The Tree: A Humble But Powerful Green Machine
If you ever thought of a tree as nothing more than a decorative aspect in the environment, then you have been seriously mistaken. Trees are more than just another big plant! They are actually beautiful machines of nature, working hard to make our environment a better and cleaner place — trees are essential for a healthier Earth. A better understanding of the wonderful role trees play in the world will go along way in helping you appreciate them so much more.
You could actually think of tres as the natural lungs of the planet. Trees are designed to effectively absorb several kinds of pollutants via their leaves which sort of act as filters that remove contaminants from the air that we breathe. In addition to this, they manufacture oxygen through the process of photosynthesis. Heat in the earth’s atmosphere is trapped by carbon dioxide and other gases which is the greenhouse effect. Trees play a role in assisting the atmosphere by sequestering carbon dioxide and using it as a carbohydrate in its biomechanisms, returning oxygen to the environment. This is valuable because about half the cause of the greenhouse effect is carbon dioxide. A single young tree may absorb 13 pounds of carbon dioxide per annum — with its most productive carbon storage after a decade being about 48 pounds of carbon dioxide per annum!
There’s nothing like the shade of a tree on a hot summer’s day! Strategically planted trees can offer incredible reductions in the consumption of power by shading homes from the scorching heat of the sun, thereby reducing air conditioning costs. It has been documented that trees can reduce these costs by about 30%. For this use, deciduous trees are better options as during winter, they drop their leaves, allowing the warming winter sun to heat the home or office and reduce the heating costs during the colder periods. By reducing the air conditioning and heating costs of a building, trees are still contributing to reducing the greenhouse effect since power comes from the burning of fossil fuels. It’s all a chain effect!
It isn’t new information that trees are the home of much wildlife. Many small animals, birds, reptiles, and insects seek the shelter of a tree, and the natural habitat is perfect for boosting biodiversity. Fruit trees are especially good to plant as the bushels of fruit serve as nourishment for many small animals, birds, and insects. Common homes for squirrels, birds, and bees are oak trees and sycamore trees.
The leafy canopy of a healthy large tree catches plenty of precipitation before the droplets reach the ground which allows a gentle drip of water and some evaporation to take place. This is helpful in reducing the force of storms and plays a role in reducing runoff into rivers, streams, sewers, and gutters. A hundred mature trees can actually intercept roughly 100, 000 gallons of rainfall every year! Another point worth mentioning when on the point of storm damage is that a solid root system goes a long way in retaining soil during strong rainfall which would otherwise cause soil erosion.
What Tree and Where to Plant
Now that you know the brilliance behind trees, it’s time to share the knowledge and spread the word! Deforestation is causing a chain reaction of negative effects that needs to be stopped before it is too late. However, planting any tree anywhere isn’t the solution. Some trees require a lot of water, and planting these in arid areas is a recipe for failure. Trees need to be planted in areas where they are ecologically sustainable and where they will be allowed to grow to maturity and unleash their maximum potential. Planting trees in desert areas and expecting it to survive is unreasonable, just as planting trees in areas where there is a dependence on wood for fuel. Restoration projects require plenty of planning, thinking, and researching before it can be carried out!
Every time you plant a tree, you are helping the world, yourself, and the community. There are still more benefits to trees that have not been explored in this article. These wonderful green machines need to be given the chance to do what they have been made to do and make the world a better place!
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