Trees Have Many Benefits

Trees grow beside a river

Trees line the Animas River

The next time you take a walk, notice the trees around you. There are lots of them, and they add so many good things to the surrounding environment.

Many people love trees. Newsletters like Treehugger and organizations such as the Arbor Day Foundation help us understand the benefits of trees.

Here are a few of the remarkable ways that trees benefit us. Many thanks to Treehugger for explaining 20 benefits of trees in an article by Melissa Breyer in the April 26, 2023 Treehugger newsletter.

Trees are really good at removing carbon from the atmosphere. Every year between 1990 and 2007, the U.S. Forest Service reported that trees around the world removed 2.4 billion tons of carbon. They also absorbed 8.8 billion tons of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. That’s about one third of the fossil fuel emissions during that same time. Carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases act like a blanket to trap some of the heat on the planet instead of letting it go out into space. That makes the Earth hotter and contributes to climate change. When trees absorb a lot of carbon and carbon dioxide, they help to keep the Earth from warming up quite so fast.

Trees that are beside roads and highways help to clear airborne particulate matter so that we are not as likely to breathe it in. The particulate matter is a mixture of microscopic solid particles and liquid droplets that form in the atmosphere in a complex reaction to chemicals such as sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides. Those pollutants often come from power plants, industries, and motor vehicles, and they can create serious health complications.

If you look out the window at trees while you’re at school or at work, trees can help to make you feel less stressed and more satisfied. A study from Chungbuk University in South Korea showed that to be true.

Trees help to feed us. What would we do without apples, oranges, peaches, apricots and other fruit that we get from trees? Or the almonds and other nuts that some trees produce?

Trees also help to humidify the air. In one day, a large tree can lift as many as 100 gallons of water from the ground and release it into the air.

Trees even fight crime. In a study done by the University of Vermont and the U.S. Forest Service showed that in Baltimore crime decreases when there is an increase in tree canopy, the branches that spread out and make shade.

Trees provide us many other benefits as well. Treat them kindly. If you feel comfortable doing it, thank them for all they do to help us.

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