A study out of the University of Kentucky illustrates carbon footprint analyses using data from previous research that modeled nursery and greenhouse crop production systems and their life-cycle impact. The researchers found that the dominant contributor to the carbon footprint and variable costs of field-grown trees is equipment use, or, more specifically, the combustion of fossil fuels. Most of that impact is at harvest, when heavy equipment is used to dig and move individual trees. Activities such as transport of these trees to customers and subsequent transplantation in the landscape were also cited as carbon-intense activities in landscape plant production. Access the full study here.
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