By Amy Grotta, OSU Forestry & Natural Resources Extension – Columbia, Washington & Yamhill Counties

Marketing messages bombard us constantly, claiming that a product makes you, or the planet, better. That herbal supplement, organic produce, shade-grown coffee, recycled packaging, new diet fad, and so forth. Often, the messages invoke scientific research supporting their product. In reality, it’s hard for the non-expert to separate scientific truth from propaganda.

Now, marketing forests as a carbon storage solution has entered this arena. Here’s a billboard on the side of a semi trailer that showed up in the Willamette Valley recently.

Image source: Ask an Expert (

“Young, growing trees pull carbon from the atmosphere better than older trees.”

A local resident asked us whether the billboard’s claim was accurate or propaganda.  The short answer: Is it accurate? Kind of. Is it propaganda? Yes. Continue reading