Why Are Trees Important? Tree Facts, Planting Trees, Why Do We Need Trees?

Woman holding a sapling tree with a burlap root ball up to a bluebird wonders why are trees important and why do we need trees and what are the benefits of trees and other tree facts, like how many trees are in the world before planting trees.

Why are trees important?

Have you ever wondered about it? Most people realize that at the fundamental level, life on planet earth (above sea level) couldn’t exist without trees.

In addition to providing both food an shelter for animals of all kinds, tree play an important role in maintaining global weather patterns, creating “rivers” in the atmosphere that keep the natural world balanced.

Trees are among the most essential life resources on earth.

But, if you’ve ever asked yourself why are trees important, specifically…this article explains the answer while also providing some cool tree facts, information about planting trees and why we (humans) desperately need trees in our lives.6

What Is a Tree? Plant Vs Tree Facts

A tree can be defined as a tall plant that has very thick wood, leaves, trunk and branches.

The “bark,” is one of the key identifiers.

Although many trees and plants have similar characteristics, trees are set apart in their own classification division, Spermatophyta, and then further classified by subdivision, order, class, family, genus and species. Of which, there are of about 10,000 identified species.

Each tree species varies but contains the same characteristics in terms of their structure, their shape and their size and composition.

Interestingly, there are some trees that have lived for up to 6000 years.1

Huge tree showing wide trunk, long branches, and green leaves with smaller and younger trees in the background.

This is why it is said that trees significantly connect us with the past, present, and the future.

Learning about the several types of plants and trees that exist in the forest helps connect us to nature, but their importance to our existence is clear.11

Planting Trees: Why Are Trees Important?

WhTrees are an investment that depends on many factors for its growth. For example, the type of tree you are planting, the location you intend to plant the tree and the care you are able to provide the tree for its growth.

Global climate change is one problem whose solution is to plant as many trees as we can.7

Many organizations have joined hands in the planting tree project, and there are a billion trees that have been planted for the sake of our environment.

When To Plant Trees

You will not ask yourself this question if you are one of those who live in the tropical and subtropical regions.

Well, the reason for this is that in such areas plants can be planted any time of your choice. But you will have to wait in early winters to plant your trees if you live in other areas to allow the roots of your tree to form before the rains.

How To Plant Trees

  1. Soak the main mass of roots. This stage is very important because if you do not do this, then the main mass of roots may reject water from the surrounding soil.
  2. Dig a hole that is thrice larger than the core but of the same depth.
  3. Carefully lift the plant from wherever you had placed it to avoid shocking the roots.
  4. Now place it in the hole that you had dug earlier for the plant.
  5. And lastly, cover the roots with soil and water your plant.

How Does Planting Trees Help the Environment?

How would this world even be without trees?

People need shade to protect them from the scorching sun that might be outside sometimes. Animals need shelter and water to survive.

A part of a park showing trees canopies provide shade to visitors.

All these are dependent on the existence of trees.

Trees provide occupation to almost 1.6 billion people.2

When we start mentioning how and why are trees important to our environment, the list is going to be endless. But let us check out some of the few important benefits of plants to our environment.

  1. Trees provide jobs for people, for example the researchers, loggers and even people who practice sustainable tree farming therefore, giving timber which is used for building houses, cooking and lighting.
  2. They clean the air by absorbing the harmful air from the atmosphere and use it for the process of photosynthesis and give out clean oxygen as a by-product.
  3. Natural disasters like landslides and floods can be prevented by trees.

How Many Trees Are in the World?

A long time ago, this question was a little bit hard to answer but with the technology that we have today, satellite imaging has our back. Plants provided food and clean air for our ancestors and also to us now.

People kept on evolving and started finding out different ways to use trees and this is where deforestation started. After a long time of cutting trees, they saw the effects of doing so and started encouraging each other to plant trees, a practice that is passed down to us now.

How many trees are in the world? There are 3.04 trillion trees in the world, this is according to a study in the journal nature.12

Yale University recently reported that there are 422 trees for each person in the world.3

Do Trees Produce Oxygen?

