Save The Trees!

May 24, 2022

Trees are a very important part of the world. They are beautiful plants with many different species and they are home to millions of animals. Trees do many things to help the climate and environment, but thousands and even millions of trees are harvested daily, and it is taking a serious toll on Earth. 

Up to two million trees are cut down every day in the Amazon Basin, an area equal to ten thousand football fields.  Clearing forests at such an extreme rate results in amplification of greenhouse gasses, disruption of water cycles, excessive flooding, increased soil erosion, and loss of habitats. 

A significant amount of deforestation occurs in rainforests. Rainforests are home to over fifty percent of flora and fauna species in the whole world. If we continue to harvest and burn the rainforests, thousands of species each year will lose their homes and die, it will be harder to grow crops like chocolate and coffee, and the effects of climate change will worsen. On top of the flora and fauna, there are also millions of indigenous tribes that reside in the Amazon Basin.

Trees act as a “carbon sink.” During photosynthesis, trees absorb the carbon dioxide out of the air and store it in their wood. They do this throughout their lives and help slow the gas buildup in the atmosphere. This is very important because once carbon dioxide is in the air, it can stay there for up to one thousand years!

Not just the trunk of trees absorb pollution, but so do the leaves! Tree leaves remove the most dangerous pollution from our lungs, particulate matter. This type of pollution comes from the burning of fossil fuels, and it can reach dangerous levels in very large cities as well as neighborhoods by factories and highways. The filtration can reduce ailments like asthma and heart disease. 

Trees provide a home and habitat for animals. Even a single tree can provide a habitat for countless species. Forests are even better for wildlife; some of the most diverse and strong webs of life are located in forests. 

Trees help cool down temperatures; the most obvious way they do this is by shading. When trees shade, they reduce the amount of sunlight that reaches buildings and pavements. Shading is helpful because it helps reduce the amount of energy that is absorbed and re-radiated into the atmosphere. Another way that trees help cool temperatures is by transpiration cooling. Transpiration cooling is when trees release water into the air from transpiration. When the water is turned into vapor, the surrounding area is cooled.  

Along with shading and cooling down temperatures, trees can help protect people, especially young children, from ultraviolet rays. In the United States, the most common form of cancer is skin cancer. Trees can reduce the amount of UV-B exposure by fifty percent. 

Additionally, they help combat water pollution. When trees break rainfall, they allow the water to flow down the trunk and into the ground under the tree. This prevents stormwater from carrying pollutants and other harmful things into the oceans. 

Many species of trees can be used as food sources. Did you know that an apple tree can produce up to 15-20 bushels of apples annually? Not only do trees provide food for humans, it’s a source of food for birds and many other types of wildlife. 

Simply put, trees are a very lovely species of plants. Currently, there are around 73,000 different species of trees, and there are still many more to be discovered. Trees are also a big indicator of the seasons and display them beautifully. 

Believe it or not, studies have shown that trees are natural healers. Trees release antimicrobial essential oils called phytoncides. These oils protect trees from germs, and have health benefits for people as well. These oils boost your mood, along with your immune system function. They can reduce blood pressure, heart rate, stress, anxiety, and even confusion. The oils can help improve your sleep and strengthen your creativity. It is possible that these oils can help combat depression and cancer.  When we inhale these oils, our bodies respond by increasing the amount and activity of a type of whiter blood cell, natural killer cells (NK). NK cells kill other cells in our body that are infected with a virus or tumor. 

Trees are a very vital part of our day to day lives, but they are being destroyed at an alarming rate. We need to start planting trees in place of the ones that have been harvested, and at the same time we need to stop harvesting trees and find alternative sources of energy, materials, etc. Save the trees!!

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