Trees and humanity mutually exist as a source of sustenance for each other: humans produce carbon dioxide for trees and in return, trees produce oxygen for us. That’s one of the most important reasons why trees are planted around the world. Trees also serve as a means of offering shade to protect us from the overwhelming ultraviolet rays of the sun and as a means of relaxation.
However, further studies shown that trees offer a variety of other benefits not just for humanity but for the environment as a whole, many of which we will share with you in this article.
Benefits of Planting Trees
1. Reduces Climate Change
Right now, one of the biggest challenges that the world faces is excess harmful carbon dioxide or CO2 for short. That is, so long as there are hardly any trees around to turn all of that CO2 into oxygen. The trees filter out the carbon from CO2 and in exchange, produce sugar during photosynthesis, which therefore releases energy and oxygen back into the air making it more sustainable for humans to breathe.
In a year’s time, planting over an acre of trees is capable of consuming 26,000 miles of carbon dioxide emitted by a driven car.
2. Supports Wildlife
Another exceptional benefit of planting trees is that they serve as homes for numerous fauna or animals and other creatures in the wild. In fact, birds and insects are such creatures that use trees as sources of food, for nesting, and as shelter.
Trees also provide additional benefits, depending on the types that are planted, such as fruits leaves and flowers that are used in a while. The debris or waste from these trees, in turn, enriches the soil, which therefore creates more safety and security options for other wildlife to burrow underneath.
3. Cool the Streets
People living in modern homes comfortably in their wooden or cemented homes don’t have any idea about the kind of harms that deforestation brings. One of those adverse effects comes with the increase of buildings and roads that absorb heat due to the removal of trees every year that goes by. Because of this, the average temperatures in Los Angeles in the last 50 years, for instance, has gone up by 6°F. But by planting trees around our houses as well as the streets, the temperatures of a city can go up to 10°F as they release water and provide shade.
4. Prevent Water Pollution
Trees are elemental in reducing heavy amounts of stormwater runoff which is something that sidewalks, streets, and driveways are unable to prevent due to their thick concrete surfaces. This phenomenon is accomplished by trees as the water flows down their trunks and straight into the ground below them. This procedure also prevents rainwater from transporting pollutants into the ocean. When trees get most, they behave like sponges that naturally filter water and then use it to help groundwater supplies recharge.
5. Prevent Soil Erosion
Because of deforestation, 30% of our planet’s arable land has become 60% unproductive due to the soil being washed away to streams, lakes, and rivers, making the land more prone to flooding and contamination along with pesticides. If all the soil is gone, such areas will eventually become barren and dry like a desert. And to make these lands more productive once again require centuries of careful hard work and labor.
That’s why trees are planted in order to minimize such effects. Not only do they help maintain the health of the soil, but they also prevent the disposition of silt in water bodies. Various studies indicate that the more an area closely resembles a natural force in terms of groundcover, tree spacing, and canopy structure, the less likely soil erosion will occur.
6. Save up on Energy
By now, some of you may be aware of how the shade from trees helps protect us from melting in the sun, especially during the summer season. But did you also know that according to the Arbor Day Foundation, that planting a healthy tree is equal to the overall shading effect of over 10 room -sized air-conditioners that run 20 hours a day? And since air-conditioning takes up a large chunk of your monthly electric bill, you can cut it down by up to 50% considering this natural alternative.
In fact, trees are also helpful in saving heating costs during winters by acting as windbreaks for households. You can save as much as 25% on heating costs according to the Journal of Horticulture. With enough trees planted to shade homes, trees, and buildings, not only will the total energy use for cooling and heating go down, the overall microclimate enhances as well.
Reducing that much energy produced from man-made objects like air conditioners and heaters will reduce the excess levels of carbon dioxide and other types of pollutants produced from power plants.
7. Preserve Water
We already covered how trees absorb excessive amounts of water and filter out any pollutants or contaminants that may end up in oceans, lakes, and rivers, but the average tree is also capable of preserving about 250 to 400 gallons of water in a day. As a matter of fact, when trees work as a team with the oceans of the world, they form about half of the earth’s rain cycle. The trees maintain the cycle thousands of miles from the closest oceans, thereby ensuring our planet stays hydrated from every corner.
9. Help Us Heal
Most of the pharmaceuticals we get these days are derived from trees. For instance, the source of Taxol – used for treating some cancers – are yews; willow bark helps produce aspirin; treaty oil is essential for treating skin infections; ginkgo biloba enhances circulation; pine tree bark is necessary for the production of pycnogenol, which protects us from deep vein thrombosis; and cinchona tree bark consists of quinine that serves as the foundation for numerous antimalarial drugs.
10. Prevent Skin Cancer
Trees reduce the exposure to UV-B radiation – which results in skin cancer – by about 50%. That’s why you ever consider reading a book or playing out during the summers, it would be best to do so under a healthy and fully natural tree.
It’s obviously that trees bring many benefits not only for human life but also for the economy and human activities as well. People should aware the advantages of having more trees and try to plant trees as much as possible.