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Trouble for trees

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Trees are the longest-living organisms on the planet and one of earth’s greatest natural resources. They keep the air clean, reduce noise pollution, improve water quality, help prevent erosion, provide food and building materials, create shade, and help make the landscapes look beautiful. Properly placed around buildings they can reduce air-conditioning needs by 30 per cent. 


A mature tree removes almost 70 times more pollution than a newly planted tree. A single tree produces approximately 260 pounds of oxygen per year. That means two mature trees can supply enough oxygen annually to support a family of four. One tree can absorb as much carbon in a year as a car produces while driving 26,000 miles. Over the course of its life, a single tree can absorb one ton of carbon dioxide. Trees do wonders for our health, just by being there. 


Humans probably are descendants of animals that lived and developed in the trees of the great primaeval forests. Does this account for the feeling of completeness and security that one attains sitting in the highest boughs of a tree as a child? Trees point the way to heaven. They were once thought of as being antennae for divine energies. 


Anyone who has visited one of the Redwood National and State Parks in northern California will understand this. There is a persistent idea in mythology all over the world that trees are related to the heavens and are a symbol of goodness. In Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings, the Ents, a race of beings who closely resemble trees, become angry at the magician Saruman, whose armies are cutting down large numbers of trees, march on Saruman’s fortress at Isengard and destroy it.


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