Everyone knows that trees are needed to keep us alive. They provide us with oxygen to breathe and help keep our air clean. Without trees, humans would not be able to live. Every tree plays its part in balancing Earth’s ecosystem.
We Need Trees to Survive
Trees range in size, shape and color. Each one has its own benefits and allows organisms to not only survive, but thrive. This is mostly due to a process called photosynthesis, where the tree takes in natural light and carbon dioxide, then releases oxygen into the air. Humans work well with trees because when we breathe, we release carbon dioxide into the air.
Trees Create Homes
Trees provide shelter for many animals. Birds and squirrels are a prime example, as both live in trees their entire lives. Not only do these homes provide shelter, they also produce food for the animal as well. Koala bears, for example, eat mostly eucalyptus tree leaves. Nuts and fruit also provide food for small rodents as well as people. The tree will also produce seeds, fungi and other plants that are edible.
This is one of the biggest reasons people are opposed to cutting down trees. Deforestation takes away animal homes, removes their food sources and disrupts the ecosystem. Because the trees also help us to breathe and gather food, it is important to make conscious decisions in regards to the environment.
Finding Medicine in Trees
Some species of trees are known for their healing properties. Extensive studies have allowed us to learn more about these medical benefits and get the most out of them. Here are a few examples of trees that can be used medicinally.
Alder is found mostly in wetlands, but is often used as a healing wash for deep wounds. It can also be made into tea that reduces fevers.
Beech trees are used in many medicines used by pregnant women. It also helps with lung problems.
Birch trees help with eczema and psoriasis issues. It is often made into a tea that can heal mouth sores or it can be used as a laxative.
Cedar trees are commonly used in tea for their high vitamin C content. It can also work as a fever reducer.
Elm is often used to heal tumors, ulcers, wounds and more. High calcium content can be used to strengthen bones and help with sore throats.
Holly is used to help control ulcers, fever, diarrhea, herpes breakouts and more.
Maple is often made into oil that can help sore muscles. It can also be used to help aid those with bronchitis, sore eyes and coughs.
Oak bark is an excellent antiseptic and can help heal wounds.
Pine is known for its antiseptic properties and is often used in healing washes. Vitamin C also makes it a great choice in teas.
Willow trees can help to clear up acne. The bark can be used to reduce muscle pain, colds, headaches, diarrhea and more.
Everywhere you look trees are all around you. From oak to pine, poplar, elm and many others, trees provide us with a number of benefits that we might not even be aware of. We need to make sure our trees are healthy at all costs, otherwise we won’t be able to reap the benefits they provide us with. Check out the top 8 reasons why we need trees below.
Overcoming the Greenhouse Effect
At one point in time or another, we have all heard about global warming. It occurs whenever there is an abundance of greenhouse gases that destroy the tropical forest and burn through fossil fuels. Carbon dioxide is one of the main types of greenhouse gas. Thanks to trees, the carbon dioxide in the air is absorbed and the oxygen is released into the air. One-acre of trees can absorb the carbon dioxide emitted from one car driving 26,000 miles in a year’s time.
Cleaning the Air
Trees work to absorb any of the pollutant gases in the air and filter out all of the particles in the air by trapping these pollutants on their bark and leaves.
Providing Us With Oxygen
In just one-year, one-acre of trees can supply enough oxygen for 18 individuals.
Cooling the City and the Streets
Average temperatures are rising across the country due to the decline in the available tree coverage, as well as the increase in buildings and roads being constructed. Trees can help to cool the area by about 10 degrees. They release water vapor from their leaves.
Placing three trees around your home can help to reduce the amount of air conditioning your home needs by close to half. When you reduce the amount of energy needed for your home, you can help to reduce all of the pollution that comes from power plants.
Thanks to the shade from trees, you won’t have to use as much water on your lawn. A newly planted tree only needs about 15 gallons of water in a week.
Preventing Water Pollution
Trees can help to reduce the amount of runoff that occurs by breaking down the rainfall and allowing the water to go into the trunk and the earth below. Storm water won’t be able to carry pollution into the ocean. When turned into mulch, trees work like sponges filtering the water naturally and recharging the supply in the ground.
