Why are trees so important?

You will probably know a great deal about why sustainability is a top concern right now and the danger of destroying so many trees. However, do we understand why trees are so crucial to our well-being? It might not always be as clear you’d imagine that woodlands are really essential for both people and nature. Britain only has a relatively little area of forest in comparison with countries with Europe, with only 12% of our land covered by forest. We have to improve on this figure, but why?

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The reasons we need a tree:

Breathing

The natural balance of life on earth can only be maintained with the important role that trees play. Trees remove excess carbon dioxide from the environment, turning it into oxygen through a process called photosynthesis. Because all animals and humans and even some in the sea, need oxygen to breathe – trees are a very important requirement for life. Trees absorb CO2 and water from the atmosphere, converting it to glucose and oxygen when sunlight is added into the process.

To combat climate change

The effects of global warming are linked heavily to rising levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, contributing to the ‘greenhouse effect’. CO2 traps heat from the sun, warming the Earth. Certain natural cycles have always occurred in our planet, but scientific evidence shows that increased levels of CO2 from human activities are having the greatest influence on the rising temperature. As trees absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, the more trees there are, the better for our planet. Some trees can be a nuisance though but before cutting one down, check with an Essex Tree Surgeon like Benchmark Landscape, a leading Essex Tree Surgeon.

To purify the air

Trees create the ideal air filter with a few species being more effective in cleaning the air. Those responsible for planning urban landscapes should focus on planting specie that are highly resistant to pollution, trapping pollutants in the bark and leaves.

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Trees have other health benefits, including being beneficial for our mental wellbeing. They offer a relaxing and soothing environment, found in areas where people are exercising. Wood has been proven to help with mental fatigue and cognitive function, as well as being an effective air filter.

To provide wildlife food and shelter

Much of the British wildlife depends on trees for their survival, providing a much-needed habitat. Birds need trees for their nests, small mammals use stems and roots while the bats make their home in the trunk. Especially oak trees provide great support for wildlife, including nearly 300 species of insects.

To stop flooding

Trees act as a useful flood defence, especially when located close to rivers, streams and rivers. They can help to absorb large amounts of rainwater flowing into different waterways and flooding. They also help stop pollution run-off and soil erosion.