Trees give us the oxygen we need to breathe, wood to build our houses and furniture, food to eat and beautiful nature to admire. However, more and more often trees are falling victim to deforestation. It is high time for us to start protecting the trees which are so crucial to our survival and maximised the benefits they can offer us and future generations.
Here are some facts about the benefits of trees which will make you appreciate everything they do for us and the planet!
Trees give us clean air to breathe
As you have surely learned in science class, trees are absorbing CO2 and producing oxygen during photosynthesis. This means that they help us fight climate change and enrich our air. Each year, a single acre of trees absorbs as much CO2 as you would produce by driving an average car for 26,000 miles!
Besides CO2, they also help by filtering harmful pollutants (including ammonia and sulphur dioxide), dust and smoke from our air, reducing air pollution caused by a wide variety of industrial activity. As you can see, this could transform our life in cities, if we planted more trees in parks or around neighbourhoods.
They are home to biodiversity
Trees, particularly those in forests, provide a home for a variety of different forms of life. Many insects, birds, mammals or fungi rely on trees for survival and would have no home if it wasn’t for forests. Aside from providing a home, many animals rely on trees as a food source. Trees can help endangered species survive and preserve the biodiversity we are enjoying now for future generations.
Trees cool us down
In cities, we have been removing trees and replacing them with asphalt for the past several decades. This has led to the cities becoming unbearably hot in the summer. As the heat in cities increases, more and more of us are relying on air-conditioning to stay cool, consuming massive amounts of energy! Trees, on the other hand, cool cities down in a much more natural way, provide shade and release water.
If we hope to reduce our energy consumption, planting more trees in cities is crucial. As we mentioned before, they also help clean the air in those areas, which means that planting trees in cities is a win-win.
Preventing water pollution
Stormwater can contain harmful substances such as nitrogen and phosphorous pollutants. If it falls on flat earth or even worse - asphalt, it flows straight into rivers and the ocean. If, on the other hand, the land is full of trees on natural ground and grass, the rainfall is broken up and much more of the stormwater is absorbed by the earth, which filters out these substances before the water makes its way into rivers.
Helping against natural disasters
As trees capture rainfall, they also play a crucial role in preventing water flow from eroding the soil – reducing landslides and floods. In open areas, wind can also quickly erode soil if there are no trees to break up its flow and hold the soil together with their roots. As the effects of climate change intensify with every passing month, so does the number of unexpected weather incidents which trees can help us protect ourselves from.
Whether you help increase the number of trees in your area by planting some in your garden or support an organisation planting trees in other areas, you are making a positive difference not just on our planet but also the lives of humans and animals around the world. Every little step counts, so start now!