How to select the best tree planting locations to enhance air pollution removal in the MillionTreesNYC initiative

Environ Pollut. 2011 May;159(5):1040-7. doi: 10.1016/j.envpol.2010.11.022. Epub 2010 Dec 18.


Highest priority zones for tree planting within New York City were selected by using a planting priority index developed combining three main indicators: pollution concentration, population density and low canopy cover. This new tree population was projected through time to estimate potential air quality and carbon benefits. Those trees will likely remove more than 10,000 tons of air pollutants and a maximum of 1500 tons of carbon over the next 100 years given a 4% annual mortality rate. Cumulative carbon storage will be reduced through time as carbon loss through tree mortality outweighs carbon accumulation through tree growth. Model projections are strongly affected by mortality rate whose uncertainties limit estimations accuracy. Increasing mortality rate from 4 to 8% per year produce a significant decrease in the total pollution removal over a 100 year period from 11 000 tons to 3000 tons.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Air Pollution / prevention & control*
  • Algorithms
  • Carbon Sequestration
  • Forestry
  • Humans
  • New York City
  • Population Density
  • Trees*
  • Urban Population