Sorry if this is the wrong place...

I have been camping a lot recently and I couldn't help but notice some of the campgrounds I am in are acres and acres of mostly pine trees. These trees have very little greenery on them as opposed to most other species. Does that make, say an Oak a better tree for cleaning the air and/or as a carbon sink than a pine? If I wanted to plant a native species of tree on my land with the intent of helping to clean the air the most, is there research that exist for that? Or is there a reasoning of 10 pines in the same space of one oak is better?


1 Answer 1


Evergreen trees grow faster than most hardwood deciduous trees, so their absorption and oxygen emission is greater.

Note that trees do not "clean" air. Plants emit oxygen which is why air in a house with lots of plants will seem more fresh. In the global environment algae and other primitive organics are primarily responsible for converting CO2 to oxygen, not trees.

Particulate pollutants and some compounds with good water solubility, like sulfur dioxide and ammonia, are removed from air by moisture which condenses and falls to earth bringing the particulates with it.

  • $\begingroup$ It just seems like a Pine, with its few small needles, has such little space for photosynthesis compared to a a tree that contains so many leaves. $\endgroup$
    – dave k
    Apr 15, 2021 at 14:34
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ a lot of information can be found here sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0269749114000773 $\endgroup$ Apr 15, 2021 at 17:55
  • $\begingroup$ This answer is correct about algea. Maybe try making an Algae Bloom in a small pond! $\endgroup$
    – Tardy
    Apr 15, 2021 at 18:01
  • $\begingroup$ On the otherhand, conifers put hydrocarbons into the air ( the "pine" smell). $\endgroup$ Dec 7, 2021 at 0:20

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