Yeah, yeah, trees give us oxygen. Yawn, old news. 😴 Don't get me wrong, it is incredible that trees are Earth's life support system. Just two trees can supply enough oxygen to a family of four.
But what else do they do?
When I started to learn a little bit more about trees, I realized that I didn't even know half of the f**king amazing things trees are capable of. And folks, I am here to tell you what I've learned from my extensive lifelong study of trees. Well, honestly, I only started learning about trees about a week ago. Shhh. 🤫
In all seriousness, trees are actually cool as hell, and I'm here to convince you why you should give a damn about them, and maybe I'll even inspire you to get out there and plant some yourself!
Wondering how you can help?Reforest the earth while browsing online.
First of all, I learned that our Earth is home to over 60,000 different species of trees. Freaking 60,000! To put it into perspective, there are quite literally 10X more tree species than there are species of mammals, unbe-leaf-able. 😏
Okay, no more puns, sorry.
As it turns out though, you can't plant all 60,000 of these species just anywhere. When you introduce some species to foreign areas, they can become invasive, destroying the biodiversity of the region.
Take, for example, what happened in Kenya in the '80s. Somebody introduced Mesquite, a thorny shrub from the America's in hopes of bringing an extra resource to the rural people. And boy, did that plan ever backfire. Mesquite had no natural predators in Kenya and spread like freaking wildfire, killing off much of the native tree species in the country.
What they hoped would bring economic prosperity to the country, actually ended up costing them more money to restore the land. So, if the 80's call, please don't pick up the line, we've moved on, grown as scientists, and have learned you can't just drop any seedling anywhere. Thank goodness for progress. ☎️
Ladies and Gents, we've also learned... 🥁
That trees can control the weather!
Well, in that case, I think the trees in Canada really hate us. 🙄 But seriously, trees do kind of have the power to control the weather, and here's how:
- They lower temperatures
- Reduce energy usage
- Remove air pollutants
When trees are planted carefully, they can minimize something called the heat island effect.
I know what you're thinking, WTF is a heat island effect? That sounds like a Netflix Dating Show.
Ahhh, actually, that was too hot to handle. 🏝
Heat islands are cities, particularly cities without a whole lot of trees and that tend to produce and trap a lot of heat. Think of Manhattan! 🗽The lack of trees and other vegetation in cities means less evapotranspiration. Look at me being scientific. 😏 Evapotranspiration is a fancy word for how trees "exhale" water, thus cooling the air.
So, trees are great because they keep all of this warming nonsense from happening. Think of them like natural air conditioners. ❄
Speaking of the weather, I discovered that the rings of a tree not only tell their age, but they also tell us what the weather was like during each year of the tree's life!
Trees can live to be old AF; I'm talking thousands of years. According to a study by NASA, 🚀 the light coloured rings represent wood that grew in the spring and early summer, while the dark rings represent wood that developed in the late summer and fall.
One light ring plus one dark ring equals one year of the tree’s life. Tree rings usually grow wider in warm, wet years, and they are thinner in years when it is cold and dry.
Let me show you... ⬇
If the tree has experienced stressful conditions, such as a drought, the tree might hardly grow at all in those years, and they can even receive "scars" from harsh weather conditions or a forest fire.
The lines are basically the tree's personal diary, minus the part where she broke up with her boyfriend for a bad haircut in the 11th grade. 😉
Now folks, the coolest freaking part of all that I think you all deserve to know. Trees. Can. Talk. To. Each. Other. Well, they can't necessarily gossip but they can communicate.
Willow trees release chemicals when bugs are attacking them to warn other willow trees of the threat. In response, the other willows will produce tannin, a thickening agent, which makes their leaves harder for the bugs to digest! If you listen closely, you can hear the trees saying, not today, Satan.
So, how did I learn all of these rad facts about our leafy friends?
I live in a tiny condo in downtown Montreal, and during the lockdown, I was wondering how I could help the environment, without having to leave my apartment. I started researching some ways that I could become more sustainable.
One I started learning about all of these cool facts, I wanted to start planting trees myself! But it's winter in Canada, and I can't travel due to COVID-19. So, I found a way to plant ten trees online, without leaving the comfort of my couch, and with a glass of wine in hand. 🍷
Gee, tree planting is so easy!
Girl, you're crazy, how did you plant 6 trees from your couch?
I discovered a great browser extension called OurForest that plants trees for free every time you browse online. I just moved into my new apartment, so I needed basically everything to fill up my space, and thought that it was amazing that I could plant trees while making necessary purchases.
You know that feeling when you buy a bomb dress with pockets, and you respond to every compliment with "thanks, it has pockets!" Well, that's exactly what I do now when my friends trip over all of the amazon packages in my front porch every time they come over, "I planted trees with these, okay?!"
The best part is that OurForest plants trees right here at home in Canada 🇨🇦, even though the trees hate us and give us eight months of winter! (Okay, that's not how it works, I know).
Pals, making our environment a better place doesn't have to be hard, and I love that companies such as OurForest are making it easier than ever before to save this f**kin' astounding species.
So, if you wanna become a tree connoisseur like me, Click Here to download OurForest and start planting trees when you shamelessly shop online. I'll pour your wine! 💋