It found that a tree’s growth rate increases with its size, in some cases adding the mass of a small tree every year.
That has huge implications for the amount of carbon dioxide an older tree can absorb.
“One of the analogies I use is if you’re managing a sports team, you’ve got to know who your star players are." says forest ecologist Nathan Stephenson with the USGS, and the study’s lead author.
"This would be the equivalent of discovering that your 90-year-old players are the stars of the team," he says.
An estimated 60,000 people will take part in California's biggest one day volunteer effort on Sept. 20, and anyone can participate.
El Niño is not expected to end the California drought but ‘atmospheric rivers’ might help.
Forecasters say the chances are diminishing that El Niño will bring rain to California.
The Sacramento Municipal Utility District's shade tree program has been around for 25 years. In spite of the drought, the utility says it will continue to fund the program for at least another two years because of the benefits trees provide.
Environmental groups say the recent California Legislative session was a big win for coastal protection, clean water among other issues.