Why are trees important for the environment?

  • Air

Trees are natural purifiers. Every tree you see around you absorbs harmful pollutants to return clean and breathable oxygen. In urban centers plagued with pollutants like carbon monoxide and ozone and respiratory irritants like dust and soot, trees act as a buffer mechanism to soak in all these toxins.

The role of tress as nature’s detoxing agent cannot be overemphasized. With the world’s growing dependence on fossil fuels and widespread global deforestation, trees provide a time-tested mechanism to reduce the many harmful effects of air pollution and climate change.

  • Water

All around the world, multiple diverse ecosystems require trees to capture water and reduce the risk of natural disasters like landslides and floods. Trees in any habitat form highly sophisticated root systems that, much like their leaves, filter off toxic pollutants, this time from soil water.

These root systems also balance out soil water absorption. According to the FAO, each fully formed tree can intercept north of 15,000L of water each year. By acting as stop-gaps to checkmate the speed of flowing water and by absorbing excess water from their host ecosystem, they prevent the occurrence of waterslide erosions, water oversaturation, and floods.

  • Biodiversity

Each tree is a place to call home for many plants and animals. Without them, these organisms have nowhere to go for shade, comfort, and protection.

  • In the young thriving forests of North America, you’ll find shrubs and other short vegetation very well suited for animals like bluebirds, black bears, and the American goldfinch.
  • Mid-aged forests have taller trees with more greenery and open canopies that sustain animals like salamanders, tree frogs, and elks.
  • Older forests and their dense vegetation covered by extensive canopy systems are preferred by bats, tree-dwelling mammals and birds.
  • Social impact

Trees are a natural resource with multiple functions. From timber used in construction to food for our nutrition, and wood which serves as fuel, their versatility and ubiquity make them an asset the world cannot do without. 

  • Health

It’s interesting to know that patients recover faster when they’re hospitalized in rooms with overlooking trees. But aside from the calm and therapeutic effect their shades provide, trees also serve the crucial role of protecting us from the Sun’s harmful UV rays.

  • Climate Change

Climate change is real. In the last few decades, we’ve seen our planet’s ambient temperature has risen 1 degree Celsius. This is partly due to the buildup of harmful greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide, which traps the Sun’s heat in our atmosphere. Trees can help mitigate our climate change impacts as they absorb carbon dioxide (one of the main greenhouse gas) and return pure oxygen into the atmosphere.

It’s a proven fact that in cities, trees absorb a significant amount of carbon dioxide and lower ambient temperatures by up to 8o Celsius. By 2050, it’s estimated that no less than 66% of the world’s population will live in cities. Trees provide a clear-cut, sustainable mechanism to deal with the climate problems that will come with this growing trend of urbanization.