- First and foremost, they use the sun’s shortwave radiative energy to fix carbon dioxide into carbohydrates. Sunny Delight.
- See “Trees” by Joyce Kilmer.
- Trees can store the extra carbon we’re letting into the atmosphere. They’ve got our back.
- They absorb particulate matter (air pollution) and cool down cities.
- Trees release ahhhh-xygen. One tree gives four souls their daily dose (Evans).
- Their presence, to see them living larger than the human affliction, reduces anxiety.
- Trees provide spirituality. The Bible references trees more than any other organism save humans; in the Koran, the life-giving abundance of a fruitful tree is evidence of God’s nature (Musselman).
- Trees can memorize like no other. When attacked, a tree releases several chemicals, records the best one into its genes using DNA methylation, and recalls that chemical when attacked again (van Loon, 2016).
- A tree can “taste” the type of soil in which it grows, configuring its root system per available nutrients (van Loon, 2016).
- Members of the plant kingdom have a sensory capacity like that of animals, and are superior still, with roughly fifteen senses in addition to those that are animal-like (Pollan, 2013).
- Trees have a molecular vocabulary. Tree language consists of “signaling,” which is the release of chemicals into the air or ground. A victimized leaf signals other leaves (its own and those of other plants) with chemicals that identify the attacker, determined based on the “taste” of the insect’s saliva (Pollan, 2013). Neighboring trees will understand the warning and guard themselves appropriately, confirming that they speak a common tongue.
- Trees can also engage in interspecies communication. For example, roots discharge chemicals attracting mycorrhizal fungi which protect the tree against pathogens (van Loon, 2016).
- Given, trees have no brain organ to monitor their intelligence. Their sessile nature makes a brain organ evolutionarily improbable; how could they run from zombies? So, their mind is manifested in a cooperative cellular network. Kind of like the Internet (artificial intelligence), the plant divides functions between individual cells who together form tissues (like Internet nodes), which form the larger intelligent network. Since plants are unable to distance themselves from predators, decentralized function allows trees to survive the loss of parts (Pollan, 2013).
- Trees were the first temples of the Greek gods (Musselman).
- Trees are into social networking. Using their roots and the assistance of fungi to communicate, older trees act as hubs and every tree borrows and shares excess nutrients (Pollan, 2013). Forest plots thus have “better over-all health, more total photosynthesis (production), and greater resilience in the face of disturbance.”
- Siddhartha meditated beneath a Bodhi tree and became the Enlightened One.
- Under anesthetics, the Venus flytrap is unconscious to passing prey (Pollan, 2013). If any organism can be made unconscious, or unable to interact with its environment, then it must be conscious in its normal state. What if trees react similarly to anesthetics? Trees are—awake! WOAGH!
- Trees are fun to climb. Let’s assume they don’t mind^.
- The number of tree species in the world is unknown, especially in warm, tropical, biodiversity hotspots. Mysteries keep love alive.
- Trees make my home more financially valuable.
- They provide paper. I use paper every day, not to mention countless other tree-products.
- “And when he came back, the tree was so happy she could hardly speak” (Shel Silverstein).
- Their medicinal properties! For instance, the endangered Pacific and Chinese Yew give us the effective cancer drug Taxol (Roberson, 2008).
- The oldest fossilized tree is 385 million years old. Humans peeled back the chimp suit only 6 million years ago. To know a tree is to behold a most ancient life form, one that has felt the earth longer than any human.
- The above means trees have been our companions since the beginning. Even Gilgamesh “beheld the cedar mountain” (Musselman). They bind us to the first civilizations and modern cultures across the world.
- Tree evolution may have helped take down dinosaurs (Evans). This created a niche for us evolve. Trees have always had our back.
- Those fabulous fall colors are always there, masked by green chlorophyll (Evans). Way to remind us beauty isn’t skin deep.
- Because I love Apple Pie.
Of course, this is a small sample of reasons to love trees. There are endless reasons to love anything, especially something as universal as a tree. Want to share some more?
Evans, E. (n.d.). Tree facts. Retrieved May 01, 2017, from https://projects.ncsu.edu/project/treesofstrength/treefact.htm
Kinver, M. (2016, October 31). Growth of city trees can cut air pollution, says report. Retrieved May 01, 2017, from http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-37813709
Marshall, M. (2009, July). Timeline: The evolution of life. Retrieved May 01, 2017, from https://www.newscientist.com/article/dn17453-timeline-the-evolution-of-life/
Musselman. (2003). Trees in the Koran and Bible [PDF].
Pollan, M. (2013, December 15). The Intelligent Plant. Retrieved September 23, 2016, from http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2013/12/23/the-intelligent-plant
Products that come from trees [PDF]. (n.d.). Washington Forest Protection Association.
Roberson, E. (2008, March). Medicinal Plants at Risk [PDF]. Tuscan: Center for Biological Diversity.
van Loon, L. C. (2016). Opinion: The Intelligent Behavior of Plants. Trends In Plant Science, 21286-294. doi:10.1016/j.tplants.2015.11.009
Why are Trees so important? (n.d.). Retrieved May 01, 2017, from http://www.supporttheroyalparks.org/visit_the_parks/the_regents_park/tree_map/why_trees_are_important