We are used to seeing trees and foliage around us but we never stop to ponder about their importance. You might have seen some trees around your locality, but they’re not nearly as many as there should be. Forests are the natural birthplace of life and we have reduced them considerably. Rampant deforestation over the last few years has greatly reduced the forest cover of the earth. We have reduced our cities to concrete jungles with negligible trees and foliage. The concept of coexisting with nature that our ancestors followed has been lost on us. As things get worse and global warming takes center stage, we need to be reminded of the importance of Trees.
We have been losing trees at a rampant pace due to rapid deforestation. We lose forest cover equivalent to the size of a football field as every second passes. Forests cover about 30% of the landmass of the earth and are a strategic resource. They have a lot of biodiversities and thus have a lot of varieties of trees. Forests are the largest repository of trees that we have. Most of the deforestation is done by humans but some of it is also due to natural causes like forest fires. Forest fires often occur in hot regions like Australia. To reemphasize how important trees and forests are we bring you the importance of trees essay.
Table of Contents
Importance of trees in climate change
Climate change is a raging topic in modern times and has also been raised on important platforms like the Oscars. Climate change is here, it is very real and it affects us all. Trees help us combat climate change by helping us combat global warming. Global warming is the gradual rise in the average temperature of the earth. It is the main reason for climate change. Global warming is speeding up because of our burning of fossil fuels. This releases a large amount of Carbon Dioxide. Carbon Dioxide is a greenhouse gas that causes global warming. Trees absorb Carbon Dioxide and they release Oxygen instead. In terms of Carbon Dioxide emissions, just an acre of trees can compensate for driving a car for 26,000 miles. This importance of trees paragraph is just a sneak peek into the impact of trees on climate change.
Trees give us clean air
The importance of trees in the cleaning of air is highly underrated. Our cities are polluted due to the vast amount of pollutants that we release. Industries release a lot of toxic gases and so does the burning of fuel in cars. We are choking ourselves by polluting the same air that we breathe. Trees, on the other hand, serve to clean the air. They trap the small particulate matter floating in the air, on their leaves. Trees take in Carbon Dioxide which is a greenhouse gas. They also absorb other harmful gases. Trees are known to absorb gases like ozone, ammonia, nitrogen oxides, and sulfur dioxides. All these gases are harmful to us humans. Thus, trees serve as a natural air filter.
Trees give us Oxygen
The fact that trees give us Oxygen is irreplaceable importance of trees. Trees perform photosynthesis in large quantities which is the process by which they produce their food. Oxygen is produced as a by-product of this process and it is released into the air. We need oxygen to breathe and each of our cells in the body needs a regular supply of it. Thus, trees not only absorb harmful gases but also release Oxygen which is important for our survival. This is why we should plant more trees in our localities as it will help keep our environment healthier.
Trees Keep our Environment Cool
Another major importance of trees is that they keep our environment cool. That’s why public parks with trees and foliage are always cooler than city streets. The same phenomenon can be seen in areas closer to forests. They are cooler than built up metro cities that are just concrete jungles. Trees keep the environment cool in a total of three ways.
Trees provide local cooling to the area where they are planted. They give us shade which can give anyone much-needed respite from the scorching heat. To experience this, all you need to do is go and stand under a tree. Trees with denser leaf cover give more shade below them. You can plant trees in your locality in order to block out the scorching sun and keep your surroundings cool.
Why trees are important?
The leaves of trees perform a process called transpiration. Transpiration is the release of water into the air in the form of water vapor. It occurs from the leaves of the trees. Transpiration is an important process in the water cycle and it helps bring down rain. Hence, forested areas always receive more rainfall as compared to metro cities. Frequent rainfall can alleviate water troubles in most metro cities. Hence more and more trees should be planted in and around cities. A fully grown oak tree can transpire up to 40,000 gallons of water within a year. As evident, this is a huge amount of water vapor that is released in the air. Transpiration leads to evaporative cooling and it helps bring down the temperature of the region. It also helps in keeping the humidity level of the area in check.
There is another way in which trees help in keeping our environment cool. They absorb greenhouse gases which cause not just local but also global warming. Mostly, they absorb Carbon Dioxide for photosynthesis. Carbon Dioxide is a greenhouse gas that wreaks havoc with the climate. Thus, they help in further keeping the area cool by removing Carbon Dioxide from the air.
Trees help in saving water
Water is a precious resource. Freshwater is becoming increasingly scarce in modern metro cities. Most metro cities of the world face water shortages. The shade that the trees provide helps to lower evaporation rates. This helps in the conservation of water to a great extent. You can plant trees in your garden and in parks to reduce the water demand of the plants. Moreover, trees cause transpiration which helps to maintain humidity levels. Higher humidity levels mean a lesser rate of evaporation. Trees also help in bringing down more rain to the area which again alleviates water concerns of the regions. Trees also help to allow water to percolate down to the water table. This enhances a region’s underground water supply and makes more fresh water available to the region.
