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Landfill sites and trees

The most limiting factors for tree growth on former municipal landfills are dry, shallow, poor-quality soil and displacement of soil oxygen by methane and carbon dioxide form decomposing refuse.

Any landfill containing organic matter will decompose and produce methane and carbon dioxide for many decades. Oxygen displacement is not a concern, however, on former fly ash, well-incinerated, or other landfills that contain only non-biodegradable garbage.

Three questions must be answered before you can select trees for landfill sites:

  1. Is the gas actively pumped from the landfill?
  2. Has the refuse been capped with a clay layer or other impervious material?
  3. How deep is the final soil cover over the cap or refuse?