The world has lost 80% of our original forests in the last decade
-United Nations Environment Programme
In the process of photosynthesis, phytoplankton release oxygen into the water. Half of the world’s oxygen is produced via phytoplankton photosynthesis. The other half is produced via photosynthesis on land by trees, shrubs, grasses, and other
plants. And with the fast decline of phytoplankton due to climate change and pollution it
is imperative that we plant as many trees as humanly possible.
So let’s start a culture of planting and replacing trees and let’s
have fun doing it!
Why are Trees so important and valuable?
- Trees are the world’s single largest source of breathable oxygen
- Improve air quality, store carbon, climate amelioration, conserve water, preserve and stabilize the soil which gives life to the world’s wildlife
- Trees give us much-needed oxygen and sequester carbon dioxide
- Trees increase biodiversity
- Trees fix nitrates into soil making it more fertile to grow other plants, like vegetables
- They provide additional necessities such as shelter, medicine, and tools
- Urban tree planting improves pride of place
- Trees provide healthy and beautiful places for children to play and learn
- Fruit trees provide nutritious fruit to eat
- Trees improve an area’s water quality
- Far reaching roots hold soil in place and fight erosion
- Trees absorb and store rainwater which reduce runoff and sediment deposit after storms. This helps the ground water supply recharge, prevents the transport of chemicals into streams and prevents flooding
- Trees controls climate by moderating the effects of the sun, rain and wind.
- Trees also preserve warmth by providing a screen from harsh wind and influence wind speed and direction; they shield us from the downfall of rain, sleet and hail.
- Fallen leaves make excellent compost that enriches soil.
- Leaves absorb and filter the sun’s radiant energy, keeping things cool in summer
- Trees, shrubs and turf also filter air by removing dust and absorbing other pollutants like carbon monoxide, sulfur dioxide and nitrogen dioxide.
- Trees also lower the air temperature and reduce the heat intensity of the greenhouse effect by maintaining low levels of carbon dioxide.
1 in 5 South African children suffer from chronic malnutrition.
This can negatively affect concentration, ability to learn and school attendance.
Planting fruit trees at schools can aid with food security.
South Africa has a huge problem and misconception between ‘leafy’ privileged areas and ‘barren’ under-privileged areas. Urban greening improves pride of place in communities and has also been linked to reductions in social ills, like crime and drug abuse.
Using trees in cities to deflect the sunlight reduces the heat island effect caused by pavement and commercial buildings.
Streets, parks, playgrounds and backyards are lined with trees that create a peaceful, aesthetically pleasing environment. Trees increase our quality of life by bringing natural elements and wildlife habitats into urban settings.
We gather under the cool shade they provide during outdoor activities with family and friends. Many neighborhoods are also the home of very old trees that serve as historic landmarks and a great source of town pride.
Money does grow on trees!! Fruit and olive trees can provide produce that can be used in feeding schemes or sold by schools and communities. Indigenous trees increase property values and can provide natural air conditioning for homes and classrooms.