We are all familiar with trees, but do we appreciate them enough?
Yes, they are aesthetic to look at and it is quite fun to tie your swing on the branches and spend hours swinging; but those are just the cherries on top! In addition to the bonus points they provide such as taking our stress away whenever we lay down under their shadows, trees contribute to the wellness of our environment immensely.
Let’s start with the most obvious ones. We owe the clean air that we breathe full of oxygen to trees! If it weren’t for their capabilities of turning carbon dioxide (CO2) into oxygen, humankind would have disappeared due to all the carbon emissions we release to the world. Trees are our saviors for absorbing the harmful CO2 from the atmosphere and creating fresh air for us instead. A well-grown tree is able to absorb 22 kg of CO2 per year, so in one year, an acre of trees can absorb enough CO2 to compensate for 2 cars’ annual mileage!
Decrease the impact of global warming
Plus, trees are known for keeping it cool. By losing moisture and sending back the heat upwards with their leaves, they can help decrease the impacts of global warming. Thanks to their shades and ability to release water, they can decrease the temperature in a city by up to 7 °C. If you strategically place trees around your house, you can significantly reduce your air conditioning needs!
On top of that, trees help save water for other plants. Thanks to their shades, the water in the soil evaporates more slowly, so plants around it can take more advantage of the water for their growth. Plus, though trees only need 15 gallons of water per week, they release around 200-450 gallons of water every day, thus contributing to other plants. As a result, nature continues to thrive together! While we’re on the topic of water, it is also good to mention that trees prevent stormwater from going to oceans and polluting them. Stormwater can have a lot of phosphorus pollutants and nitrogen which wouldn’t be good for the oceans and trees allow this water to go into the soil instead, where it would be much more useful.
Trees not only help the environment, but the living creatures as well. They are the home of many different animal species which could not survive anywhere else. WWF once stated that tree clearing causes habitat losses for many Asian animals such as tigers, elephants, orangutans, rhinos, etc. Trees not only support biodiversity but also provide food sources to birds, insects, and many other members of the wildlife.
In short, trees are awesome! We should all try to do our part in planting more trees and thus not only save the environment and animals, but ourselves as well. We only have one world, and we should take care of it before there is no “we” left.