Biology

What’s so special about trees?

 

Trees are fantastic if you didn’t already know that. They are a tiny habitat by themselves, and more importantly, vital to a vast number of species, including humans. For example, the oak tree is home to more than 300 species of birds, mammals, and insects, all living amongst its branches and leaves.

And it is time you and the rest of the world learned more about them and about the ways trees shape our world.

 

Oxygen

Trees and photosynthetic algae are considered the lungs of the planet because they are the reason the air today is still breathable. Things like branches, twigs and their leaves spread out into the air and ground like the bronchi of our respiratory system, taking in carbon dioxide and giving off oxygen in exchange.

More than ninety-eight percent of the Earth’s oxygen comes from this process called photosynthesis. Without trees and all the other plants basically “breathing”, life as we know it would cease to exist.

They also help combat climate change. Excess carbon dioxide or CO2 is building up fast in our sickened atmosphere, contributing irreversibly to climate change. Trees help us out by absorbing CO2 while releasing oxygen back into the air we breathe. In less than one year, an acre of healthy trees can consume the same amount of carbon dioxide produced by your car if you use it to drive 26,000 miles.

 

Food

Trees produce fruits such as apples, pears, plums and oranges and many more, making them a major source of food, which enables us to stay healthy and well fed. The fact that the green wonders grow so much of the food we eat also allows for our species to reproduce in such immense numbers. They undeniably provide us with many of the essential life-sustaining nutrients.

 

Medicine

Many natural and synthetic pharmaceutical drugs have their roots in natural compounds, which can be found in tree parts like bark, roots, and even flowers. Aspirin, one of the most widespread drugs, is based on a substance which can be found in the hardened bark of willow trees.

There’s proof that our stone age ancestors almost certainly chewed persistently on willow bark for pain relief. Many other studies have shown that surroundings, where trees are planted, are also beneficial for healing on a spiritual level. Psychiatric patients have been shown to recover faster when they have access to gardens and if trees surround them.

Resources

There are so many things that we find indispensable and which are made of wood, that it is almost a wonder there are any left at all. Our houses are built of wood, our beds and even some of our everyday items such as furniture and shoes. Also, trees increase the value of your property by at least 15 percent, especially if they are old and if they have character and history.

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