Trees help in preventing soil erosion
Preventing soil erosion is another importance of trees. Soil erosion is a huge problem in many areas as the fertile top layer of the soil gets eroded. This exposes the rocky and infertile sub-layer of the soil. The roots of trees go deep into the soil and hold it together. This helps in keeping the soil in one place. Thus, planting more trees helps in stopping soil erosion since the soil is not free to move. Soil erosion is rampant in river beds and in hilly areas. Hilly areas especially should be kept forests since the water flowing downhill will carry the soil away.
Trees are a food source
Another main importance of trees is that they are a valuable food source. Different varieties of trees give us different fruits. These fruits are a food source not just for humans but also for animals. A single tree can yield large amounts of fruits annually. They can be planted on a very small piece of land while food crops require a lot of acreages.
Fruit trees can be planted right in your locality while crops need to be grown on large pieces of land. Moreover, after consuming the fruit of a tree you can just use the seeds to plant more trees. A lot of times, trees are also planted in areas where crops are grown in order to provide shade. They aren’t directly a food source in this case but they can augment the existing yield of food items. Some trees give products like dates that can be stored and used as a long-term food product.
Trees are a source of economic prosperity
Trees aren’t just useful for food or for their attributes. They provide economic opportunities to lots of humans as well. Fruit trees yield fruit that can be sold and you can get economic benefits from it. The transporting, processing and packaging of fruits also provide jobs to people and thus bring economic prosperity. Trees also give opportunities for green waste management which yields economic benefits. Landscaping is another economic aspect of trees that gives economic benefits. Many trees are aesthetic to look at and thus people want to plant them. This aspect fuel demands for growers to grow those varieties more and get economic benefits. Moreover, the people involved in their upkeep and subsequent landscaping also get economic benefits from trees. The economic benefit is thus another importance of trees.
Trees are the only source of wood
Wood is an important commercial product that has an irreplaceable designation in our lives. Most of the furniture we use is made of wood. Wood is also used as a source of fuel in many rural regions. It is also an important commodity for the construction of houses. Wood is an invaluable commodity for making doors, tables, and other furniture. The pencils that we usually use are also made of wood. In fact, the paper that we use to write on is also made from a particular tree. Some utensils in the kitchen are also made of wood. Art and musical instruments undoubtedly have a requirement of wood.
There are so many species of trees and hence we have different varieties of wood that are available. Oakwood is known for being sturdy and is known for its longevity. Hence a lot of furniture products especially in hilly areas are made of oak wood. Timber wood is an essential commodity for carpenters. It used to make furniture and crates or boxes. Timber is the typical hardwood used in industries. Then there are some special types of wood as well. Sandalwood, for example, has a lot of economic value. It is used in the treatment of headaches and as an antiseptic. Sandalwood is also used to treat skin diseases and inflammatory diseases.
Trees provide habitat
Trees are an important habitat for a lot of wildlife. A lot of birds make their homes on the branches of trees. Moreover, they also provide shelter to a lot of animals like monkeys, bats or squirrels. Trees are individually an essential habitat for a lot of animals. If you put them together in a forest, they form an even richer habitat. Forests are the habitat of all wild animals. Tigers and Lions may not live directly on trees but they reside in forests made out of trees. Without trees, the wildlife that is existing on the earth would have nowhere to reside.
Trees also provide a canopy that is necessary to maintain the habitat of a region. A lot of plants cannot deal with direct scorching sunlight. They only survive on diffused sunlight and too much sunlight can kill them. Such plants reside safely under the canopy of trees and removal of trees kills them as well. A lot of climber plants in the forest rely on trees for structural support. In fact, all the animals that live in forests rely on the canopy of trees for their survival. The canopy can keep the temperature on the ground significantly lower since it blocks the sunlight. This is an important aspect that comes into play in a habitat.
Trees are indispensable in our lives. They don’t just provide us with direct economic benefits, but also provide us with a host of indirect ones. Trees are essential in keeping the environmental factors under control and our surroundings healthy. More trees need to be planted in all our vicinities in order to bring about environmental and economic prosperity. Planting of more trees will reduce global warming and provide more rainfall as well. This importance of trees in points is aimed at starting a meaningful conversation about the conservation of trees and afforestation.
Writing allows me to pour my heart out in words. So, that’s what I’ve been doing for the past 6 years. I strive to bring in a change in the world by taking tiny steps of curating the right message that needs to be conveyed.