Reviving, Rejuvenating and Replenishing Trees in Tarrant County. Keller, Southlake, and Mid Cities.

The Importance of Trees

"The wonder is that we can see these trees and not wonder more" Ralph Waldo Emerson

Perhaps because of their constant presence, most of us rarely lend much thought to the importance of trees in our lives, communities and histories. We take them for granted, or see them as mere decorations. Trees, however, are a vital and nurturing force. They benefit our environment, provide us medicines, and inspire myths and stories. One of the best ways to realize the importance of trees is to imagine our world without them.

Trees and the enviroment

" The air we breathe is improved by the presence of trees"

A book by Dr. Seuss illustrates the impact trees have on our environment. In his tale The Lorax, The disappearance of trees bears dire environmental consequences. At the onset of the story the landscape is beautiful and lush with shady groves, clean water, and ample home for wildlife. As the tale progresses and trees are cut down, the environment starts to sour. Animals flee for lack of food and shelter, the air becomes dark and dirty, and the water supply grows stale.

So too would our environment suffer if we uprooted our own trees. Trees provide shade in summer and shelter in winter. In fact, trees planted around our homes help reduce heating and cooling costs.

The air we breathe is improved by the presence of trees. In order to feed themselves, trees absorb harmful chemicals such as carbon monoxide and in turn give off oxygen. As well, they filter and trap pollutants such as smoke, dust, and ash making our air cleaner.

Where water is concerned, trees not only absorb water – preventing flooding, but also help disperse rainfall over a more even area. As well, by retaining water, trees help reduce the amount of topsoil that runs off into our sewers and streams. Leaves on the ground, keep moisture close to the ground aiding growth and traps chemicals keeping them out of lakes and rivers.

On a larger scale, trees maintain our global environment in ways that we are just beginning to understand. By acting as enormous carbon sinks, trees absorb massive amounts of carbon dioxide from our atmosphere. If trees did not perform this vital function, there would be little to mitigate the effects of global warming caused by the green house effect. Of course trees benefit not only our physical environment. but also attract birds and other wildlife, making our urban centers a more pleasant place to live.

The importance of trees seems apparent when one tries to imagine a world without them. Cleaner air and water, food for our tables and thoughts, as well as inspiration for our senses are but a few things given to us by trees. If nothing else, they give us an excuse to sit, close our eyes, and listen to the winds rustle through their leaves.

Derived from an article by Mikael Dam

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