“If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?”
I tend to humanize non-human life forms and even inanimate objects – I still feel badly that we unceremoniously took our 15 year-old Intrepid to the scrap dealer last month, and after such faithful service. So when it comes to trees, that are already a form of life … well beyond the crashing and thrashing of branches and the murderous impact, I think I might also hear a long and mournful, anguished cry. I think I may be a tree-hugger.
Trees are, of course, a renewable resource, but even without felling them for building materials or paper or sundry other products, trees work hard for us –
- Trees renew our air supply by absorbing carbon dioxide and producing oxygen.
- One tree produces nearly 260 pounds of oxygen each year.
- One acre of trees produces enough oxygen per year for 18 people.
- One acre of trees removes up to 2.6 tons of carbon dioxide each year.
- Shade trees can make buildings up to 20 degrees cooler in the summer.
- Tree roots stabilize soil and prevent erosion.
- Trees improve water quality by slowing and filtering rain water, and protecting aquifers and watersheds.
- Trees provide food and shelter for wildlife.
- Trees reduce noise pollution by acting as sound barriers.
- In one year, an acre of trees can absorb as much carbon as is produced by a car driven up to 8700 miles.
- Trees are the longest living organisms on earth.
About 35 years ago my parents-in-law had some seedlings planted in the northwest corner of their property, what is now our property. These are photos of our woods today – about 20 acres of white pine. While it produces our oxygen and cleans our air and provides homes and forage for porcupines, rabbits, at least one fisher, and cover for deer, it is also a place for our daily walks with doglet.
My husband maintains trails, and clears the deadfall (leaving some for the furried and feathered). The deep blanket of needles is resilient and silent – I feel at times as if I’m in a cathedral.
Jake’s Sunday Post is: Natural resources