The Importance of Trees

While we may not notice it, trees make up a significant part of the landscape, even that of the area surrounding Leesville. Pictured here is a thicket of trees adjacent to the faculty and bus parking lots. (Photo courtesy of Michael Beauregard)

Trees are important. Very important. Not only do they provide homes for a plethora of wildlife, lumber for the construction of homes and businesses, and make a good, shady place to read a book under, but they (along with shrubs, grasses and other plant life) produce around half of the world’s oxygen. This is important, considering that a vast quantity of creatures on Earth need oxygen in some way in order to survive.

Trees are so important to the world that they have their own special day on the calendar: Arbor Day. Dozens of countries have a day set aside to celebrate trees and all that they provide. The United States celebrates their Arbor Day on the last Friday of April, which fell on April 28 this year.

Despite their importance, however, trees face a variety of issues across the globe. Ms. Lamberth, an environmental science teacher at Leesville, said that money is  a major cause of vegetation devastation. “Cutting down trees for profit is still big, clearing land for agricultural reasons, especially in developing regions like the Amazon” are both money-centered issues that face the world’s trees.

According to the Scientific American, “we are losing upwards of 80,000 acres of tropical rainforest daily” and this destruction of forests is resulting in the loss of “some 135 plant, animal and insect species every day.”

Fortunately, all is not lost. There are many ways an average person like you and I can help make sure that trees aren’t just something that we tell our grandchildren about. Things like recycling paper goods, using reusable bags when you go to the store, paying your bills electronically, and using cloth towels and napkins instead of the paper variants can help prevent further damage to trees.

However, it is impossible for us to protect the trees if we are ignorant of their value to humanity. One crucial aspect in improving the outlook for the world’s forests is to increase awareness of their importance.

“We need more awareness about trees and how they can be beneficial both economically and from the human climate aspect” said Ms. Lamberth.

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