What are the advantages of planting and preserving trees?
Besides the benefits deriving from their main uses ( wood, fruits, chemical products, etc) we must mention some benefits inherent to their cultivation in the countryside or the urban areas.
- Among the main ones we could include:
Forests for environmental protection
Trees play an important role in protecting the environment. Trees are responsible for providing the oxygen we breathe and removing carbon dioxide, responsible for global warming which involves the dreaded greenhouse effect.
Trees protect the soil from erosion. Their branches and leaves stop the direct impact of the drops. Water descends through the trees or falls from branches or leaves at a lower speed so it can infiltrate more conveniently into the soil.
The result is that a greater proportion of water is retained in the subsoil as a surplus and less water is left to run on the surface, reducing its erosive effect.
Tree roots also form a lattice that holds the soil and helps to protect it. In forests, or in areas with vegetation, minerals washed from the surface diminish in comparison with those wiped by water on the bare land. In areas with few trees, few shrubs or small herb water can form large grooves and impoverish the earth which becomes sterile. The current great deserts were great forests in the past.
Trees act as a screen against the wind
Trees also act as a screen against the wind, another important erosive factor. Trees hold the force of the wind and prevent it from dragging the materials to another location or hit the ground which favors its disintegration.
It is clear the importance of wind on the landscape in places bare of vegetation such as deserts where the force of the sand by the wind change the dunes. In many cities next to the desert, trees are planted to prevent their advance.
Many pine forests on the coast, have been artificially raised to halt the advance of the sea dunes. For example, the Doñana Nature Park, located in southeastern Spain, is a good example of the use of pine forests of stone pine (Pinus pinea) may be used as protection against wind erosion.
Forests also act positively to change temperature, another destructive factor of the soil. The differences of heat and cold between day and night disaggregate the soil and help to accelerate the erosion process. The sun shines directly on the bare ground and increases water evaporation, drying the ground. In wooded areas the soil moisture is more abundant.
It has been found that forests act as moderators to maintain environmental temperature on the inside which is not as extreme as outside them. Forests provide fresher air in summer and warmer in winter. The differences in temperature between the inside of a forest and adjacent outdoor areas can vary from 1 to 3 º C.
Trees in cities, towns and residential areas
In urban areas trees are also able to moderate the effects of sun, rain and wind. Deciduous tree leaves, next to a building in the direction of the sun, will be able to let the sunlight in the winter when the tree is devoid of leaves.
When summer arrives, the leaves will cover the crown, filter the sunlight and provide shade and coolness. In gardening, a screen made with a hedge of evergreen trees or shrubs such as boxwood or cypress is very valid to curb the power of the wind or provide more privacy within the garden.
It has been found that trees planted next to large buildings are able to decrease the heat in them, so that, from an economic point of view, they are very profitable because people who live in modest buildings do not need to have air conditioning. The economic value of trees in residential areas is also evident in the fact that the houses that have trees on the property are much more expensive
Trees in towns and cities have a positive influence on the personality of their inhabitants. We enjoyed the aesthetic pleasure when we contemplate and admire the beauty of their figure, her majestic or fragile appearance. We are attracted by the colorful and fragrant flowers, the delicacy of the leaves in autumn ochre.
In addition to these plastic factors, people feel more comfortable, more relaxed in contact with them.
Trees have a positive effect on our health. Studies performed with patients in some hospitals have shown that those contemplating trees from their beds recovered sooner than those who saw buildings in front of the window.
In rural areas, fruit trees, in addition to fruit, also contribute to improve the environment.
Trees help to improve air composition
Trees in city parks help to improve air quality by absorbing carbon dioxide, sulfur dioxide, ozone and other pollutants. Trees help us breathe better by attracting the dust particles that remain attached to its leaves.
Subsequently, rain water cleans them and running through the leaves, brunches and trunk, goes downwards into the ground. Urban trees reduce the ambient sound. The city parks are a very suitable place for leisure and recreation.
Trees to preserve the biosphere
Trees are part of a global ecosystem in which many organisms live. Trees provide shade suitable for other plants or animals. Many living organisms feed on their fruits, their branches, their bark, leaves or sap, others build their nests, being protected from their enemies, watch their prey from their watchtowers or pierce the tissues in search of shelter or food. Other devour their rod tissues
If we plant trees we will contribute to preserve the environment or to repay damage. Trees, with their growth processes, reproduction and decomposition, contribute to ensure biodiversity.
More information about trees
8 December, 2020