It’s ‘Clean Air Day’ on 20 June 2019 and, with the quality of our air becoming a huge health concern in our cities and urban areas, attention will no doubt be focused on the role trees have in cleaning our air as we draw closer to the big day.

This can only be a good thing. Not only are trees fundamental for maintaining a healthy, natural balance in our ecosystem, they provide much needed habitats for wildlife too.

A complicated issue

Yes, there’s little doubt about it: trees are to be cherished and – according to Evergen – we simply cannot have too many of them.

However, relying on shrubs, hedges and trees to clean our air requires more thought than simply planting an abundance of greenery wherever it takes our fancy.

It’s sad to say that the air pollution across our globe has got so bad that there is little chance trees are able to solve the problem alone.

VOCs and trees

Did you know that the wrong avenue of trees planted in the wrong place can have a negative effect on air quality?

It’s something we all need to be aware of before we take any action to counter the effects of pollution organically.

Some tree varieties can in fact be detrimental to health if planted in cities. Cedar, eucalyptus and pine are just three examples of trees that omit volatile organic compounds (VOCs) which are harmful to human health when mixed with the particles in urban air pollution.

Innovation for cleaning air

Trees can also obstruct the ventilation of emissions, creating a ‘canopy’ effect that traps air at low levels. This means pollutants can build up to very high levels as they are not able to escape into the atmosphere.

With this in mind, we must accept the fact that we need to find more innovative ways of reducing the pollutants that damage our health. This is especially true in cities and in places such as school and hospitals where the most vulnerable people need to spend time.

Technical help

Evergen has developed its PureAire and Excigen technology to remove harmful gases, particulates and VOCs out of the environment – both inside and out.

The company offers a holistic approach to cleaning air with a solution that combines air quality monitoring, pollution diagnostics and cleaning urban air pollution.

First ever ‘CleanAirZone’

Evergen launched their outdoor CleanAirZone in Delhi – one of the most polluted cities in the world. This was the first successful demonstration of outdoor air cleaning and achieved outstanding results. The Zone provided significantly clean air at up to 20m and was tested by National Physical Laboratory.

Evergen is the first company to have a certified and commercially available solution on the market that is able to clean outdoor air.

Trees and tech working together

So, where does this leave the much revered tree? Will our landscape be wiped of all its greenery to make way for man-made systems and technology?

Not at all.

Because, thankfully, the right type of tree planted in the right place can be an excellent air purifier and help filter out both carbon dioxide and harmful particulate matter.

Planting trees in the right place is to be positively encouraged. So, where should one turn?

Silver birch powers

The silver birch is a good air purifier. The leaves are covered in tiny hairs and ridges, which help trap the pollution particles. When it rains, the particles that have come to rest on the leaves are washed off so the cleaning/filtration process can begin again.

Silver birch foliage is also rather sparse, which means the air can easily circulate up through its branches and pollution can escape. It means this particular variety is capable of removing 40 tonnes of C02 from air in 20 years.

Where science meets nature

So, the right variety planted in the right place, trees, shrubs and hedges along with a little help from technological innovations such as those introduced by Evergen could be the answer to cleaning up the polluted air in our towns and cities.

But the results will be worth it.

Find out more about Evergen’s work.

Call us on 01628 439556.