Trees And The Environment

“The very air we breathe is improved by the presence of trees.”

A book by Dr. Seuss illustrates the impact trees have on our environment. In his tale The Lorax, The disappearance of trees bears dire environmental consequences. At the onset of the story the landscape is beautiful and lush with shady groves, clean water, and ample home for wildlife. As the tale progresses and trees are cut down, the environment starts to sour. Animals flee for lack of food and shelter, the air becomes dark and dirty, and the water supply grows stale.

So too, would our environment suffer if we uprooted our own trees. Trees provide shade in summer and shelter in winter. In fact, trees planted around our homes help reduce heating and cooling costs. During summer, trees can block the sun and have a refrigerating effect on us and our homes, and during the winter months, trees can keep us warmer by shielding us from wind and snow.

The very air we breathe is improved by the presence of trees. In order to feed themselves, trees absorb harmful chemicals such as carbon monoxide and in turn give off oxygen. As well, they filter and trap pollutants such as smoke, dust, and ash making our air cleaner.

Where water is concerned, trees not only absorb water – preventing flooding, but also help disperse rainfall over a more even area. As well, by retaining water, trees help reduce the amount of topsoil the runs off into our sewers and streams. Leaves on the ground, keep moisture close to the ground aiding growth and traps chemicals keeping them out of lakes and rivers.

On a larger scale, trees maintain our global environment in ways that we are just beginning to understand. By acting as enormous carbon sinks, trees absorb massive amounts of carbon dioxide from our atmosphere. If trees did not perform this vital function, there would be little to mitigate the effects of global warming caused by the Greenhouse Effect.

Of course trees benefit us not only our physical environment, but also attract birds and other wildlife, making our urban centers a more pleasant place to live. Picture the eerie silence that would befall a city were the song of birds entirely absent.

Article by Mikael Dam in

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