Go Green: The Wonder and Beauty of Trees

 Go Green: The Wonder and Beauty of Trees

By Tom Last

Why are trees so popular and important within society? Well, there are several reasons starting with their natural beauty, distinct varieties, majestic size, and positive environmental impact. Maybe the number one benefit of trees is that they promote ‘biodiversity.’ In simple terms, trees provide a habitat for a variety of insects and animal life. Trees are a place for birds to nest, squirrels to burrow, insects to munch, and kids to play.

Over the last couple of years, I have planted a variety of trees on my property including – oak, sugar-maple, windmill palm, birch, emerald, and others. It’s enjoyable to watch them grow and to view their seasonal changes. Planting a tree comes at a minimal cost compared to the pleasures they provide for me and my family.

Trees perform many important physiological functions that directly benefit the environment. They filter pollution from the air and sequester it underground, thereby reducing greenhouse gases and slowing climate change. Basically, trees take in carbon-dioxide then strip the carbon from it, sequesters it underground and then produces and releases oxygen into the atmosphere. This is an impressive feat, as now governments and companies are creating sophisticated machinery to mimic trees as they attempt to sequester CO2. This endeavor to sequester CO2 is costly but necessary to fight climate change.

In addition to cleaning the air, trees clean our water through absorption and filtering mechanisms. They intercept storm waters to help alleviate flooding and provide shade for animals and humans alike. During this record hot summer people took refuge in the shade provided by trees as they lower air temperatures between 11 – 25 degrees and reduce the humidity levels. Planted strategically around your house they can lower the overall house temperature and reduce your energy bills.

When I am feeling stressed out at work, I take a stroll through the tree shaded Bryant Park, in Manhattan. This helps me refocus and recharge, as trees have been proven to counteract the effects of stress, in addition to helping your body heal both mentally and physically.

These natural wonders improve social networking within our communities and enhance property value. They encourage people to be more active and physically fit along with being a powerful memory aid, a boost to the immune system and help us recover faster from sickness and injuries.

Knowing all these benefits that trees provide would you consider planting a tree or two on your property? If you do not have the space for a tree, then you can visit The Nature Conservancy’s website (plant a billion trees) for instructions on having a tree planted on your behalf. Several other organizations provide memorial tree plantings too.

Let’s continue to enjoy the beauty of our trees and all the benefits they provide to us. Become an environmental advocate by helping to plant trees that will aid in our fight against climate change.

Remember, there is no Planet B.

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