Date of Conferral
Air pollution is a major concern in heavily populated cities such as Los-Angeles, California. Particulate Matter (PM) pollution in Hispanic and Black American neighborhoods in Los Angeles tends to be higher than adjacent non-minority areas. Research has indicated that certain carbon-storing trees can be used to reduce PM pollution. The purpose of this qualitative, interview research project was to determine the feasibility of using carbon-storing trees to reduce PM pollution in Hispanic and Black American neighborhoods in Los Angeles. Using an ecological theoretical framework, 10 subject matter experts were interviewed about their knowledge of carbon-storing properties and the feasibility of planting 10 different types of trees to reduce PM in the target neighborhoods. The results indicated that oak and pine trees are the most feasible in accomplishing PM reduction within the target areas based on factors like leaf structure, size, and adaptation to Southern California climate and soil. The least feasible trees included California sycamore, Fremont cottonwood, ox horn bamboos, American sweetgum, and yellow poplar. Public health officials may use this study's findings to bring social change to communities by encouraging the development and implementation of tree planting plans that may reduce PM pollution for all populations across the United States. The responsibility of implementing a tree planting strategy would be up to city planners and public health officials (stakeholders) in affected communities. To accomplish this, stakeholders would need to determine the financial costs and specific locations for planting oak and pine trees.