I am planting a tree as a New Years Resolution in 2021, but how long will it be before the environment feels the positive impacts of my single, small action?
I'm going to plant an apple tree in our new house, once the move FINALLY happens (the last week of Feb, I'm hoping). It's a birthday present from my parents, and though they laughed when I said I wanted it to bear fruit within the year - impatient non-gardener that I am! - planting even a single tree has got to be a good thing. And not just for apple crumbles. After some research, I found some awesome environmental benefits a single additional tree can do for the world. Here are 8 ways trees help the environment.
Obviously, the first one is...
1. CLEANING THE AIR - apparently this can take up to 25 years to be effective with a mature tree, but little by little, as the tree grows, it has a positive impact on ammonia, sulphur dioxides, ozone etc.
2. ABSORBING CO2 AND CREATING OXYGEN - In one year, an acre of mature trees absorbs the same amount of CO2 produced when you drive your car 26,000 miles. My front lawn is hardly an acre, but still! That same acre of forested land can provide enough oxygen for 18 people for a whole year.
3. TREES COOL URBAN AREAS - releasing water vapour into the air and creating shady spots, also PROTECTING US FROM HARMFUL UV RAYS. Placed strategically, they can even lower the need for air con in the summer, if you have it installed, thus becoming tools in CONSERVING ENERGY USE.
4. Almost immediately, my humble tree will become A HABITAT FOR INSECTS, AND LATER, BIRDS and have a positive impact on SOIL EROSION. This also helps with flood alleviation - very welcome, when we're buying a new property!
5. TREES SAVE WATER. It's simple: Shade from trees slows water evaporation from thirsty lawns. It's a positive even when measured against how much water a newly planted tree needs.
6. I've even read that TREES REDUCE VIOLENCE! Neighbourhoods and homes that are barren have shown to have a greater incidence of violence in and out of the home than their greener counterparts. Trees and landscaping help to reduce the level of fear.
7. Aside from apples for my crumble, TREES PROVIDE FOOD FOR ANIMALS AND INSECTS through fruit, seeds and even bark.
8. TREES ABSORB DUST AND THE STRENGTH OF THE WIND, REDUCING SOUND POLLUTION , AND REDUCING GLARE.
Oh, go on then, one more... This isn't environmentally-related but it's fascinating all the same...
9. TREES AID RECOVERY FOR SICK PATIENTS - Studies have shown that patients with views of trees out their windows heal faster and with less complications. Fascinating!
I wish I had more space for more trees!
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Born to be a Tourist