Why Trees?

Written by Jake Schrom – Senior Landscape Designer

Trees surround our world. There are approximately 3 trillion trees on the planet. Trees can be messy from leaf and fruit drop. They grow and sometimes can get quite large. As a result, it takes a great deal of resources to care for and maintain them within our yards, towns, and parks. So why do we plant trees and gladly assume the maintenance that comes with them? Why don’t we cut them all down? Why do we care about them so much? From stem to stern (or canopy to roots) trees have many benefits to earth and us as people. The leaves within a tree’s canopy filter and help remove air pollutants. During photosynthesis, leaves absorb carbon dioxide which helps to reduce greenhouse gases. The larger a tree gets the more carbon dioxide it will consume. According to the USDA, a single mature tree will absorb 48 pounds of carbon dioxide yearly and exchange it for the oxygen that we breathe. The canopy of a tree provides shade which in turn moderates temperatures. Neighborhoods with trees can be 5-8 degrees cooler than surrounding areas which lack tree canopies. This natural way of controlling the heat can save a homeowner on their yearly air conditioning expenditure. The canopy and structure of a tree also provides habitat for a vast array of wildlife. The root system of the tree is equally as important as its canopy. It’s said that trees filter and store more than half of the water supply within the United States. In the absorption of water through the tree roots, pollutants and sediments are removed from the rainfall. Eventually the cleaner water is released into aquifers, groundwater, and waterways. A tree’s root system also helps reduce water runoff and erosion. Trees play a vital role in our world. Professional tree care and maintenance will optimize a tree’s health so that they can continue to provide these great benefits.