The answer to this question is obvious. Can you imagine a world without trees?

Well it’s scary, all living organisms depend on trees to provide them with oxygen.

A single mature tree can provide oxygen for 10 people for the whole day. How incredible is this.

Living organisms breathe in oxygen from the plants and exhale carbon dioxide that is used by the plants to make food. Carbon is not only from animals but also cars are able to provide carbon for plants.

Carbon is being broken down by plants into simple sugars that are used by plants to feed in the process called photosynthesis. During this process, oxygen is produced as a by-product.18

But, you should keep in mind that not all trees can produce oxygen. There are a number of trees that do not have leaves thus making it impossible for plants to photosynthesize to release oxygen.

The next time you see people campaigning to make a difference by planting trees, just join the movement as it is very essential.

How Do Trees Make Oxygen?

You do not have to be an environmentalist for you to know the importance of trees, and how they benefit us as living creatures on the planet.

Photosynthesis is one process that is very crucial to the environment. This is where plants make their own food using sun as their source of energy and producing oxygen as a by-product.

Graphic representation on how do trees produce oxygen which is through the help of sunlight, carbon dioxide, and water.

A tree cannot go through the process of photosynthesis if it does not have a leaf, a green one to be precise.

There is something called chlorophyll in leaves. This is the green coloring matter that helps the leaves to break down chemical compounds to give food for the tree and in turn releases oxygen.

Sunlight is a source of light to animals and human beings. Plants do not necessarily need sunlight; the only aim with the sun is for chlorophyll to convert its energy to ATP and NDPH molecules which are used to produce simple sugars from the carbon dioxide that animals and human beings breathe out.

Carbohydrate molecules produced as simple sugars by the leaves are used as food for the trees and plants.

How Much Oxygen Does a Tree Produce? Why Are Trees Important?

Trees give out oxygen during the process of photosynthesis.

They do not just give out oxygen but also use it to convert sugars to energy in the process of respiration, the amount of oxygen being used in this process is small compared to the amount that is to be free. However, the question still remains, how much oxygen does a tree release?

The amount of oxygen that a tree gives the atmosphere depends on its age and how large the tree is. Let us put it this way, a small tree absorbs a small amount of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere thus giving the atmosphere a small amount of oxygen.

Aerial shot of forest trees in varying sizes showing parts of the trees that can store carbon.

Then a large tree absorbs a large amount of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere thus releasing a large amount of oxygen to the atmosphere. The exact value of oxygen that a tree can release is not definite because different amounts of oxygen are produced in different seasons.

For example, the amount of oxygen that a tree can produce in summer, is not the same that is to be produced in winter.

Every year, human beings breathe 9.5 tons of air which makes 23% air by mass and only a third of oxygen is taken from each breath. An estimate of about 740kg of oxygen yearly, meaning that one person needs 7 or 8 trees every year for breathing.

When Did Trees First Appear?

About 400 million years ago, on fossil records, a tree-like plant such as fern and horsetails appeared on earth but mind you it did not have seeds.4 The first evidence of seed was first seen 380 million years ago, but the seed had no layer of protection like the seeds that we have today.

Now, a true woody stem was seen 360 million years ago, these stems used to help plants in transporting water in the tree.19

The evidence of the first Oak tree was seen about 56 million years ago. Over the years trees continued to diversify and evolve to tree plants that we see today.

Some trees grew to be different while others grew to be of the same species, and that is how we ended up having forest on the earth.

Do Trees Absorb Carbon Dioxide?

If trees cannot carbon dioxide, they will not be able to make their own food through the process of photosynthesis. Meaning there will be no life on earth and the earth would not be a good place for anything as there would be harmful air in the atmosphere.

Arbor foundation reported that trees absorb more carbon dioxide than they release.13

Through the effect of terrestrial carbon sink, almost 1.3 million trees have absorbed 2,500 tonnes of carbon dioxide each year from the air.

