Trees do a lot for us, our environment and other plants and animals. They are the lungs of our earth and amazingly efficient machines, constantly working to make our planet healthier.
Trees are broadly categorised into two categories:
Have different-shaped leaves, depending on tree species, that change colour at a certain point in the year.
Lose all of their leaves for part of the year to help conserve water and energy - in cold climates this happens in autumn, in hot climates this happens in summer.
Common deciduous trees include oak, maple, and birch.
Have needle-shaped leaves and produce cones.
Are mostly evergreens, meaning their leaves don’t fall or change colour - they remain green year-round.
Common coniferous trees include pine, fir, and cedar.
Trees hold significant importance to our planet.
They help to combat global warming by removing and storing carbon while releasing oxygen back into the air, reduce wind speeds and cool the air, and help to prevent flooding and soil erosion, by absorbing thousands of litres of stormwater.
Trees support the lives of millions of organisms. They contribute to boosting biodiversity by providing food, shelter, a place to rest, nest and from which to hunt or capture prey. 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.
Trees benefit our health. Canopies of trees act as a physical filter, trapping dust and absorbing pollutants from the air, provide shade from solar radiation, and reduce noise. Research has shown that within minutes of being surrounded by trees and green space, your blood pressure drops, your heart rate slows, and your stress levels reduce.
Trees are an important part of every community. Streets, parks, playgrounds and gardens are lined with trees that create a peaceful, beautiful environment, and increase our quality of life by bringing natural elements and wildlife habitats into urban settings.
Trees protect the future. The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second-best time is now. There is no single solution that will resolve our global climate crisis on its own, but tree planting and global natural ecosystem restoration is vital making the drastic change needed to restore our planet and protect our planet for generations to come.
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