Trees are amazing. My boyfriend will tell you immediately, you don’t want to get me started on trees. However, that is exactly what I am going to do. First of all, trees are the oldest living things on Earth. When you think about that… what has that Oak tree in your backyard seen? More importantly think of how miniscule your stay in that tree’s lifetime really is. It is pretty much impossible to stand in one place in this state; I live in Illinois by the way, without seeing a tree somewhere in your 360-degree view (That’s pretty sweet in itself).
Trees provide countless benefits to the ecology of the world, our health and well-being and additionally to each other. Besides the obvious mind-blowing fact that while you’re sleeping in your warm and cozy bed or sitting in your 8 a.m. lecture hoping your professor won’t notice you falling asleep, trees are providing the oxygen we need to BREATHE. But yes, besides that, here are some reasons why I think trees are pretty cool.
Trees in the forest are social beings. “Trees are friends. You see how the thicker branches point away from each other? That’s so they don’t block their buddy’s light,” German forest ranger and author of “The Hidden Life of Trees,” explains. He adds that sometimes pairs of trees interconnect their roots so much that when one tree dies, the other one dies, too. Come on, how emotional is that. Trees also signal their friends when danger is near. If pests or insects are attacking, trees will flood their leaves with chemicals to make them distasteful to the pests and stop the growth of the infestation. To alert their tree friends nearby, trees communicate by releasing chemicals into the wind (WHAT) or possibly sending electric or chemical signals through their roots!
Trees, besides being beautiful, can help you if you’re lost. Who needs a compass, right? Moss will grow on the northern side of the tree’s trunk. If that fails you, if you can find a tree that has been cut down, (I know I don’t want to think about it either) you can also observe the rings of growth. The southern side, which receives more light, will have thicker rings.
There are about 100,000 types of trees in the world, according to Live Science, and each tree can house 100’s of species of wildlife. That’s homes for all the cute little animals you love, and insects too. A healthy tree can transpire 100 gallons of water a day. That is an equivalent to 10 single room-sized air conditioners operating 20 hours a day, thank you Penn State College of Agricultural Sciences. Trees help settle out dust traps, pollutants and smoke, improving air quality and in some places providing clean water.
The point I am trying to get at here is, stop staring at your phone while walking across campus to your next class and LOOK UP. The landscape alone is bound to be a breath-taking sight when you really appreciate those tall, long-lived, woody plants. We can’t take them for granted.