Can you imagine a world without trees? Isn’t that a terrible thought? I was thinking this while I was on one of my many walks last week. I was walking in a local wood and as always taking in the beautiful nature surrounding me, particularly the trees and for some strange reason, as my mind was wandering I started thinking about how different the world would look without them. I really didn’t like this thought and quickly put it out of my head, but it did get me thinking, what do they do for us apart from looking pretty awesome that is? A lot of people, I’m sure, just go about their lives not even noticing them, but I always have. They are, pretty much everywhere you look aren’t they? Reaching up the to sky, standing proud.
I remember as a child, having ‘My tree’ in my back garden, which I used to climb and sit in, once falling out of it too, but we’ll skip that bit. I knew every bit of that tree, a Sycamore and I’m sure it’ll still be there in that same garden, hopefully still being played in and appreciated. I don’t know where my love of trees came from, was it ‘My tree’ or was it when my family and I went to USA and visited Sequoia National Park? I was only around 13/14yrs old but I was in total awe of these unbelievable trees and I’ve never forgotten them and the feeling I had when I saw them.
Trees are beautiful to me. I spend much of my time looking up at them, following the swirling, spiralling branches reaching to the sky. I’m certainly not an expert on trees, so I decided, when I returned from my walk to take to Google and find out more.
There are many internet sites telling the world about ‘Tree facts‘, but one in particular, The Royal Parks website, gave me a list of what I was interested to read about, so from that website here are some of the main benefits of these beautiful plants and as I suspected, the first thing I read…”Trees are vital for our planet and essential to our lives”. I’ve included more of the tree facts from this website below;
- Trees are the largest plants on the planet and also the longest living species.
- They give us oxygen, store carbon and stabalise the soil.
- They give life and homes to some of the worlds’ wildlife
- They provide us with tools and shelter
- They act as a physical filter, trapping dust and absorbing pollutants from the air. Each individual tree removes up to 1.7 kilos every year.
- They provide shade from solar radiation and reduce noise.
- Over 20 species of British trees and shrubs are known to have medicinal properties, the oil from birch bark, for example, has antiseptic properties.
- Research shows that within minutes of being surrounded by trees and green space, your blood pressure drops, your heart rate slows and your stress levels come down. Probably why I personally love to walk in woods!!
- Trees absorb carbon dioxide as they grow and the carbon they store in their wood helps slow the rate of global warming.
- They reduce wind speeds and cool the air as they lose moisture and reflect heat upwards from their leaves. It’s estimated that trees can reduce the temperature in a city by up to 7°C.
- Trees help prevent flooding and soil erosion, absorbing thousands of litres of stormwater.
- Trees host complex microhabitats. When young, they offer habitation and food to amazing communities of birds, insects, lichen and fungi. When ancient, their trunks also provide the hollow cover needed by species such as bats, woodboring beetles, tawny owls and woodpeckers.
- One mature oak can be home to as many as 500 different species.
- Trees strengthen the distinctive character of a place and encourage local pride. Urban woodland can be used as an educational resource and to bring groups together for activities like walking and bird-watching. Trees are also invaluable for children to play in and discover their sense of adventure.
- People are attracted to live, work and invest in green surroundings. Research shows that average house prices are 5-18% higher when properties are close to mature trees. Companies benefit from a healthier, happier workforce if there are parks and trees nearby.
This wonderful website The Royal Parks where I found all the above information on trees have an ‘Adopt a tree’ scheme, what a great idea! The website gives such alot of information on the parks around London which I’ve really enjoyed reading. Well worth a visit.
While walking in the woods that day surrounded by these wonderful structures of nature, my mind certainly was wandering and going back to my original, horrible question…Imagine a world without trees? Well I certainly can’t and now I know this planet wouldn’t be the same without them.
Do you have a favourite tree? I can’t say I do, I just Love trees and being surrounded by them.