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Where Do Trees Get Their Mass From?

 
Posts: 31
Location: North Central Idaho - Zone 6B/7A Average Rainfall: 25 inches
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The question has been consuming mental resources at times when - frankly - I don't need the distraction. So, I finally decided to look it up.

I had my doubts it was from soil organic matter... (Turns out, it isn't!)

https://www.canr.msu.edu/news/where_do_trees_get_their_mass_from
 
pollinator
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It is kind of like thinking a tree grows from the ground up, but that clearly does not happen.

If it did, then when I staple barb wire to it, when the tree grew up it would pull the wire up with it as it grew. That does not happen. Instead they grow around the wire, and the top of the tree continues to add onto itself every year.

But I do disagree with the article you cited because it does not support my experience here. On my farm, the trees that grow the fastest, are the ones of the downhill sides of my fields. That is because they are getting gobs of nutrients from the manure, fertilizer, and compost tea that I put on the fields that eventually drains downhill. Obviously they do not grow from consuming soil, but the better that soil is in teeming with nutrients, they better they grow.

 
Mother Tree
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One of my favourite Feynman videos.



Trees literally 'fix' the carbon from the CO2 in the air into solid mass.
 
Burra Maluca
Mother Tree
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Here's another useful video.



This is a cool image, too.



Both from the geogy website.
 
gardener
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Donner,

Lots of good information here.  The water mass in the wood comes from the ground, but the bulk of the woody mass, the portion that is largely composed of carbon comes right out of the air.

Eric
 
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Joel Salatin talks often about the mystery of sunbeams, the sun as the driving force of the planet. Sunlight is captured by photosynthesis and converted into biomass that sequesters carbon. But not only by trees. Grasses play a critical role in carbon sequestering simply by sheer volume, and historically herbivores have kept the grasses and silvopastures healthy. Anyway, isn't it interesting how all that biomass comes from the sun and carbon? So many cogs in the wheel that keep this planet moving!

https://singjupost.com/joel-salatin-cows-carbon-and-climate-at-tedxcharlottesville-transcript/
 
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