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Importance of Trees
Trees are a vital part of life. In his article, Jones discusses the importance of trees and why it is important to conserve them. In fact, he gives pertinent information regarding several pertinent persons that have taken the issue of planting trees to a whole new level. He discusses the issue of Chicago in detail, showing how good leadership from the administration can bring out a tree culture which in return is beneficial to the whole society. This article is important as it illuminates this issue and shows why trees are an important part of life and cannot be ignored.
It is critical to understand that for centuries, tree lovers have been able to humbly and mightily plant and nurture trees in a carefully planned manner. Thomas Jefferson in the year 1793 declared that indeed it was under the trees that he would be able to write, read, dine and receive his company. He argues that indeed trees were taken for granted when it comes to the new nation and there seemed to be a limited supply of them. It is critical to understand the role that Julius Sterling Morton played when it came to the planting of trees in the U.S. He was able to conceive an annual day of tree planting and further inaugurated a tradition that was rapidly adopted by the United States and consequently within the world. Therefore, one cannot underemphasize the importance of trees, they have been there and have given shade and protected notable leaders from both dust and heat. They have been instrumental in giving important person peace. This paper, therefore, explores the role of trees as stated by Jill Jones.
Trees have been an integral part of the society, although their worth is not hugely appreciated around the society; a tree has an immeasurable impact on human beings. It is critical to understand that in many settings, disputes were often resolved under trees and, in fact, most persons used to harbor and take refuge under trees to stay away from bad weather. Therefore, the cultural importance of trees can never be underestimated. In fact, there are several tribes in Africa that believed that their God used to reside under several notable trees. This, therefore, shows that indeed there is a certain reverence that has been given to trees, and it is critical to note that indeed this reverence exists almost in all societies around the world.
According to Jones, most notable leaders in the United States had respect for trees and some of them even wrote about the importance of trees in their journals. One of the most notable persons that were heavily influenced by trees was Thomas Jefferson. He found comfort under the trees, in fact, it has been argued that he might have written the Declaration of Independence under a tree in Monticello. He had been able to plant several thousands of trees on his farm in Monticello. In fact, he believed that indeed trees brought good fortune and this was one of the reasons that he decided to plant many trees in his farm.
Further, it is important to understand that in man societies, trees were used when it came to several important religious and social occasions. For example, if there were no gallows present, trees were used in the execution of offenders by hanging (Peterson 49). There were, in fact, several trees that were used for this function and most of them were cut down after several years to reduce bad omen in the place. This cue was taken by leaders in America who decided to ensure that the practice remained in place. In fact, in a disturbing twist of events in the United States, most runaway slaves were often hung on trees.
Arbor Day has been celebrated to great regard in the United States. It is critical to understand that the progressive era saw an outburst of urban tree planting. IN fact, according to the Chicago’s municipal forester, trees that were planted in front of ever home in the city were but a mere trifle, however, the benefits that were derived from them were inestimable. There was a change of events in the 1970’s where most Americans turns to suburbs and cities, and the tree lovers watched as verdant small woodlands disappeared. City streets were unceremoniously ripped of their beauty and character and leaders cried foul. In fact, Richard Daley Jr, who was a self-proclaimed tree lover, vowed to plant a half a million trees to revive the decaying rust that was in Chicago city (Jones).
Trees have been known to clean the air and, therefore, most leaders in the United States have advocated for them to ensure that there is clean, breathable air in the American cities. In fact, a case study of Chicago shows the importance of trees. Through the leadership of the city and dedicated efforts of the leaders to plant trees, Chicago had been able to sweeten the air and the trees were able to shelter the streets and homes from hot summers as well as freezing winters. In fact, according to research, it has been shown that indeed in the year 1991, the trees in Chicago removed estimated 15 tons of carbon monoxide.
In conclusion, the United States has seen tree lovers that have changed the country. Influential decisions that have affected millions have been made under trees. Chicago is one example of cities that have seen a blossoming tree population as a result of good leadership and governance.
Jones J. What is a tree worth? Wilson Quarterly Winter. 2011. Print.
Peterson L. The importance of trees in the society. 2009. Print.
Importance and Value of Trees
Since the beginning, trees have furnished us with two of life’s essentials, food and oxygen. As we evolved, they provided additional necessities such as shelter, medicine, and tools. Today, their value continues to increase and more benefits of trees are being discovered as their role expands to satisfy the needs created by our modern lifestyles.
Community & Social Value
Trees are an important part of every community. Our 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.