Shielding from UV Rays
In the US, skin cancer is the most prevalent type of cancer. Trees can help to reduce exposure to UV rays by close to half. Children out on playgrounds and college campuses are protected from the harsh rays of the sun. Spending hours outside isn’t an issue when you have trees around the property.
Trees that have a structural defect likely to result in a failure are referred to as high risk if the tree is capable of striking a target. Targets can be buildings, vehicles or somewhere that people gather together. To make sure your backyard is a safe environment for all to enjoy, you need to be able to identify potentially hazardous defects in any of the trees on your property and take the necessary actions to correct them.
Remember, just because there is something that needs to be corrected with one of your trees, that doesn’t mean you should be the one to rush out there and try to do the job alone. Evaluating all of the trees in your area is something that is rather complex in nature. Only a trained professional should partake in this process and come up with a solution to your situation. Only do those things that you are comfortable with. Let the professionals come in and handle the rest for you.
Before doing anything around your property, you need to have a basic understanding of what you are looking for in the trees. It is also important that you understand how to size the forestry up in your backyard and make it a healthy and safe habitat for trees to grow and your family to relax. Areas where there is a lot of traffic should be inspected regularly to make sure there is nothing damaged that needs to be remedied.
Beyond just inspecting the trees on an annual basis, you also want to have them inspected after a major storm rolls through the area. Thanks to these inspections, you will know whether there is anything dangerous that needs to be addressed or not. If there is something that needs to be fixed, you will be able to do something about it before it poses a serious threat to your property and the personal safety of everyone on it.
The entire tree needs to be looked at for any damage. The roots, main stem, trunk flare, branches and all of the branch unions have to be thoroughly examined from all sides. Binoculars should be used to look at any branches that are higher up and out of view.
• Condition of the tree – Trees that are in poor condition might have dead branches, dead twigs, leaves that are off-color. When a tree is in good condition, they have vigorous branches, healthy leaves and full crowns. Remember, just because there are green leaves on the tree, that doesn’t mean it is safe.
• Species of tree – Certain types of trees are more susceptible to certain types of defects.
• Size and age of tree – Since trees are a living organism, they are prone to continual stress. Pay special attention to the older trees that could have accumulated with a number of defects and decay.
Healthy trees are an important asset to your property. During the warm, summer months, they provide you with nice, cool shade. The birds use them to create their homes. Not to mention trees can also increase property values. To help you learn how to care for your trees, continue reading.
There are a number of things that you can do to encourage healthy trees that last for a long time. However, there are also a number of things that you should avoid. If you are ever unsure of what to do, you can always call a tree specialist and see what they recommend for your specific tree.
Whatever you do, don’t top your tree. Topping is one example of removing all of the large branches from trees that are mature. Trees that are topped are often disfigured. Even though you might think you are helping the tree, you are actually doing quite the opposite.
When you take a significant portion of the tree’s canopy, you create an imbalance in the root to canopy ratio, which is going to impact the nutrition of the tree in a negative manner. It will also end up exposing the tree to the harsh sun, which is going to cause scalding. Most of the time, topped trees will end up developing suckers close to the pruning cut. Generally, these branches end up being attached with a weak branch that is doomed to fail.
Trees that have been topped are also susceptible to diseases. The stubs that remain behind have a hard time being able to form a protective callus. In the end, an invasion of insects and fungi set in and the tree becomes infested. Topping location cuts can also prevent the natural defense system of the tree from being able to properly do its job.
In addition, topping your trees is an expense that you can avoid. Topped trees end up back at their original height rather quickly. They end up being denser than those that are properly pruned. Some of the other costs are actually hidden like losing property value, while trees that are maintained properly will actually increase the value of your home. You also have to worry about any branches that became weak from your topping the tree.
Trees need a certain amount of elements to help them grow and function. By fertilizing a tree, you can help to increase its overall growth, reverse a declining health and reduce susceptibility to various pests and diseases. Make sure you are doing your part to water your tree and protect it from damage and disease that can be avoided if you only take the time and effort to do your part.