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How Do Trees Help the Environment?

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A single tree can make a major impact on the environment. Trees clean the air, clean the water, and support the earth. Countless living organisms depend on trees for shade from the hot sun as well as for shelter and sustenance. Truly, trees are a major contributing factor to our ecosystem.

Trees are a massive part of our lives. They are just as important as the air we breathe and food we eat. Altogether, trees help our environment in many ways. Overall, naming every way trees support our environment would be a lengthy article, but we will discuss the five most important contributions.

The most significant contribution trees give to the environment is the consumption of carbon dioxide and other harmful gases as part of photosynthesis. Cleaning the air protects the ozone layer and our entire atmosphere.

 Not only does this process help the environment from dangerous gases, but they also improve our breathing quality. Trees are professionals at removing pollutants and particulates from the air. Additionally, the production of oxygen gives us cleaner and better air to breathe.

Moreover, trees filter water and remove pollutants. Rainwater is easily filtered through trees to remove sediment and other harmful substances before the water enters the waterways. Trees also store water to protect the waterway from flooding.

Trees support the entire ecosystem by providing shelter and a home to mammals, birds, and other organisms. All portions of the tree can provide a home to an organism.

Finally, trees also supply shelter from the sun and heat. In a world without man-made structures, the only shade you can seek is beneath the canopy of a large tree. They are the world’s air conditioners.

1. Filter the Air and Remove Harmful Gases

Photosynthesis is a life-sustaining process for trees. Through this process, trees (and other plants) consume carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. Excess carbon dioxide is the number one cause of the destruction of the ozone layer. There are several trees that excel at this process. In fact, there are trees that can remove 25,000 pounds of carbon dioxide in their life.

How Do Trees Help the Environment -Filter the Air and Remove Harmful Gases

Trees with large, broad leaves consume more carbon dioxide than their evergreen cousins. This is because sunshine is just as vital to the process as carbon dioxide. To properly support our atmosphere, we need trees of all ages. Overall, trees that have fully reached maturity consume significantly more carbon dioxide than younger trees.

While all plant life consumes carbon dioxide, the sheer size of a tree means that it can consume much more carbon dioxide daily. Without trees, the remaining plant life could not clean the atmosphere enough to sustain us.

2. Improve the Air Quality

As mentioned above, trees remove carbon dioxide from the air and protect the ozone layer in the process. Through photosynthesis and the removal of carbon dioxide, trees also clean the air for us to breathe. The products of photosynthesis are glucose and oxygen.

How Do Trees Help the Environment -Improve the Air Quality

Of course, billions of organisms depend on an atmosphere rich in oxygen and low in carbon dioxide. Leaves remove particulates from the air to improve our air quality.

The industrial revolution led to more pollution in the air than what is naturally occurring. That being said, the air quality around larger cities began to decline. Thankfully, trees filtering abilities helped to clean the air worldwide.

There are many tree species excellent at oxygen production. All of this oxygen makes the air feel lighter and makes it easier to breathe.

3. Clean Rainwater

Rainwater contains several pollutants dangerous to the animals who will drink it, the plant life that will absorb it, and the entire environment. Mature trees can store over 100 gallons of water at one time.

Trees can absorb rainfall and slowly release it back into the environment. Through the absorption process, trees remove pollutants and other particulates from the water. Once released, the water is much cleaner.

How Do Trees Help the Environment -Clean Rainwater

Groundwater will seep towards larger waterways. Overall, the groundwater will be cleaner. Animals, birds, humans, and other living organisms depend on a healthy water supply.

As trees filter water, they also store water. Storing the water protects smaller waterways from flooding during a large rainfall. Trees will release the water slowly and provide a steady amount of drinking water.

During a drought, a tree will hold more water to sustain itself, but it will also release some of its stored water to support its ecosystem.

4. Provide a Home for Animals, Birds, and Organisms

Trees create ample space for organisms to live. Bacteria and fungi attach themselves to the surface of the tree. They can latch onto the bark of the trunk and along the branches. The shade of the tree will protect the organisms from wind and other rough weather.

How Do Trees Help the Environment -Provide a Home for Animals, Birds, and Organisms

The most common habitat for avian species is in trees. Birds will build their nests amongst tree branches. The thick canopy and high height will protect any developing eggs from predators or inclement weather.

Mammals that can climb trees love to make their home amongst the branches. For the same reason as birds, the canopy of branches gives privacy and protection. Some animals that put down roots in trees are squirrels, chipmunks, bobcats, lynxes, and panthers.

Animals that cannot climb trees may also find shelter amongst the roots or in the trunk.

With so many places for organisms to live, a tree becomes a habitat for many species at once. Even dead trees can become home to countless animals.

5. Supply Shade for All Living Organisms

While it may seem like a minor contribution, the shade that trees provide is vital to sustaining life. Without roofs, the only protection we have from the sun is under a tree. The sun is a beautiful part of our life. It has massive effects on mood and health.

How Do Trees Help the Environment -Supply Shade for All Living Organisms

However, too much sun can be damaging to your body. Certainly, no animal can stay in the sun all day. The sun will dehydrate your body which untreated can be life-threatening. Moreover, the rays from the sun damage your skin. Thankfully, we have man-made structures to protect us from the sun and heat.

On the other hand, animals are not so lucky. Animals depend on trees to provide a cool and shady canopy. The shade from a large canopy can feel much like an air conditioner on a hot day. As we continue to cut trees, the earth gets hotter. Existing trees work overtime to cool the air despite the current climate.

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