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Environment

For The Love Of Trees

The benefits of trees, Part 2 – Industry and natural systems
 |  Andrew Noakes  | 
The importance and benefits of having trees in our gardens and private spaces is evident, and covered in my last column. However, the value that trees bring to the overall systems of nature, as well as human industry is very significant. Street trees vastly improve city landscapes as they bring nature into urban environments. They provide heat reduction, reduce noise pollution, and improve air quality in cities, which improves the lives of those in urban environments. Street trees bring wildlife, encouraging birds and insects to thrive. A leafy town centre is not only m desirable to the body, mind and soul but adds economic value to any street. The presence of street trees provides opportunities for employment, as trees need ongoing care  and why not? Forestry/Plantation trees are important as they provide reliable resources for multiple use: building materials, boat production, instrument production, fuel, oxygen production and carving materials. The forestry industry provides many jobs for people to sustain their lives.

Gas Exchange/Improve Air Quality

Trees are the largest producers of oxygen on the planet, a necessary resource for all living beings – we rely on breathing. Trees actively remove carbon dioxide and other pollutants from the atmosphere and replace it with clean, breathable oxygen. The current practice of replacing trees with wind turbine or solar farms for the sake of the climate is nonsensical. Trees are our very best bet at keeping the climate in balance. Globally, humans are suffering increased respiratory diseases which emphasises the importance of clean air to breathe.

Improves Soil Structure

The presence of trees helps create physical stability in a landscape. The root structures,  move through the soil, weaving an underground web of support. This is particularly helpful in sloped or eroding landscapes. Certain species (ie willow and poplar) are high water retention trees, so they provide structure and water management to otherwise waterlogged areas.  

Wildlife Habitat

Trees in all environments offer living habitats for diverse wildlife. They offer varied protective homes from the leafy canopy, to the branches, to within the trunk, to beneath the structure on the ground.  Many creatures are provided for through the presence of trees: birds, insects, pollinators, apes, monkeys, squirrels, rats, badgers, etc. They also provide important food sources for ground dwelling wildlife (ie giraffes, elephants, etc). Thank the trees for all they do, and plant one nearby today. Next month… Planning your treescape – species selection and placement. Andrew Noakes, of NZ Arb Consultancy, is a local Qualified Arborist and TRAQ Certified Assessor with over 30 years experience caring for trees in a variety of situations. 0204 163 5486 nzarbconsultancy@proton.me