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My New Carbon Sequestration Units

They may not look like much right now, but what you see in this photograph are three of my new carbon sequestration units. At Irregular Times we’ve written before that “There is no such thing as a commercially viable system of carbon capture and sequestration,” but when it comes to non-commercial carbon capture and sequestration, such systems have been around for years – hundreds of millions of years. They’re called trees.

bareroot fruit treesYesterday, just in time for a rain storm overnight, I picked up three bareroot fruit trees: A cherry tree, an apple tree, and a crabapple tree.

The crabapple won’t provide us fruit that’s usable for humans, but that’s okay, because I’ll be planting it right next to the street, where the soil is not so trustworthy. Still, the variety I chose has small fruits that can be eaten by birds, as well as flowers that will help to keep local pollinators busy in the springtime.

The cherry and apple trees I chose were of the standard variety – which actually means that they’re not the typical choice. Dwarf trees are the new normal when it comes to fruit. People pick them because their small size makes all of their fruit easy to grab from the ground. A standard cherry or apple tree will grow to a height of between 20 and 30 feet. That means I will eventually have to climb a ladder to pick fruit, but it also means that the trees will create more fruit. With their larger size, they’ll also shade more ground, and sequester more carbon from the air.

I’ll be planting them today, and erecting defenses around them, to protect them from some carbon-emitting deer that run around my neighborhood, fond of nipping small trees in the bud.

6 comments to My New Carbon Sequestration Units

  • Jim

    You’ll have to pardon my ignorance, but what’s the bucket with the water for?

    • You need to soak the roots of trees stored bareroot for about an hour before planting them. The trees are all in now, and I’m going to put in some foxglove and lupines, which self-seed, around the base of the cherry tree. Ah, Spring.

  • tonykw

    Crabapple inedible?

    It makes the most delicious jams and fruit preserves, tart and acid and sweet.

    You can make apple butter from them, add them to pies for “bite” and soak them in vodka for a flavored martini.

    • Tony, you’re right. However, I have planted this crabapple right next to the street, and I don’t trust the soil there, given the kinds of toxic stuff that gets routinely leaked and dumped out of cars. So, this will particular tree will make inedible crabapples.

  • You’ll have to keep after the cherry tree. If it behaves anything like the ones I have it’ll send out roots far and wide which will sprout more cherry trees around it. At worst they will suck up most of the nutrients that would normally go for production of cherries, but mostly they’ll end up growing like weeds.

  • That’s just fine by me if it happens. I’ll take the suckers out at the periphery, and plant them elsewhere, and prune the others back. I already have to weed out huge numbers of sugar maple seedlings from that same bed every spring.

    Not all cherry trees behave in the same way, however. The black cherry trees in my woods don’t seem to send out any suckers at all.

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