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Tree Study Criticized; Researcher Defends It

December 22, 1991

I am writing on behalf of the California Assn. of Nurserymen in response to the article on trees. Unfortunately, people who read this article are left with the impression that trees which emit hydrocarbons are bad for the environment. This may discourage them from planting trees. In fact, hydrocarbons from trees are a natural part of the atmosphere and were here long before man.

Burning fossil fuels creates smog. It is not caused by trees. Trees offer us enormous environmental benefits including shading homes, streets and neighborhoods, cleaning the air of particulates, generating life-giving oxygen and improving the quality of life.

Restricting tree varieties to those that emit fewer hydrocarbons would pose an even greater threat to the environment leaving it more vulnerable to a catastrophe like the Dutch Elm disease. In other words, if you plant only one type of tree, it would take only one bug or disease to destroy the entire landscape. Our ecosystem depends on a variety of trees and vegetation to survive.

CAN encourages people to plant more trees and improve the environment. Interested individuals should visit their local garden center and talk to a California Certified Nursery professional to learn about the best tree to plant for their area.

THOMAS COURTRIGHT

Sacramento

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