Our beloved trees and mother nature

tree

Trees are an important part of Earth and the functions they hold are immense ranging from erosion control to climate moderation.

Trees are well known to us, typically being described as perennial plants with long elongated stems, known as a trunks, and with supporting branches and leaves.

Without trees, the air we breathe wouldn’t be so fresh and full of oxygen and this is because trees use up carbon dioxide for their biological processes and give back oxygen as a by-product.

So if nothing at all, that is reason enough to us as human beings, to ensure we conserve the few remaining forests and plan to grow more trees now and in the future.

The science of creating, managing and conserving forests in a sustainable manner for present and future human benefit is referred to as Forestry.

Like many other living things, trees too can be identified by using certain keys to ID their families, genus and species name.

The age of a tree can also be read from the concentric rings that show on a tree stump. This is an estimate based on the fact that a tree grows a layer around its bark every year which then result in the concentric rings.

The Missouri Department of Conservation however came up with a formula for estimating the age of a tree; done by estimating the diameter of a tree in inches and measured from 54 inches above ground.The diameter is simply the circumference divided by pi (π).

Using the table of growth factors established by the University, based on the various tree species, the diameter is multiplied by the growth factor of that particular tree. This then prevents boring through or cutting down a tree for concentric ring age estimation.

That said, trees have a lot more beneficial functions such as keeping the environment cool, they also slow down evaporation from the ground thereby conserving more water. Trees also shield and shade us keeping us safe from ultra violet rays, they act as wind breakers and they prevent surface run off of soil and other materials that are carried into the lakes or oceans or other water bodies, thereby preventing pollution.

The cooling brought about by presence of trees is high and resultantly we spend less on air conditioning. Places with increased number of trees usually fetch high value in the property market due to the aesthetic value added by the presence of the trees.

This high value is not just brought about by the cooling effects but also by the fact that trees muffle sounds and noises and the green canopies are soothing to the eye, not forgetting that birds make nests on trees and the beautiful singing they have, more so in the early mornings. Trees also reduce glare on the windows while absorbing dust blowing their way.

It is also a well appreciated fact, that presence of trees brings people human satisfaction, it creates inspiration in us and gives harmony to our souls. In parts of Africa and even in modern science, trees are used for medicinal purposes with many different parts of trees being used to heal diseases and some are even known to be useful aphrodisiac and a boost to sexual health.

Away from that though, trees provide wood for paper, fuel and they are also used for crafts and making of furniture. This can be done sustainably as long as trees are planted for commercial purposes and when logging, it should be selectively with a focus on soft wood that has a faster growth period than the hard wood.

Trees also provide a habitat for animals, birds and insects. These same trees act as carbon sinks, hence the introduction of carbon credits for those who choose to use their land for purposes of growing trees in a bid to combat climate change. So all said and done, we can at least appreciate the importance of trees and the functions they provide and be part of the movement to conserve them.

Let’s protect the earth.