Whether you know it or not, trees play a hugely important role in your every day life. They provide oxygen that you need to breathe, they provide wood for your furniture and paper for you to write on, and they help tackle climate change by consuming some of the carbon dioxide that’s responsible for global warming. In fact, over the course its life, a single tree can absorb one ton of carbon dioxide and produce 260 pounds of oxygen (enough to support a family of four for a year!).
But that’s not all there is to know about trees. Here are four fun facts about them that might surprise you…
- They provide food and shelter for HUNDREDS of different wildlife species.
One particular species of tree, the English Oak, supports around 600 different species of insects and creatures that in turn feed birds and other small mammals. The oak tree also helps out dozens of bigger animals, such as wild board, badgers and deer, by providing tasty acorns for them to eat.
- They can point you in the right direction.
OK, we don’t mean literally, but trees have been used for generations as a navigation tool. The number of rings in a cut-down tree’s trunk can tell you which direction north is and, in some parts of the world, moss grows on the north side of a tree where it is shadier. Trees are nature’s answer to a compass!
- They provide medicine.
Next time you have a headache and pop an aspirin, think about the humble tree. Aspirin was originally developed from the bark of a willow tree. Some drugs used for chemotherapy in the treatment of cancer are also derived from the clippings of yew trees. Trees have a natural healing power that has been cultivated by humans to help save lives. Pretty amazing, don’t you think?
- They have been around for thousands of years.
There is a grove of trees in Utah, USA, which is home to a colony of trees called the Pando or ‘The Trembling Giant’. The colony of trees is estimated to be 80,000 years old, making it one of the oldest living organisms in the world, and the trees are interlinked by an intricate underground root system that covers more than 100 acres.
If you’d like to find our more about our work to protect and plant trees across the world, click here.
To make a donation to support one of our tree planting Campaigns, click here.