Not only do trees clean our air and water and help regulate our climate, they provide important habitat for wildlife, provide economic outcomes, and improve our overall health!
Trees help to clean the air we breathe. Through their leaves and bark, they absorb harmful pollutants and release clean oxygen for us to breathe. In urban environments, trees absorb pollutant gases like nitrogen oxides, ozone, and carbon monoxide, and sweep up particles like dust and smoke. Increasing levels of carbon dioxide caused by deforestation and fossil fuel combustion trap heat in the atmosphere. Healthy, strong trees act as carbon sinks, offset carbon and reducing the effects of climate change.
Trees play a key role in capturing rainwater and reducing the risk of natural disasters like floods and landslides. Their intricate root systems act like filters, removing pollutants and slowing down the water’s absorption into the soil. This process prevents harmful waterslide erosion and reduces the risk of over-saturation and flooding. According to the UN Food and Agriculture Association, a mature evergreen tree can intercept more than 15,000 litres of water every year.
A single tree can be home to hundreds of species of insect, fungi, moss, mammals, and plants. Depending on the kind of food and shelter they need, different forest animals require different types of habitat. Without trees, forest creatures would have nowhere to call home.
– Young, Open Forests: These forests occur as a result of fires or logging. Shrubs, grasses, and young trees attract animals like black bears, the American goldfinch, and bluebirds in North America.
– Middle-Aged Forests: In middle-aged forests, taller trees begin to outgrow weaker trees and vegetation. An open canopy allows for the growth of ground vegetation prefered by animals like salamanders, elk, and tree frogs.
– Older Forests: With large trees, a complex canopy, and a highly developed understory of vegetation, old forests provide habitat for an array of animals, including bats, squirrels, and many birds.
This post is dedicated to supporting change One Tree Planted at a time. As a photographer, my mission is to provide content and financial support to this organization as I believe our biggest existential threat is Climate Change and we must collectively contribute by whatever means necessary.