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The Root of the Issue

5 Ways Trees Keep Our Planet Healthy

High Caliper Growing, April 21, 2016

Here at High Caliper Growing, we’re proud to work with some of the best tree growers in the world. With the help of our fabric root control bags, these growers have raised hundreds of thousands of beautiful, healthy trees; trees that have found their way into cities and towns across the country, providing benefits that extend far  beyond their beauty and shade.

Trees are one of Earth’s true renewable resources. Even if they’re grown for building supplies, cut Christmas trees, paper production, or other uses that require the trees to be harvested, we can always grow more.

The advantages of trees are many, and once these few simple facts about trees and their “super powers” come to light, you’re going to want to plant more trees than ever before!

Here are five great reasons to plant more trees:

1. Trees clean air.

Trees help the planet – and everything living on it – by filtering the air. The burning of fossil fuels puts heat-trapping carbon dioxide into Earth’s atmosphere, but trees and other plants use this carbon dioxide, absorbing it from the atmosphere and using it for photosynthesis. Trees use the carbon for growth and release the oxygen back into the air. Over time, trees absorb and hold the carbon in their tissues, keeping it out of the atmosphere where it could potentially contribute to increased carbon dioxide levels.

A healthy tree can sequester thirteen pounds of carbon per year, and according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, a single acre of forest absorbs six tons of carbon dioxide and emits four tons of oxygen per year. That means an acre of mature trees is capable of absorbing the amount of carbon dioxide produced when a car is driven 26,000 miles. This ability alone is an excellent reason to plant more trees, but absorbing some of the excessive carbon dioxide produced by the burning of fossil fuels is only one way that trees clean air.

In reality, the air filtering capabilities of trees extend even further: Trees also improve air quality by removing particulate matter and filtering pollutants like ozone, carbon monoxide, and sulfur dioxide from the atmosphere.

2. Trees cool cities.

One of the biggest advantages of trees is their ability to help cool our cities. Not only do trees provide much needed shade, they also cover heat-absorbing roads, parking lots, and buildings, moderating the heat-island effect caused by the heat absorption of paved surfaces.

And, this cooling effect doesn’t just take place in big cities. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, single homes with properly positioned trees can reduce air conditioning needs by up to 30%. For the best results, plant large, shade-providing, deciduous trees on the south or west side of a home. They’ll shield the building from scorching summer sun while, in winter, their bare branches will still allow the sun to warm the house.

3. Trees filter water.

Not only are trees good at air filtering, they’re also excellent water filterers as well. Trees absorb rainfall and prevent excessive runoff. They reduce erosion that can carry pollutants and sediment into watersheds and oceans. Because of this, trees are an important part of storm water management for many communities.

Forested areas naturally filter rainwater, cleaning the water as it percolates down through the soil and replenishes the water table.

4. Trees promote wildlife.

The benefits of trees aren’t just for humans, of course. They’re also for wildlife. Both deciduous trees and conifers provide food and shelter for a multitude of mammals, birds, and insects. Yes, some trees produce fruits and nuts for human consumption, but a far greater number of them serve as a food source for many other creatures.

5. Trees reduce sound pollution.

By buffering noise from streets and other human and industrial activities, trees cut down on sound pollution. According to researchers at the North Carolina State University, a well-placed tree can reduce noise by as much as 40%. And, not only is the nuisance sound mitigated, but property values are also increased when there are plenty of trees on-site. The International Society for Arboriculture says that landscaped homes are valued 5-15% higher than non-landscaped properties. This is but one of many advantages of trees that is often overlooked.

As you can see, planting trees can help the planet in many different ways. Plant more trees for a better tomorrow… and today!