Trees and VOCs

Blog: How to find low VOC trees

July 25th, 2013

Many readers have been curious about trees with low VOC emissions, often in connection with planting in urban spaces, from backyards to public parks. It can be tough to find information on which trees fall into the low VOC category. We are finishing up a manuscript that studied a set of low-sesquiterpene (and low-monoterpene) emitting tree species, which include:

Common name     Genus/species         
                   
Sugar Maple     Acer saccharum        
Ohio Buckeye    Aesculus glabra       
Northern Hackberry      Celtis occidentalis           
Turkish Hazelnut        Corylus colurna       
London Planetree        Platanus acerifolia           
American Basswood       Tilia americana       
Littleleaf Linden       Tilia cordata         
Valley Forge Elm        Ulmus carpinifolia x parvifolia       
Japanese Zelkova        Zelkova serrata

Those interested in planting trees might also explore i-Tree (http://www.itreetools.org), a USDA Forest Service software suite that provides urban forestry analysis and benefits assessment tools. They have a feature that allows to you select trees based on certain criteria (like low VOC emissions) that are appropriate for your particular climate.

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