Measuring Carbon in a Tree

Trees absorb carbon dioxide (CO2) and release oxygen (O2).

As part of this process the tree stores carbon in its roots, trunk, branches, and leaves.

This means that big, old trees store the most carbon, but all vegetation (including shrubs and grasses) has absorbed carbon dioxide. Newly planted trees tend to grow quickly and will sequester (absorb) carbon quicker than an older, more mature tree.

And approximately measuring carbon in a tree just might be easier that we thought!


Carbon Calculator

Carbon Calculator (opens up in new window)

This Carbon Calculator will measure the approximate carbon sequestered (absorbed) in a tree and how much carbon dioxide the tree has sequestered to date.

You can keep measuring the same tree, it has been suggested every 3 months, to see how quickly it sequesters carbon dioxide. Make sure you keep a record of your tree measurements and try comparing the result with your own car use, for example.

The Carbon Calculator has been built using the allometrics work of Dr Derek Eamus at the University of Technology Sydney and his academic colleagues. The scientific papers utilised to build the calculator have been listed below the Carbon Calculator.


Carbon Dioxide 

Two of the greatest sources of carbon dioxide are cars; and the use of electricity which has been generated by burning fossil fuels. For example, a medium-sized petrol car driven for 13,000 km per year (Australian average) emits over 7 tons of CO2. A medium-sized London Plane Tree in North Sydney stores 1.236 kg of carbon... which means it absorbed just over two months worth of the emissions from one car.

Check out the many values tree bring to our lives here.

Read more: Climate Change and the natural environment in North Sydney