RHINELANDER - Tree research in Rhinelander may help improve ground pollution around the world. Scientists at the U.S. Forest Service Northern Research Station want to use trees to clean the soil using a process called phytoremediation.
"Planting the trees and re-mediating these polluted sites helps the ecology of the area, so it contributes to environmental sustainability and environmental health," said USFS Research Geneticist Ron Zalesny. "It contributes socially to 'greening' up spaces and third, it can have economic gains."
Scientists have done local research on phytoremediation since the 1990s. They've found that certain types of willow and poplar trees help clean up contamination such as heavy metals and industrial solvents. Ultimately, the research could help clean communities worldwide.