We have heard it all before, how trees are important for us all on planet Earth. They provide food, shelter, tranquillity, helping us all breathe, etc., etc. Here’s yet another article on it.

Trees are cool, the longest-living species on earth. They have been around for over 350 million years. Until recently I was unaware that they communicate with one another. This was whilst I was listening to a TED talk: https://www.ted.com/talks/suzanne_simard_how_trees_talk_to_each_other?language=en).  Learnt roots are the foundation for communication; this fact amazed me and brought back memories of Avatar the movie. 

Here’s how important and useful trees are within a city (but not only limited to a city):
Areas that have greenery have higher property values. According to research from Zoopla, losing your street trees can knock 5% off your house price. In cities we live in very close proximity to one another. Trees frame and screen us from neighbours and unsightly buildings. Mental wellbeing is so important that trees have shown how they can reduce stress levels. Going to a park provides free recreational/leisure time with friends, family or to be alone with nature. Time spent in the park provides opportunities for: quiet time, picnics, jogs and walks. They can be great photographic moments. We may see a fully-grown mature tree with its roots trailing along the soil. This can look spectacular. 

Trees which were planted 100 years ago are now releasing maximum levels of benefits to us. The carbon dioxide is being inhaled and fresh pure oxygen is released afterwards. There are pollutants and dust in the air due to increased traffic, industry, etc. Tree canopies absorb pollutants from the air. If one tree can remove up to 1.7 kilos every year, imagine what a collection of trees doing the same thing can do. Our lungs and air will be so grateful. Areas with more trees are less polluted, as we see an increase in paved driveways. A single mature, leafy tree can absorb up to 450 litres of water through its roots every day. Any of us who have ever been flooded know how devastating it can be. 

Trees are good at absorbing water and producing a cooling effect, as temperatures in a city can be 7 degrees higher due to urban heat. A cooling effect of a mature tree is the same as 10 air conditioners running for 30 hours.  

We all rely on trees, from constructing our homes to for leisure and mental wellbeing. Thinking about it, we are dependent on them for the oxygen we breathe. Trees photosynthesise, absorbing carbon dioxide and releasing oxygen. Appreciating, planting and managing the well- being of a tree or trees is so vital for us, even in the present time.

The largest tree: General Sherman, a giant sequoia, is the largest tree (by volume) in the world. It stands at 275 feet (83.8m) tall, with 52,000 cubic feet of wood (1,486.6m3).

Possibly the smallest tree is the dwarf Willow (Salix herbacea), which grows in the region of the Northern Hemisphere. It grows to between 1 cm and 6 cm tall.

The oldest living tree is the Quaking Aspen (Populus tremuloides) Age: 80,000 years Location: Fish lake National Forest, Utah, USA. It is still alive.

Article written by Razna Begum



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