10 amazing benefits of trees to the ecosystem
The place of trees in the ecosystem is well documented. A close look at our environment speaks volumes about our country Kenya. We are too blind to see what our ignorance is causing us. We are our own enemies and yet we refuse to change a single thing about our habits. We have destroyed our water catchment areas. We have also cut down trees and our forests have shrunk to unimaginable sizes.
“When we plant trees, we plant the seeds of peace and hope.”
― Wangari Maathai
As a result, the weather patterns have changed. Lack of enough rains and drought have taken over. But is it too late to intervene? No, it isn’t, we can still do something.
The rate at which we are planting trees cannot be matched with the rate at which we are felling them. With climate change, don’t you think that it is time we woke up from deep slumber and planted trees? Trees play a very big part in purifying the air. They suck in pollutant gases such as carbon monoxide, ozone and nitrogen oxide. They take in carbon dioxide and release clean oxygen into the air. They also attract rain and some forests like the Mau in Kenya, are water catchment areas.
“It’s the little things citizens do. That’s what will make the difference. My little thing is planting trees.” — Wangari Maathai
There has been an increase in carbon dioxide in the atmosphere because of too many emissions from the burning of fuel and fossils by industries. As a result, there is huge trapping of heat. Deforestation is making the situation worse since the number of trees available cannot take all the carbon and fumes released into the air.
Benefits of trees
Living in a desert can be very punitive and it can teach you how to appreciate trees.
#1. Trees prevent soil erosion. The roots of trees hold the soil and reduce the amount of soil carried by rainwater and wind. Soil erosion carries the fertile soil and hence causes degradation of the land. Trees can also reduce the impact caused by floods and landslides.
#2. Trees act as windbreaks: Trees stand in the way of the wind and hence reduce the speed of the wind. Planting of trees in a row especially along tea plantations reduces the effect of wind on the tea bushes.
#3. Trees are home to insects and wild animals: Many animals and insects live on trees. There are also millions of wild animals living the forests. Destruction of trees renders them homeless and this can lead to extinction.
#4. Trees bring a sense of relaxation and reduce stress: Looking at a tree or even sitting under a shade brings a sense of relaxation to your mind.
#5. Trees attract rain: Trees take water from the soil and release it into the atmosphere through a process called transpiration. It is a complex process but all we know is that trees contribute a lot in the formation of rainfall. If we had enough trees, we would have plenty of water and we would never have to recycle it.
#6. Trees are a source of food: We get many fruits from trees such as apples, mangoes, avocadoes and many others.
#7. Trees give us medicines: Some trees produce healing elements such as the moringa tree and hazelnut trees. Some medicines such as quinine are also extracted from trees. For example, morphine is extracted from a tree called Papaver Somniferum.
#8. Trees give shade: The shade given by trees is valuable. Trees planted around the house also help to cool the atmosphere in and out of the house. When trees release vapour into the air through transpiration, it cools the air around them.
#9. Trees are a source of fuel: A very high population, especially in Africa use firewood and charcoal as fuel for cooking and heating their houses.
#10. Trees are beautiful: Trees enhance the beauty of a place and are also known to increase the value of where they are planted. Some have pretty flowers and hence pleasant for the eyes.
We should all get concerned about climate change and its negative effects on earth. Climate change brings forth less rainfall, a rise of sea levels and the heat waves. We should purpose to plant trees to improve the quality of life for us and many generations to come.
“The generation that destroys the environment is not the generation that pays the price. That is the problem.”
― Wangari Maathai
Let us all purpose to plant trees because of the immense benefits they have on planet earth. Trees will help in eradicating poverty, drought and reduce the ever-rising temperatures. It is the high time we sought to understand that planting of trees will avert a disaster and especially on matters about climate change. Let us stop the talk and dirty our hands to make our world green again. Stop procrastinating on planting trees. Make it deliberate and make a difference in your world.