While a single tree releases 48 pounds of carbon dioxide. From the leaves, the roots and even the trunks of trees they all store carbon from the atmosphere.

Tree Planting

Tree planting simply means the activity of planting trees in a particular place permanently for different uses for example land reclamation, forestry and landscaping. When people get together to plant trees,effects like climate change on earth are reduced.

Let us join hands and start planting trees for a better tomorrow.

How Much Carbon Does a Tree Capture?

You want to reduce pollution from the cars in the place that you live? Then plant trees.

The amount of carbon to be captured by the plant strictly depends on its size, age and sometimes even species.5 You can also calculate the amount of carbon that a tree can capture yourself.

You need to first plan whether you will be calculating for a number of trees or a single tree. Put in the age and circumference of the tree trunk(s) of your tree or trees to the carbon calculator.

View the results that the carbon calculator may have released immediately. It is that simple to find out how much carbon does a tree capture.

How To Stop Climate Change

Climate change is defined as a long-term shift that usually happens in the temperature and weather patterns.20 This harmful thing is mostly caused when fossil fuels are burnt thereby forming a cloud like thing in the atmosphere.

We are in a place of time where the earth burns faster than it is supposed to. They say that every problem has its own solutions, so let us see some solutions that can help make an end to climate change.

  1. Walking and cycling is not only good for your health but also good for the environment. When you are going on a long distance trip, you should then use public transportation as the number of cars that clog the roads are surprisingly high.
    Imagine a world with more cars that produce a lot of carbon dioxide and less trees to absorb it. How would it be?
  2. Most of the electricity that we use comes from gas, coal or oil. Therefore you should minimize the use of electricity.
    For example, wash your clothes with bare hands instead of using a washing machine or just turn off the electricity if you are not using it anymore.
  3. Most of the foods that we eat are from plants. We should increase its intake as the same plants reduce the amount of carbon in the atmosphere, instead of just taking meat every now and then.

Does Planting Trees Help Climate Change?

Climate change is one dangerous crisis that the world is facing right now. And we are told that the solution to these problems is to plant trees.

A part of Oder River in Poland with uprooted trees and plots of land emerging due to climate change.

(Image: Peggychoucair23)

But does planting trees really help in climate change? Yes it does.8

Trees usually consume the carbon that is in the air.

We should create awareness on the effects of climate change on our environment and help plant as many trees as possible.

Small trees with smaller leaves consume less carbon, we should then aim to plant trees with broad leaves such as oak or maple for it to take a quality amount of carbon in the air.

Why Are Trees Important to the Environment?

Trees should not be taken for granted in our environment. They are the most vital things in lives that are in the world.

We should take care of trees, when we cut down trees without replacing them we automatically cut down our lives, it is that important.

There are a lot of ways that trees come through for the environment. They provide food, shelter, and water for life on earth.

Emergent and Canopy Layers of a forest with agricultural land in a distance.

There would be no rain if the trees are not there meaning, crops in the farms would not grow due to the poor nutrients that exist in the soil.9

Trees provide clean oxygen in the air and absorb carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.

Birds are protected from their predators. And also predicts the coming of natural disasters like drought and volcanic eruptions.

What Do Trees Do for the Environment?

  1. The permeable surfaces that are in the leaves of plants filter out bubbles from water and saps, therefore making it a natural way to filter the water from the rain before we drink.14
  2. Trees that are large with broad leaves capture harmful carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and convert it into simple sugars for their feed and in the process oxygen is released as a by-product.
  3. 8.7 million creatures that dwell in the forest are provided with food, habitat, and clean water to drink.

Tree Facts

  1. Dendrochronology is the study of dating a tree by its rings. The rings of plants can be able to predict natural disasters such as drought and volcanic eruptions.
  2. During the Apollo 14 mission in early 1971 some tree seeds were taken to the moon to see if the moon’s orbit can cause the seed to grow differently from the trees on earth.6
  3. Trees can help you find your way in case you are lost in the woods. For instance, moss mostly grows in the northern part of the tree trunk, and the rings of trees also point you in the right direction.