Using trees in cities to deflect the sunlight reduces the heat island effect caused by pavement and commercial buildings.
Ecological & Environmental Value
Trees contribute to their environment by providing oxygen, improving air quality, climate amelioration, conserving water, preserving soil, and supporting wildlife. During the process of photosynthesis, trees take in carbon dioxide and produce the oxygen we breathe. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, “One acre of forest absorbs six tons of carbon dioxide and puts out four tons of oxygen. This is enough to meet the annual needs of 18 people.” Trees, shrubs and turf also filter air by removing dust and absorbing other pollutants like carbon monoxide, sulfur dioxide and nitrogen dioxide. After trees intercept unhealthy particles, rain washes them to the ground.
Trees control climate by moderating the effects of the sun, rain and wind. Leaves absorb and filter the sun’s radiant energy, keeping things cool in summer. Trees also preserve warmth by providing a screen from harsh wind. In addition to influencing wind speed and direction, they shield us from the downfall of rain, sleet and hail. Trees also lower the air temperature and reduce the heat intensity of the greenhouse effect by maintaining low levels of carbon dioxide.
Both above and below ground, trees are essential to the eco-systems in which they reside. 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. Fallen leaves make excellent compost that enriches soil.
Many animals, including elephants, koalas and giraffes eat leaves for nourishment. Flowers are eaten by monkeys, and nectar is a favorite of birds, bats and many insects. Animals also eat much of the same fruit that we enjoy This process helps disperse seeds over great distances. Of course, hundreds of living creatures call trees their home. Leaf-covered branches keep many animals, such as birds and squirrels, out of the reach of predators.
Personal & Spiritual Value
The main reason we like trees is because they are both beautiful and majestic. No two are alike. Different species display a seemingly endless variety of shapes, forms, textures and vibrant colors. Even individual trees vary their appearance throughout the course of the year as the seasons change. The strength, long lifespan and regal stature of trees give them a monument-like quality. Most of us react to the presence of trees with a pleasant, relaxed, comfortable feeling. In fact, many people plant trees as living memorials of life-changing events.
Trees help record the history of your family as they grow and develop alongside you and your kids. We often make an emotional connection with trees we plant or become personally attached to the ones that we see every day. These strong bonds are evidenced by the hundreds of groups and organizations across the country that go to great lengths to protect and save particularly large or historic trees from the dangers of modern development. How many of your childhood memories include the trees in your backyard or old neighborhood? The sentimental value of a special tree is simply immeasurable.
Practical & Commercial Value
Trees have supported and sustained life throughout our existence. They have a wide variety of practical and commercial uses. Wood was the very first fuel, and is still used for cooking and heating by about half of the world’s population. Trees provide timber for building construction, furniture manufacture, tools, sporting equipment, and thousands of household items. Wood pulp is used to make paper.
We are all aware of apples, oranges and the countless other fruits and nuts provided by trees, as well as the tasty syrup of North American sugar maples. But did you know the bark of some trees can be made into cork and is a source of chemicals and medicines? Quinine and aspirin are both made from bark extracts. The inner bark of some trees contains latex, the main ingredient of rubber. How many more uses can you name?
Property Value & Economic Value
Individual trees and shrubs have value and contribute to savings, but it is the collective influence of a well-maintained landscape that makes a real economic impact and has the greatest effect on property value. Direct economic benefits come from a savings in energy costs. Cooling costs are reduced in a tree-shaded home, and heating costs lowered when a tree serves as a windbreak. According to the USDA Forest Service, “Trees properly placed around buildings can reduce air conditioning needs by 30% and save 20-50 percent in energy used for heating.”
Property values of homes with well-maintained landscapes are up to 20% higher than others. Here are some eye-opening facts and statistics regarding the effect of healthy trees and shrubs:
- Homes with “excellent” landscaping can expect a sale price 6-7% higher than equivalent houses with “good” landscaping. Improving “average” to “good” landscaping can result in a 4-5% increase.– Clemson University
- Landscaping can bring a recovery value of 100-200% at selling time. (Kitchen remodeling brings 75-125%, bathroom remodeling 20-120%)– Money Magazine
- A mature tree can have an appraised value between $1000 and $10,000.– Council of Tree and Landscape Appraisers
- 99% of real estate appraisers concurred that landscaping enhances the sales appeal of real estate.– Trendnomics, National Gardening Association
- 98% of realtors believe that mature trees have a “strong or moderate impact” on the salability of homes listed for over $250,000 (83% believe the same for homes listed under $150,000).– American Forests, Arbor National Mortgage
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