a small child, my son, Benjamin, took great interest in trees. Since
both of his parents are foresters, we impressed upon him from an early
age the importance of trees. We wanted him to understand trees are near
and dear to the hearts of many people because of the beauty and
inspiration they provide. We also wanted him to understand the other
benefits of trees. Since Alabamians celebrate Arbor Day during the last
full week of February, this is a great time to review a few of the
numerous benefits trees provide. Learning more about trees is
interesting and fun to children of all ages.
give us many things we all need and use in our everyday lives. Of
course, the most important gift they give us is oxygen. Without oxygen,
we could not live. Growing trees and plants offer us a natural way to
reduce the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. Through
photosynthesis, an average young tree can remove approximately 25 pounds
of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere in a single year. For these
reasons alone, trees are special.
give us products we know, like paper and lumber or wood. Lesser-known
tree products include toothpaste, crayons, glue, cellophane tape,
dishwashing detergent, shampoos, lotions, cosmetics and certain
plastics. We all use some of these products every day. Making most of
these products requires trees to be harvested. The good thing about
trees is more trees can be grown!
are a renewable resource. A renewable resource is a naturally occurring
raw material or form of energy, which has the capacity to replenish
itself through ecological cycles and sound management practices. Trees
are one example of a renewable resource. They can be harvested and used
for the many products they provide to us. After they are harvested,
trees can be replanted so a new forest is quickly established. However,
even if young seedlings are not replanted, trees will grow where the
previous forest existed (because of seeds in the ground). Because of
this natural lifecycle, trees are renewable.
The best time to
plant a tree was 20 years ago. However, Benjamin Smith shows now is the
second best time. Plant for the future by planting a tree today!