Why Do We Need Trees?

First and foremost, animals and human beings need trees more than the trees need us. We cannot deny that both plants and animals need food for their growth, but we only give trees the waste carbon that we don’t use and they use it to chemically break it down to make their own food and give us fresh oxygen to breathe.

Trees are a source of job opportunities for so many people in the world; they provide us with food and even fresh filtered water for drinking. The truth is we need trees and we also need to take care of them very well otherwise the worst will happen in this life, this collectively answers the question, “Why are trees important?”

Benefits of Trees

  1. This action of planting trees together as a community, brings peace and harmony among people of different cultures, different ages, social status, and color.
  2. In case you are depressed or have a lot of stress then you should visit the park as trees have the ability to relax and cool your mind. Trees also work magic on patients in hospitals that have planted trees, especially the patients who have a view of the trees from their windows.
  3. Leaves of trees trap particles from the air thus giving out clean oxygen for human beings and animals to inhale.

Afforestation vs Reforestation

Afforestation and reforestation are both actions of planting trees but are somehow different.21

When trees are planted where there has never been trees ever before is what we call afforestation. Reforestation is the opposite of afforestation where plants are planted where there were trees or trees are just added where there are trees.

Graphic representation of the difference between reforestation which starts from standing forest, then trees cut or burned, then replanting trees, and afforestation which starts from non-forest area, then planting trees, and then standing forest.

Both afforestation and reforestation are healthy for the environment and the living organisms in it. Through these actions, water resources are being retained, soil erosion is controlled and also climate change can be stopped.

People should be encouraged not to practice deforestation because even if trees are planted it will take very many years for the ecosystem to bring back the honor that it once had.

Forest Climate

Climate is the average weather condition of a particular place that happens over a long period of time, usually 30 to 35 years.

Forest climate is not the same for every season. Although the average temperature is 10 degrees Celsius per year, places with deciduous plants receive a precipitation of about 750 to 1500 mm per year.

Wide shot of a mountain range showing mountain forest with gray skies in the background.

Precipitation is the main aspect of climate in the forest. All plants depend on water for their growth, how do they survive?

There is groundwater from the soils and the stream water that plants can use for their growth.

Planting Trees Climate Change

Trees will not be able to convert carbon dioxide from the atmosphere into simple sugars without factors like water, light, humidity, and nutrition. The world is at risk with how it is burning at a high rate.10

Why, there has been a lot of practice in cutting down trees that are mature, knowing that the mature trees are the ones that absorb a lot of greenhouse emissions in the atmosphere. More carbon in the atmosphere means that nutrients and proteins will be reduced in crops.

What Do Trees Give Us?

When we start counting the things that trees give us, the list is going to be endless. The most important thing is that trees provide us with oxygen, and also help to naturally filter the air that we breathe.

They provide animals with food, water and shelter and also predict to us the coming of natural disasters such as drought and volcanic eruptions especially to plants that have rings. Not forgetting that most medicines come from the trees.

Uses of Trees

  1. Trees are used to reduce natural calamities like flood, soil erosion and fire.
  2. Wood produced by the tree is used as an alternative source of energy.
  3. Some trees produce flowers which are used in different religious rituals.

How Many Trees in the World: Types of Trees

Since there are approximately 8.7 billion trees on earth today, you can easily differentiate the different types of trees with their leaves and seeds.

For those who might have visited the temperate climate regions, you must have discovered that the majority of the trees are significantly green. Unlike the deciduous plants, the trees in this climate region barely shed but only age gradually, and get replaced by new leaves.

You can classify trees into flowering and non-flowering plants. The flowering plants are generally polygamous, while the non-flowering ones are unisexual, largely depending on wind and animals for their pollination.

One of the most common types of tree is the Rubber Tree, which is mainly used to make car tyres and toys.

How Do Trees Help the Environment?

