Trees provide humans with an incredibly wide breadth of uses, like lumber as a material for the construction of buildings, paper made from tree pulp and the addition of home shade provided by trees planted near one's house. Trees are multifaceted plants with diverse features among different species and varieties. From trees with big, bold colorful flowers to those that produce fruit crops, trees are a versatile option for the home landscape.
Scandinavian mythology explains the basis of the first human couple with the story of the gods breathing the breath of life into two different tree trunks that became this first united pair. The pear tree symbolizes the birth of a female baby, and the elm is considered the "tree of sleep."
Height and Age
The tallest trees in the world are coast redwoods (Sequoia sempervirens). These grow 3 to 5 feet every year and reach a height of up to 120 feet, and produce a spread of up to 35 feet. Along with their height comes great age; coast redwoods often live to an age of several hundred to 1,000 years. In mature trees, the bark changes to a vivid orange color.
Trees diseases include fungal and bacterial infections. Some are curable, while others are not. Untreatable severe disease is sometimes fatal. When kept in good health, trees are more vigorous and less susceptible to disease. All trees are vulnerable to falling ill, but certain trees are more resistant to particular diseases than others. Oak trees, for example, are susceptible to a disease called anthracnose, a fungal infection that causes the formation of black spots on leaves as well as dieback of branches. This problem is preventable with application of the fungicide thiophanate-methyl at bud break, according to the University of Minnesota Extension.
The sap of the maple tree is processed to make maple syrup. The sap is usually collected in March and April and turned into maple syrup through a boiling process during which the water evaporates and the sugar content increases. Trees are tapped by drilling a hole into the trunk, inserting a spout and placing a bucket or other catch underneath the spout. The sap becomes a darker color and takes on a sweet flavor.
Black walnut trees pose a threat to other plants. The black walnut tree (Juglans nigra) produces a poisonous toxin called juglone that is released through the tree's roots. Certain plants are in danger of becoming poisoned when they come within 1/4 inch of its roots. Plants like azaleas, eggplants and tomatoes are susceptible to damage. Affected plants may become malformed, end up in severe decline or die. Simply grow other plants as far away as possible to avoid this problem.