“A society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they know they shall never sit in.”
This is an ancient Greek proverb which shows, even long ago, mankind understood the importance of trees. Volumes have been written about trees’ value to society. Some are commonly known—such as the beautiful landscapes they create—but the benefits of trees go beyond enjoying their beauty. Trees also provide significant social, environmental, economic, and health benefits.
Unfortunately, not everyone in the world is getting this message. Every year the earth loses about 80,000 acres of forest or about the equivalent of the size of a football field every two seconds. Tropical rainforests, where about half of all animal and plant species in the world reside, could be completely gone in 100 years at the current rate of deforestation.
The world’s tree loss is caused by fires, clear-cutting for agriculture and development, unstainable logging for timber, as well as by climate change. Consequences from the tree loss can be far from obvious. Reduction in the world’s tree canopy, a cover that blocks the sun’s ray during the day and holds in the heat at night, can have harmful effects to animals and wildlife. Furthermore, the loss of tree roots plays havoc with the world’s water ecosystem as well as soil erosion leading to problems with flooding and the ability to farm.
Without getting into all the details, here are 10 reasons we need to plant and care for trees.
- Trees absorb CO2 gases helping offset the effects of climate change.
- Trees provide oxygen and clean the air at the same time.
- Tree coverage helps cool by day and retain heat at night thus conserving energy.
- Trees act as natural water filters, reduce soil erosion, and help prevent flooding.
- Trees help increase property values and beautify communities.
- Trees provide a habitat for the world’s plants and animals to, if not thrive, at least survive.
- Trees can provide food for both humans and animals.
- Trees provide many health benefits including shielding us from harmful ultra-violet rays.
- Trees create economic opportunities, especially in impoverished areas around the world.
- Trees provide shade so we can enjoy a picnic.
In summary, trees are simply amazing. They clean air and water, reverse the impact of land degradation, prevent species loss, and ease poverty by helping communities achieve long-term economic sustainability by providing food, energy, and income. Finally, planting trees is one of the easiest and most important way to help stave off the effects of climate change.
And to quote Desmond Tutu:
“The world’s forests are a shared stolen treasure that we must put back for our children’s future.”
Your tree planting through The Gifted Tree is not only a unique gift doing something different, you are also helping make the world a better place for future generations!