. It was our interest in planting sequoias in a better way that got us interested in the Groasis Waterboxx.
The Groasis Waterboxx is a self refilling water battery for trees and other plants. It collects dew and rain water, funnels it to a watertight reservoir, and slowly releases this water to the roots of a growing plant. This released water then encourages deep root formation, and the Waterboxx can be removed and reused. This is all explained in the video below.
We have now been able to plant two sequoias successfully here in Indiana using the Groasis Waterboxx. We had previously planted 5 sequoias outdoors unsuccessfully, as they all died from thirst during summer, even with frequent watering. Both of our sequoias planted with the Waterboxx survived, and they didn't need any water or care after planting with the Waterboxx.
|Sequoia growth over 2 years with the Groasis Waterboxx here in central Indiana. With the Waterboxx, Sequoias could be planted in most of the U.S. We haven't watered this Sequoia once since planting with the Waterboxx 2 years ago.|
Regardless of your stance on global warming, increasing carbon dioxide in the atmosphere poses other risks (like ocean acidification mentioned above) as well as some benefits (like faster plant growth). We can take advantage of both of these by planting sequoias. If every set of grandparents came together to plant one sequoia each for every new grandchild in their family (for a total of two sequoias per child), that child's carbon dioxide emissions would likely be offset by the sequoias, and the carbon would be stored for thousands of years. Also, we would find our neighborhoods more stately and shaded from these impressive and massive trees.
If you are interested in trying to grow a giant sequoia, our preferred source is Giant-Sequoia.com. To buy the Waterboxx, visit us at DewHarvest.com.
We would love to hear your comments or suggestions below.