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The last tree

JESSICA MAWU-KOENYA BANSAH

Have you ever heard of the popular saying that when the last tree dies, the last man dies? What is your opinion? Do you believe trees are that significant to mankind? If yes, why do we keep chopping them for our personal gains? Maybe a reminder of their roles in society can bring this behavior to a halt.

Trees

Trees are a source of livelihood for many. Human beings need to cut trees to manufacture products. When you look at that beautiful furniture online, you desire to have them but do you know where they were made from? Trees! The beautiful diary you have were made from Trees! Even money was made from papers that were derived from trees.

Yes, trees are important for the comfort of man but what can be done to make sure future generations experience some comfort derived from trees. This is due to the excessive rate at which trees are cut down without replacement. Trees provide far more important roles than the luxury they provide when they are cut down.

Benefits of trees

I know you may know a thing or two about the benefits of trees but don’t be quick to skip. This article will enlighten you about some benefits you may have overlooked.

1. Air

The basic knowledge is that trees provide oxygen for mankind and other animals. Trees take up carbon dioxide from the atmosphere during the day and prepare food via photosynthesis where they secrete oxygen as by-products. Trees also clean the air by absorbing all pollutants in the atmosphere. They serve as a filter. Hence, if you visit a forest or greenery, you will realize that the air is fresher. Planting trees in the compound of our homes will help filter the air in the surroundings. In addition, trees cool the city by providing shade and absorbing most of the harmful radiation in the environment.

2. Water

Trees are important for water bodies. Trees can prevent flooding and this is how:

The roots of trees serve as a sponge that can retain stormwater and prevent overflowing. It gently gives off the water to the rivers and the seas afterward. Trees also prevent water bodies from being too salty. Trees provide shade for water bodies which reduce the rate of evaporation. They also absorb some nutrients from the water into their roots. When these trees are cut down, the rate of evapouration increases significantly and subsequently leading to a salty water body that may be inappropriate for irrigation.

Trees also prevent stormwater from carrying pollutants into water bodies thus preventing water pollution. In an environment where they are no trees, all the runoff will rush into the water bodies.

3. Biodiversity

It refers to the variety and variability of plants and animal life. Trees serve as a habitat for most animals especially insects and birds. Mature trees also serve as a habitat for other reptiles and mammals. It has been asserted that more than half of the species that live on earth have gone extinct. It surprises many but the news is, if we keep destroying the homes of these plants and animals, they will have nowhere else to live and eventually die off. Every life on earth has its advantages and disadvantages. If we keep destroying trees, we may never find out what these organisms have to offer.

4. Social impact

Trees do not only provide usefulness in the environment; they affect society as well. Many people depend directly or indirectly on trees to make ends meet. It includes scientists, natural resource persons, and others. Pharmacists use trees to manufacture drugs. Carpenters use trees for building and furniture. The government use products from trees to print monies. Students use books made products of trees such as paper. Trees are important and need to be replaced after cutting them down so that future generation may also benefit from them.

5. Health

The importance of trees to the health of mankind is immeasurable. The colour of trees which h is green is associated with fertility and growth. An environment with trees is likely to prevent lung and respiratory diseases which occurs in regions where the air is polluted. Trees positively influence the mental health of people. Several studies suggest that trees are able to accelerate the recovery of sick patients and calm aggressive behaviors. Trees beautify spaces and relax the mind.

The next time you are decorating your room, add an element of plants or trees and you will not regret it.

6. Climate change

Climate change is a global concern and practices such as tree planting can reduce its effects on the planet such as global warming. There are gases termed- Greenhouse gases that spoil the protective covering of the earth-ozone layer. When the ozone layer is depleted, harmful radiations enter the earth. The radiations warm the earth, cause seasons to change and may cause skin disorders and drought leading to a climatic change. Now, trees can reverse these processes by absorbing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere while giving the ozone layer time to heal and recover.

It has been discovered that; mature trees absorb more carbon dioxide than the younger ones. Hence, old trees must be preserved and protected. Young trees take about10-20 years before they can absorb more carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. The twist is that trees also respire and give out carbon dioxide at night. However, after 10-20 years, they absorb more than they give out.

Plant a tree and save our earth!

References

  1. TreePeople. 22 Benefits of trees. Retrieved from https://www.treepeople.org/22-benefits-of-trees/
  2. SavingNature. Save forests. Retrieved from https://savingnature.com/save-forests/
Environmental Science

JESSICA MAWU-KOENYA BANSAH

A young lady who is excited to influence the society and world with the knowledge she has acquired.