The Awesome Tree Of Life
By Vern and Lori Geiger
Why are trees important? Trees are the lungs of life; we breathe in oxygen and breathe out carbon dioxide. Trees breathe in carbon dioxide and breathe out oxygen so if it wasn’t for trees we wouldn’t be able to breathe. Without trees we humans would not exist on this beautiful planet.
Trees clean the soil; absorb chemicals and other pollutants that have entered the soil. Trees store harmful pollutants or actually change them into less harmful forms. Trees filter sewage and reduce the effects of animal wastes, clean roadside spills and clean water runoff into streams.
Trees control noise, muffling noises as effectively as stone walls. Trees, planted at strategic points in a neighborhood or around your house, can abate major noises from freeways and airports.
Trees slow storm water runoff and flash flooding can be dramatically reduced with tress either planted or growing wild; they can intercept more than 1000 gallons of water annually when fully grown.
Trees are carbon sinks to produce its food; a tree absorbs and locks away carbon dioxide in the wood, roots and leaves. Carbon dioxide is a global warming suspect. A forest is a carbon storage area that can lock up as much carbon as it produces. This locking-up process stores carbon as wood and not as an available greenhouse gas.
Trees clean the air by intercepting airborne particles, reducing heat, and absorbing such pollutants as carbon monoxide, sulfur dioxide, and nitrogen dioxide. Trees remove this air pollution by lowering air temperature, through respiration, and by retaining particulates.
Trees shade and cooling is what a tree is best known for. Shade from trees reduces the need for air conditioning in summer. In winter, trees break the force of winter winds, lowering heating costs up to 30%. Studies have shown that parts of cities without cooling shade from trees can literally be heat islands with temperatures as much as 12 degrees Fahrenheit higher than surrounding areas. Trees fight soil erosion, erosion control has always started with tree and grass planting projects. Tree roots bind the soil and their leaves break the force of wind and rain on soil and conserve rainwater and reduce water runoff and sediment deposit after storms.
Trees also increase property values; real estate values increase when trees beautify a property or neighborhood. Trees can increase the property value of your home by 15% or more. Not only to do they sustain our very life, but, they provide food for people and animals; they provide us with shade and beauty, they are homes and a source of food to countless animals. Simply put we could not survive without them. When a tree dies or is cultivated for a specific propose, they give us shelter; we build our homes with wood products, and use wood to heat our homes. Millions of trees are harvested every day; we can help by planting endemic trees; not just for us but for future generations.
Not only do they provide us with the above but also are used for medicinal purposes; for example we owe the willow tree for aspirin, relieving headaches and breaking fevers, the eucalyptus tree gives wonderful essential oils. the list is very long and to most unknown. If you see someone illegally cutting down a tree, report it. Yes permits are required to cut down trees. Contact our local ecology dept. in Chapala 765-5600 or Profepa in Guadalajara at 01 333 824 6508.
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