Letter: Too many trees?

Monday, October 02, 2017

The Forum on Sept. 29 erroneously claims that New Hampshire holds 4.3 billion trees.

Our state’s land area is only 23,187 square kilometers, which allows but 5.4 square meters per tree, roughly the footprint of a car. Such a mega-forest demands no towns, cities, fields, farms, lawns, roadways, or any developed areas, just impossibly crowded trees. Even if all lakes, ponds and waterways were drained and planted, it would only change the tree-footprint to truck-sized.

The good news would be that the Granite State would lead the nation in carbon sequestration and oxygen production. We might yet save the planet.

Dr. (Prof) George R. Stevens


Editor’s note: The 4.3 billion figure comes from a 2015 report from the USDA titled “Forests of New Hampshire.” It says there are 4.7 million acres of forestland in the state, equally roughly 1,000 trees per acre or about 4 square meters per tree. Note that this includes all tree biomass, not just adult trees, and it’s not uncommon to find a large number of saplings growing very close together.