  1. Trees aid with the production of clean air for the environment and significantly absorb the toxic greenhouse emissions.
  2. Trees provide humans with shade while acting as a coolant, becoming essential for releasing stress and depression in people.
  3. They act as a shield against floods and soil erosion, as they absorb 1,500 to 2,000 gallons of water per year.15

Do Trees Have Genders?

To those wondering, “Do trees have genders?” Yes, they do.

Observe the type of tree and you will know the gender of the tree. Trees have genders, some have both male and female parts while others have either of the two.

A female tree produces fruits while the male tree only produces pollen grains. However only 5% of plants produce either male or female flowers but the rest are polygamous.16

Is a Tree a Plant?

A tree is a plant that has woody tissues.

They can be differentiated from plants as they are usually very large. Instead of stems they have trunks.

How Many Trees Are Planted Each Year?

Wondering, “How many trees are planted each year?” There are different sources that approximate the number of trees planted each year to be 1.9 billion.

Many countries have made planting of trees to be their greatest responsibility. However Ethiopia has set the new world record of planting 350 million trees and young plants every year.

How Many Trees Are on Earth?

Deforestation has a great impact on the environment today. People know this fact and have started planting trees everyday in different parts of the world.

But how many trees are on earth? 3.04 billion trees is the said number of trees in the world, but people are still trying their best to campaign against cutting down trees without replacing them and encourage planting trees.

Related Reading: Where Does Deforestation Occur the Most? 39 Statistics, Graphs Show True Forest Loss

How Many Trees Are There in the Amazon Rainforest?

The Amazon Rainforest has provided animals and human beings with homes and habitat.

There are 16,000 species and 390 billion trees in this forest. But people have been cutting them down, making the country of Brazil expect less rains in the future.

Why Is Sustainable Use of Natural Resources Important?

Using resources responsibly to help support the present and future generation is what we call sustainability. When natural resources like water are used carefully, then pollution and waste will be avoided.

Considering how important natural resources are, we ought to take care of them and keep in mind why is sustainable use of natural resources important.

Trees for the Future

Trees for the future is a non-profit organization founded in 1989, based in Maryland.17 The organization highly acknowledges the benefit of trees in the environment, putting it in the leading responsibility of restoring lands.

Trees for the future trains farmers from different parts of the planet on how to sustainably make use of land through agroforestry and other measures.

Study of Trees

The study of trees is referred to as Dendrology. The specialists employ characteristics such as seeds, flowers, leaves and barks to identify the type of tree among other essentials.

If you strictly focus on the barks in efforts of determining a particular tree species, it might be challenging at some point. Instead, Dendrologists recommend others to study the leaves as the effortless way of identifying trees.

Cool Trees in the World: Why Are Trees Important?

You must have visited the forest and felt how cool it is, right?

Transpiration is the main cooling factor as it allows trees to absorb water from the soil, and transport it to the rest of the plant, including the green leaves. Then later to the surrounding environment.

Baobab and the Oak Tree are some of the coolest trees in the world.

Good Tree for Shade

Shade is among the many benefits of planting trees to human life. That’s why you will find most homeowners with large compounds beautifying the space in their backyard with a good tree or two to provide shade.

It’s also a good way of cooling the surroundings, especially in hot climates.

You can look for the quickest growing plants that are able to grow faster, regardless of the region, to provide shade among other benefits. Some practical examples of good trees for shade are Weeping Willows and Oaks.

Wide shot of Weeping Willow Trees with wide canopy situated on river banks.

(Image: Rayna Bauman22)

As you have read in the article, trees are clearly an essential part of human life.

Besides offering oxygen to the air and showering us with shade, they help us capture the toxic carbon in the atmosphere. That’s why it’s crucial to take care of plants and join hands in support of afforestation and reforestation.

Simultaneously, humans should actively strive to avoid deforestation (cutting down trees without replacing them).

Remember, even the minor things such as attending a tree planting session across your neighborhood can help others understand the answer to the question, why are trees important.

Read More About Why Are Trees Important


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