Friday, July 29, 2011

Trees Are Amazing

Photo courtesy: lukemcreynolds

Trees are the largest and longest-living organism on earth.

Trees renew our air supply by absorbing carbon dioxide and producing oxygen.

Trees clean the air by collecting dust and pollutants.

The shade from trees helps cool the Earth's temperature.

Birds and other animals use trees for their homes, protection; and, as a source of food.

Healthy trees can increase your property value and decrease your home's heating and cooling costs.

There are more than 23,000 different species of trees on Earth!

Two large trees produce about 400 pounds of O2 each year, which is the amount of oxygen that the average person consumes in a year.

During photosynthesis trees take in CO2 from the air and convert it to the sugars it uses to grow and survive.

One large tree can absorb up to 10 lbs of air pollutants each year. These include ozone (O3 — the primary component of smog), nitrogen oxides (NOx) and sulfur dioxide (SO2), two major contributors to acid rain, and particulate matter (e.g. dust, soot, and smoke). Each of these pollutants have been shown to have adverse health effects, including asthma, lung cancer, and cardiovascular disease.

By intercepting rainfall and stabilizing soil, trees can reduce soil erosion and surface runoff to our sewers and streams, and thus reduce the amount of our tax money that must be spent on water treatment.

The average life span of a downtown urban tree is now estimated to be less than 10 years!

While trees in the outer, more residential areas of the city often live closer to 30 years, the fact remains that trees in the unnatural urban environment are not surviving as well as their rural counterparts, which commonly live for more than 100 years.

It comes as no surprise to me that studies have shown hospital patients with window views of trees tend to recover faster and with fewer complications than similar patients without such views, and that treed neighbourhoods typically have fewer reports of violent acts than barren communities. In my mind, such psychological influences represent the greatest value of urban trees; although, the other positives trees provide are none too shabby either.

So...go outside and hug a tree today!

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