Black locust stores GHG emission of 3.8 million cars
Distribution of black locust in Korea
Lovely white flowers of black locust (Robinia pseudoacacia) bloom during the months of May to June, attracting many butterflies and bees. In Korea, black locust flowers are considered one of the most important honey plants that bring annual income of 100 billion KRW (about 100 million USD) to beekeepers. Due to its high absorption of GHG, black locust is now known to mitigate the effects of climate change.
The Korea Forest Research Institute (KFRI, headed by Dr. YOON Young-Kyoon) said that, "the volume of black locust growing in Korea is about 3.6 million m3, which is approximately 2.5 tonnes of forest carbon stock when calculated using the carbon absorption coeeficient." This means that black locust trees have been absorbing and storing GHG emissions equivalent to those emitted by 3.8 million cars, thereby offsetting carbon. Given that the annual carbon absorption of trees 30 years of age is 3.76 tonnes per ha, black locust trees can absorb up to 13.79ha of carbon.
Compared to oak trees, which are also well-known for its annual carbon storage capacity of 12.1 tonnes per ha, black locust can absorb 14% more (about 1.69 tonnes) carbon. Dr. SON Youngmo of the Climate Change Research Center of the KFRI said that, "considering that the annual emission from 1 car is 2.4 tonnes, 1ha of black locust absorbs emissions from 5.7 cars annually."
Black locust trees were widely planted to restore degraded forests in the aftermath of the Japanese occupation (1910-1945) and to produce fuelwood. About 10ha was reduced in the mid-1990s and now it is estimated that there are 26,770ha of black locust forests in Korea.
According to the KFRI, black locust trees will no longer only provide beautiful blossoms with honey and its value will also be acknowledged for its ability to significantly reduce carbon in the atmosphere.
Source: Climate Change REsearch Center, KFRI
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