Carbon Sequestering

Do you know that 1 ha of fast growing young poplar trees produces from 10 – 25 tons of dry wood per year, this is equivalent to 18 to 45 tons of sequestered carbon per year – say on average 30 tons carbon per ha per year). Close spaced poplar at 3 meter by 1 meter or 3,300 trees per ha – equivalent to 10 kg of C per year per tree

CIAT, in 2002 estimated that deep rooted South American grasses sequestered between 100 to 500 tons of Carbon per ha per year. Vetiver would sequester probably more. Lets take an average of 250 tons of carbon per year. This would mean that at a density of 100,000 plants per ha vetiver would sequester 2.5 kg carbon per plant. Thus every every linear km of vetiver hedge (8 plants per meter) would sequester (8000 x 2.5 kg) 20 metric tons of atmospheric carbon per year. A linear km of vetiver hedgerow is equivalent to 2000 fast growing poplars in carbon sequestering terms.

Thus FOUR mature vetiver plants would sequester the same amount of atmospheric carbon as ONE fast growing poplar tree.

My “carbon foot print” would be negated by planting 50 to 60 vetiver plants in a tropical country or approximate 8 meters of vetiver hedgerow.

The image in this blog is of the massive root biomass of 1 one year old vetiver plant grown in south China. Imagine a 100 yard hedgerow of such roots. A veritable carbon sequestering factory!

Dick Grimshaw