Greece wrong to give oak trees the chop

Oak trees in Greece are being chopped down for firewood unnecessarily instead of being allowed to grow and absorb much more carbon dioxide than other types of trees, Theoharis Zachos, a forestry professor at Thessaloniki’s Artistotle University said yesterday. Zachos called for the better management of Greece’s forests, saying that oak trees are cut down every 20 years but are a poor form of firewood, whereas if they were allowed to grow, they could absorb 20 percent more carbon dioxide. «If we stop the way we currently manage forests… we could have massive environmental and economic benefits,» he said during a conference about the Kyoto Protocol. Zachos said that oak forests account for about a third of all the trees in Greece. But he added that forests now cover less than a quarter of Greece’s surface area.