8 Tree Facts You Probably Didn’t Know

The greatest threat

We all know trees are good for the environment, but these majestic organisms are so much more than that. With a rich history and a myriad of specialized skills, trees have been critical to the survival of species and ecosystems everywhere. Including our own. Here are some Interesting tree facts that you probably didn’t know.

1) Trees save on heating and cooling costs… Big time.

Having your home or building nestled among trees helps cut the cost cooling your home by almost 30% and reduces heating costs by anywhere from 20-50%. Bring on the trees!

buildingLot

2) Trees can talk.. Well, at least to each other.

Here’s an interesting fact. When certain species of trees are attacked by pests, they have an amazing ability to flood their leaves with very distasteful chemicals called Phenolics. These chemicals not only ward off the pest but also release into the air. When released, these chemicals communicate to other surrounding trees of the impeding threat. The surrounding trees are signaled to also prepare for self defense and begin releasing their own chemicals. Pretty amazing right?

3) Trees make good tenants.

Having a well maintained tree increases property value by up to 14% and a healthy tree is estimated to be worth about $10,000. Welcomed company for sure!

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4) Trees get better with age.

A mature tree removes almost 70 times more pollution than a newly planted tree. Plenty of reason to keep that old grandpa tree in your backyard.

5) Trees aren’t city slickers.

Although urban areas are probably the areas that need the benefits of trees the most, Trees just can’t seem to call them home. The average tree in an urban city has an expected lifespan of only 8 years. This is due to poor air quality, poor drainage due to concrete covered sidewalks, vandalism and intentional tree poisoning by local business and home owners. Why would anyone want to intentionally poison a tree?  Some business owners and even some home owners have been caught dumping noxious chemicals and herbicides into root systems; Resulting in the death of hundreds of trees across the US. On the part of business owners, some of the lame excuses for the killings have been to increase sidewalk visibility of their businesses by not being blocked by trees. Homeowners on the other hand tend to be the highest offenders. In a highly publicized case, Jerome Farris who is a prominent federal judge, was ordered to pay the city of Seattle a whopping $600,000 for the killing of 120 trees. His reason? To get a better lakefront view. C’mon really?

City Trees

6) Trees are lucky.

We’ve all made some sort of ominous prediction and felt the need to undo our self inflicted jinx by knocking on wood, right? Or how about those old childhood games of tag where you were considered safe if you were touching a tree? Ever wonder where these old superstitions originated? Our insurance policy against bad luck might have originated from various pagan cultures spanning from Ireland to India. According to ancient pagan stories, it was believed that trees were inhabited by nature spirits. In order to invoke these spirits, one could simply knock on a tree (wood) to ask for favors of luck, protection and to also thank the spirits for good luck that they have had in the past. Across the ages, the stories have changed but one thing is for sure. We hope that trees will bring us luck for many years to come!

Tree Mythology

7) Trees have a degree in Pharmacology.

Have a headache? Look no further than the willow tree for your aspirin. Did you know that over 25% of medicines originate in rain forests? There are even drugs used for the treatment of cancer which originate from the Yew tree. Despite the various medicinal properties of trees, there is also a dark side. In Cambodia, a tree known as “mreah prew phnom,” has become critically endangered due to the Illegal drug trade. What do they use the tree for? To make ecstasy. This tree produces a vital oil necessary to make the drug. The massive deforestation of these trees has also critically endangered the Asian Elephant, but we don’t think drug cartels care much for the matter.

8) Trees are great housekeepers.

One acre of trees can clean up over 2.6 tons of CO2 in the air annually. Tree roots also stabilize soil and prevent erosion. Trees can also slow and filter water during heavy rainfall and can induce rainfall by transpiring water into the air from their leaves. If only your room mate was so clean!