Trees are a vital part of the world's ecosystem. Trees benefit both humans and wildlife in so many ways every day that it's easy to forget how necessary the tree is to the planet's survival. Simply put, life on earth would cease to exist if we were to lose all of our trees. Planting new trees is one way to help keep our planet alive.
Oxygen and Clean Air
A tree will absorb and filter out pollutants such as ammonia, sulfur dioxide and ozone that are harmful to our atmosphere. Trees provide us with the oxygen that is necessary for our survival. One mature tree will provide a 1-year supply of oxygen for 10 people.
Carbon dioxide is a major contributor to global warming. Trees help fight global warming by removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. Thirty trees will absorb the amount of carbon dioxide produced by one average American in a year.
The steep banks and hillsides along rivers and streams suffer from erosion when there are no trees in the area to stabilize the soil. Entire banks of soil may wash away during storms or periods of high water. The root system of the tree helps hold soil in place and prevents erosion.
Trees provide food to both humans and animals. The average apple tree will produce up to 20 bushels of apples each year and will thrive when planted in either a backyard garden or an urban setting. Birds and small wildlife find sources of food in the fruit and berries produced by many trees.
Planting trees near rivers and streams helps keep pesticide and fertilizer run-off from flowing into our waterways. The tree roots absorb the harmful pollutants before they have a chance to contaminate the water.
Planting new trees, especially in urban areas, provides a habitat for a variety of wildlife. Birds nest in, and bees build hives in, trees. Small mammals such as possums and squirrels use the tree branches for shelter and protective cover.
Protection from the Sun
Shade trees help shield adults and children from dangerous ultraviolet rays, which can lead to sunburn and skin cancer. Trees are especially beneficial when planted on playgrounds and college campuses, and in parks where people spend a lot of time outdoors.
Trees grown in fruit orchards provide income to workers who harvest the crops, for the owners of the orchard and for fruit markets that sell the produce. Trees that are sold for lumber supply jobs for those who work as lumberjacks, for sawmill employees and for those who deliver and sell the lumber.
Trees are excellent screens. They can block out wind and rain as well as unsightly objects such as power lines, concrete walls and other eyesores. Trees are often used as sound barriers and can muffle the sound of nearby freeways and busy streets.
Planting a few trees in your front yard or the back garden is one way to add to the beauty of your surroundings. They can also increase the property value of your home.