How much oxygen does a tree put off a day and do smaller trees
put off less oxygen?
5th grader at Lee-Scott Academy
Helping Aubie this week is
Dr. Roland Dute, professor of Biological Sciences in AU's
College of Sciences and Mathematics.
Oxygen is produced as
a waste product when plants use sunlight to convert carbon dioxide
and water into food during the process of photosynthesis.The
amount of oxygen released
by a tree will depend upon
the amount of water present in the soil, whether the day is cloudy
or sunny, and whether the tree is exposed directly to sunlight or
shaded by other trees.
One estimate indicates that a large tree whose trunk is 39 inches
in diameter at breast height releases 0.67 pounds (0.31 kilograms)
of oxygen per day. A smaller tree of 9-12 inches diameter at breast
height releases only 0.13 lbs (0.06 kg) per day. For comparison,
according to NASA, a typical adult would use 1.85 lbs (0.84 kg)
of oxygen gas per day in the process of respiration. From these
numbers you can see the importance of trees to oxygen production
on earth. According to the web site http://www.treepeople.org/,
in one year an acre of trees can provide enough oxygen for 18 people.
Not only are trees important for oxygen manufacture, but also they
improve our environment. Trees absorb odors and pollutant gases
(nitrogen oxides, ammonia, sulfur dioxide and ozone) and filter
particulates out of the air by trapping them in their leaves and
bark. Trees also absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, removing
and storing the carbon while releasing the oxygen back into the
air. Trees also help reduce erosion - on hillsides or stream slopes,
trees slow water runoff and hold soil in place.
Thanks for your question,
Aubie and Dr. Dute
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