My friend Dave Forrester used to say that there are more trees in Howard County now than there were before Columbia came along. Dave is a former development director for The Rouse Company. We used to bust on Dave by calling him “Dave De-forester” to which he would usually bring up this tree fact.
My response to him was always “who actually counted the trees before Columbia was built?”
Well it appears that somebody has been counting trees, and not just in Howard County. As I drove to work on Wednesday I heard this story by Robert Krulwich about trees on NPR. According to the story, NASA can now “calculate roughly how many trees we have on Earth.”
As it turns out, there are approximately 400,246,300,201 trees on Earth and that works out to about 61 trees for every man woman and child on the planet.
Sounds like a lot doesn’t it?
Well not so much when you consider how many trees we use every year from building materials to golf balls which get their bounce from the gum of the gutta-percha tree. The most mind boggling statistic in the story was the number of chopsticks that are used and disposed of every year. In China alone, some 900 billion chopsticks are discarded annually which equates to about 25 million trees.
The good news is that trees are a renewable resource. The even better news is that, according to this recent post in Columbia Talk, another 1,000 trees will soon be planted in Howard County Parks.
You can read more about trees in Columbia here.