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How can cities help trees survive extreme heat?

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By illuminem briefings

· 2 min read

illuminem summarizes for you the essential news of the day. Read the full piece on The Guardian or enjoy below

🗞️ Driving the news: A study finds that just planting trees is not enough, but also nurturing them is crucial to enable them to survive through extreme heat waves
• The onset of heatwaves like El Niño in Australia put a considerable strain on the survival of these natural air-conditioners, prompting research into their resilience

🔭 The context: The study delved into how trees fared during Australia's 2019 and 2020 heatwaves
• Researchers discovered that some species, like the red maple with its thin leaves, are particularly susceptible to extreme heat while others, such as the ash and Chinese elm, are more resilient

🌍 Why it matters for the planet: With increasing global temperatures, heatwaves will become more commonplace
• Trees, particularly those in urban environments, are essential for maintaining a balanced ecosystem and mitigating heat, but their survival will undoubtedly face challenges

⏭️ What's next: While planting heat-resistant species is essential, it's also vital to devise strategies to protect the existing urban tree population
• Techniques such as building irrigation pits for stormwater retention and rain gardens (gullies filled with vegetation to hold flood runoff) have been suggested

💬 One quote: "As our climate heats, heatwaves are going to become more frequent, giving urban trees a tough time. Planting heat-resilient tree species is important, but we also need to consider new techniques to protect our urban trees." (Kate Ravilious, science journalist)

📈 One stat: Urban trees can reduce heat-related deaths by more than a third

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