Why Trees Matter

Posted by Madison Perrin on Oct 4, 2016 9:30:00 AM

It's safe to say that most of us take trees for granted. Sure, we think they’re beautiful and we hope they stay around, but are we actively doing anything to ensure that? The majority of us are not, and that needs to change. Trees are undeniably necessary to our wellbeing. They offer us clean air, shade, food, and beauty, all throughout the year. What do we offer them? Anything? If your answer is “no,” here are a few reasons why you should start protecting the trees in your life:
 
Shade-
Imagine yourself sitting in your backyard on a beautiful, summer day. Is the sun out? Yes. Is there a slight breeze? Well, we hope so. Are you being shaded by a big beautiful tree? You should be. After oxygen, which we’ll talk about in just a second, trees are best known for shading us from harsh weathers. Even in the winter, when it is cold and miserable outside, trees shade us from absurd winds that just want to blow our hats off and raise our heating bills. Let’s be real, we owe it to the trees to protect them.
 
Clean air and oxygen-
Um, hellooo?! We couldn’t survive without oxygen, which is produced by trees… that’s simple enough, right? Protect trees in order to protect your ability to breath. Trees also clean the air by intercepting airborne particles, reducing heat, and absorbing carbon monoxide.
 
Mulch and compost-
This is a cool fact that many people may not know: Trees actually rid their surrounding soils of dangerous chemicals. The fancy word for it is “phytoremediation,” which is when living green plants take harsh and dangerous chemicals from their surrounding soils, making them clean again. Trees then store the harmful chemicals and/or change the pollutant into less harmful forms for us. How nice of them, right?
 
Food-
People all over the world look at trees as a major food source. Trees produce fruits, nuts, seeds, leaves, bark, and sap for human consumption. Would you like to live in a world with essentially no fruit? What about no maple syrup? Yeah, we didn’t think so. The apple industry alone is worth about $10 billion a year… that would be a lot of money to see disappear.  woods-1072819_1280.jpg
 
Water conservation-
Trees are an integral part of production agriculture, as they improve crop yields and preserve their surrounding topsoil. When trees are planted alongside rivers and streams, they protect the beds from erosion while cleaning the water. Trees can also help with flood control… Again, how nice?
 
Wildlife habitat-
It’s only natural that wherever there are trees, there is also wildlife living in and around those trees. Trees provide shelter and food for many different species of animals, which is why it is such a big loss when forests are destroyed for development purposes.
 
In the end, what it really comes down to is mutual respect. Yes, we humans need trees, and yes, trees sometimes need us too. But, if we’re being completely honest, we need trees more than the trees need us. If this list of reasons isn’t enough to convince you to start making sure to preserve trees when you can, then think of how downright ugly this planet would look if we lost all our trees. Yeah, it would be really, really ugly. From now on, when you have the opportunity, save a tree. Plant a new tree. Respect the trees in your life, and appreciate the benefits we reap from them enough to keep them healthy.
 
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Topics: sustainability