As trees grow, they absorb and store the carbon dioxide emissions that are driving global heating. New research estimates that a worldwide planting programme could remove two-thirds of all the emissions that have been pumped into the atmosphere by human activities, a figure the scientists describe as “mind-blowing”.
Earth is our home, and we should leave the world better than we found it.
Why to plant a tree?
Almost everyone is aware that trees are a good thing and that deforestation has a damaging impact on the environment. The global environment and the ecosystems it contains provide important services and resources called Ecosystem Services; these are generally detailed under the following categories of Provisioning Services, Regulating and Supporting Services and Cultural Services.
Trees and woodlands provide many different and vital ecosystem services:
Provisioning Services: Trees and woodlands provide timber for building, carpentry and paper making and also wood-fuel and biomass fuel resources. Woodlands and individual trees provide habitat for many different species of plants, insects, animals, birds and other living things. They all rely upon and in turn contribute to the ecosystems they inhabit. Fruit and nut trees provide a food source not just for humans but also for birds, animals and other creatures.
Regulating and Supporting Services: Trees absorb carbon dioxide from the air and give out oxygen and thus play a vital role in regulating the air that we breathe. Trees store carbon from the carbon dioxide absorbed and regulate the amount of carbon in the atmosphere. Trees absorb rainwater and can help to reduce and prevent flooding. Tree roots also bind improve and protect the soil where they are planted preventing soil erosion from wind, rain and flooding. Trees absorb excess nutrients from the soil especially from agricultural processes and prevent these nutrients from polluting local streams and rivers. Trees add moisture to the atmosphere and play a vital role in cloud production, thus further cooling the earth, and helping to mitigate global warming.
Cultural services: Trees and woodlands provide valuable social, aesthetic and cultural benefits. Woodlands are popular with both tourists and local communities as a leisure and recreational amenity. Trees also provide cultural, educational and employment opportunities through the learning and practice of forestry, woodworking, building and carpentry skills as well as other traditional techniques and crafts.