Importance of Trees
It is almost impossible to define the importance of trees in our lives. They are our friends, our protection, our providers and are lifesavers. Very few of us live without trees around in our lives and our lives are richer because of them. They improve the quality of the air we breathe, they stabilize the ground we walk on and they provide food for us to stay alive.READ MORE
There are too many reasons why trees are important for us to fit into one document, but these are 10 of the main reasons that trees should be treasured and preserved.
Trees provide oxygen to the environment which enhances the air quality and also needed by humans to live. The trees absorb carbon dioxide which is a vital environmental resource. They then store this carbon in their wood which is a helpful component towards counteracting global warming. They also trap dust and other pollutants in their leaves which improves air quality.
2) Soil protection
Trees provide stability to the ground that is on hillsides or at risk of sliding. They provide an anchor to protect soil and avoid land from shifting. When wind and water erode land, the trees prevent soil erosion and conserve water which can benefit soil in times of drought.
They also anchor areas of wet soil to the land which can prevent natural disasters such as flash floods. Trees also absorb harmful products from the soil, so act as a cleanser, removing toxins which would otherwise remain in the soil.
3) Noise reduction
Trees are the largest plants on the earth and have the capacity to grow to great heights. This means they provide a wonderful barrier to absorb noise and reduce the journey of noise through the atmosphere, thus improving the quality of life for those living nearby. This is particularly useful in areas of high traffic, and near motorways or airports.
4) Habitat for wildlife
Trees are home to many forms of wildlife. They house birds in their branches and provide perches for them to rest and play. Not only birds, but insects and other organisms use trees as their home.
Fungi, lichen and smaller plants live on or near trees and work in a symbiotic relationship with them. Trees in the world’s rainforests provide habitat for almost half the species on the earth.
5) Shade and cool
Trees provide a wonderful source of shade and cool in open areas. They also act to reduce temperatures in cities where buildings absorb heat and the trees emit cool air to combat that.
Trees are also important entities in our gardens as they act to reduce the temperature in our homes by their proximity and negate the need for such intensive air conditioning which has a beneficial effect on energy conservation.
Trees also protect us against harmful UV rays, so their shelter is helpful in preventing sunburn and skin conditions.
Trees planted in exposed areas can provide protection for homes or animals living in the path of the wind. The protection which trees provide can protect homes from weather damage and reduce heating bills by acting as a windbreak which in term warms the air around homes.
7) Provision of wood
Trees provide the wood for homes, fences and for many other items. Without trees, we would have no timber-framed houses, craft items, and furniture. Wood is also a vital resource for fuel and of course, wood produces paper without which the world would be a poorer place. The tables we eat at, the chairs we sit on, the salad bowls we eat from, all come from one sort of tree or another.
The variety of textures and colors of wood is enormous, and it is thanks to the rich supply of different woods that our homes and communities have diverse and beautiful furniture and decorations.
When we close our eyes and think of beautiful natural scenes, most of them include trees. Swaying palm trees on a beach, blossom-filled trees in a spring scene or the array of colors in an autumn forest are common images which we love to conjure up.
Look at art or landscape paintings and many of our favorites include trees of varying colors and varieties. Our gardens and public parks are richer from the inclusion of trees and the views we love to admire on a sunny afternoon are not complete without a tree or two. They add value and quality to our lives and our communities.
9) Resources from sap and bark
Sap from some trees can be used for food or as a medical resource. Maple syrup and rubbers are derived from tree sap, and bark is used to produce cork and spices. The bark of the yew tree has been used in medicine which treats ovarian cancer. Other medicines and dyes are also produced from tree bark or sap.
How would we manage without the food that trees provide us? There are numerous foodstuffs that trees give us, fruit, vegetables, nuts and berries to name but a few. Many of us are familiar with picking apples and cherries from trees in our childhood.
However, in the world of supermarkets and convenience food, it is easy to forget how many of our foodstuffs is derived from trees and how vital trees are to provide us with a rich and varied diet.
In countries where food is scarce, the resources from local trees can be the difference between life and death.
Trees are one of the oldest and most important plant forms that exist in the world. They can live far longer than humans, to survive drought, sun, wind and natural disaster.
How many of us remember images of people holding on to trees or climbing them to escape from dangerous situations? Not only can they save our lives, but they are fun for climbing, provide the basis for tree houses and offer shelter for picnics and parties.
They provide beauty and calm to our landscape and color to our autumn views. It is hard to encapsulate the true importance of trees in our lives, trees which we sometimes take for granted. After all, what would Christmas be without a tree?