Could we live without trees?
Well, this is a question that we may commonly ask ourselves. Could we live without trees? As we move into an age of huge population growth, cities expanding at a mammoth rate and as consumers, we are putting a huge strain on the world as we know it.
Before we move into the more scientific facts, it is important to know why trees are planted and well maintained in cities and towns all over the world, yes they turn carbon dioxide into oxygen blah blah blah but what about the aesthetic value they hold? Ever walked into a really fancy neighbourhood and thought “These houses must be worth a fair bit”, I think we all have. Nine times out of ten, these upmarket areas will have a vast selection of established native and exotic trees that are well maintained. On the other end of the scale, say a very hard concrete cityscape, trees are planted on purpose to provide shade, shelter, reduce noise pollution and to improve peoples mental health ( Yes this is a proven fact). As well as trees being a vital resource for food, fuel and construction, sometimes it is overlooked that they provide a huge value to humans and animals on earth.
Could we live without trees?
Trees play a vital part in the carbon cycle. Absorbing carbon dioxide and converting it into oxygen in a process I’m sure you are aware of, Photosynthesis. They do not only absorb carbon dioxide, they can absorb many other airborne substances or pollutants in the soil, thus giving us a cleaner environment to go about our daily lives, these processes also help massively to keep the temperature stable on planet earth. Not only do trees regulate our air supply, they also have the power to regulate water too, they do not only take water, they release water into the ground in drought conditions to anchor the soil and ultimately share what they have stored for themselves.
So air pollution is usually the first worry when we think about losing trees forever but one thing that is often overlooked is the valuable soil that we grow our food in. Trees do an amazing job at filtering the water and pollutants in the soil, making it safer for us to grow our food in the ground. They also play a massive part in preventing soil erosion, keeping ground stable and preventing land heave or subsidence.
Do we take what we have for granted? Imagine a world with no pencils, no guitars, no firewood, no paper, no cork, no cricket bats, no books, no chopsticks, no xylophones, no resins, no latex and this is just to name a few. It is easy for us to go about our daily lives without ever considering that these towering, green structures that make our gardens messy with leaves are actually playing a massive part in our everyday lives.
Every little helps
There are trees for every situation, small trees, large trees, evergreen trees, fast growing, slow growing, there really is no excuse not to contribute to our environment by planting or taking care of a tree around you. Be mindful of damaging the tree's roots with your car, be mindful of not burning its leaves with your barbecue, don’t pour your bucket of bleach at the base of it and don’t hammer nails into it for your washing line.
Trees can hinder certain luxuries we have as humans such as sunlight or a certain desired view of the mountains but there is almost always a way we can co-habit with these woody friends, even if removal is the only option there is no excuse not to replant a tree or 4. So the answer to the question, Could we live without trees? Well... No we could not!