The planting of trees is good for the environment. It is common knowledge that trees take in large amounts of carbon dioxide. This short article introduces three other reasons for planting trees.
It seems that everyone knows that trees purify the air by taking in contaminants and releasing oxygen. They consume huge quantities of carbon dioxide, cutting down on greenhouse gasses in the air. That’s not all they do, however.
Trees Stabilize the Soil
Big trees need big roots. Some kinds of trees grow their roots outward, and some grow them downward. Either way, those roots hold onto a lot of dirt and debris. Trees have roots systems that are strong enough to keep the topsoil in place, instead of allowing dry soil to be blown away by the wind. When an area loses its trees, it seems to be only a matter of time before it also loses the rest of its plantlife.
In wetter and snowier conditions, it isn’t only the wind that threatens the soil. Trees hold the sides of hills together, preventing many landslides. On a smaller scale, they also help keep the soil from sliding into the rivers and lakes. This allows waterside plants a chance to grow and give river animals a safe place to dig their burrows.
Trees Control Water
in the same way that the trees hold onto the soil, they also hold onto water. Flood damage tends to be more severe in places that have lost their trees. The soil gets washed away, and there is little to slow the torrents.
Some kinds of trees pull water up from deep in the ground, releasing some of it from their leaves into the air through transpiration. It is well-known that trees don’t survive well in desert conditions. Did you know that they also help to prevent desertification by recycling the groundwater?
Trees Provide Shade and Shelter
Have you ever wondered why so many small farm fields are surrounded by narrow lines of trees? Those trees break up the wind, sheltering the crops from harsh weather. Trees serve as wind-breaks in nature, too, allowing other plants to colonize the clearings and providing shelter for wildlife.
Trees along rivers and creeks shade the water, keeping it cool enough for the fish to survive. Warm water holds less dissolved oxygen than cool water. If the trees are cut down from the creek banks, the water overheats during the summer. This suffocates the fish. The bacteria which feed on the sudden wealth of dead fish use up more oxygen, and kill more fish.
When you consider all the important things that trees do for the environment, it makes sense that planting more trees is a good thing to do.
The hairy woodpecker is a wood pecker common to most of North America.
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