They Produce Oxygen
If trees were able to produce free WiFi, we would probably be planting them all over our cities. But what they do produce is Oxygen, an essential element, fundamental to why we exist.
In just one season, a leafy mature tree produces enough Oxygen for 10 people to breathe. This is even more important in densely polluted and populated areas such as cities, where the oxygen levels are usually 6% lower.
Carbon Dioxide And Carbon, Soaking It Up And Storing It
Trees play a vital role when it comes to something we have called carbon sinks. This involves storing carbon which forms an important part of carbon cycles and a vital part of mitigating some of the effects caused by climate change.
In just one year, one mature tree has the ability to absorb as much as 48-pounds of CO2 (carbon dioxide). On a global scale, it is thought that the forests absorb 40% of “manmade” CO2 emissions before reaching the outer atmosphere (where they trap more heat). Due to their density and size, trees perform far better at these tasks when compared to smaller plants.
To describe how good trees are at storing harmful carbon, in London, it is estimated that the trees store around 2,367,000 tonnes of carbon, which is an approximate value of £147 million to the economy in the UK.
They Keep The Air Clean
Trees absorb more than just Carbon Dioxide from the surrounding environment. They also absorb most toxins and pollutants that are emitted from many of our daily activities. This is even more important these days, since air pollution, especially in the urban areas, now means that air we are breathing is either exceeding or reaching toxic levels. This is not great news, since 8 in 10 people now reside in cities or built-up towns.
While all types of trees are already doing this, the more successful types are the ones that suit their location. This means they require minimal management or the trees that are fairly resistant to disease and live long lives. You might want to make yourself more familiar with Tree surveys and how they work. if this is in your best interests and you are based in London or the surrounding area you can take a look at Tree Survey London.
They Protect Us From Floods
A single leafy, mature tree has the ability to absorb as much as 450 litres of water every day through its root system, and capture rainwater that comes off the surface of the leaves. The roots of trees also slow down soil erosion and slow water filtration into the drainage networks in cities.
This is really important in towns and cities where large areas of the ground’s surface include impermeable materials such as concrete and tarmac. When sudden downpours occur, this can quickly turn into flash flooding, especially when the water doesn’t have anywhere to go!
They Keep Things Cool
In addition to soaking up water, all trees also release this water in the form of vapour through a process known as evapotranspiration, which causes a “cooling effect”. Trees also offer shade for buildings and the ground, which results in reduced energy usage and further cooling. The cooling effect from a single, leafy mature tree is equal to 10 air conditioner units that run for 20 hours over the course of a day. This cooling effect helps to combat an effect known as “urban heat island”, which often causes city temperatures to be around 7 degrees higher than the average.