Who doesn’t love a tree? Its beauty, fruits, colors and graceful lines. Trees are important characters in the play of life. We pass by them everyday but most of us have little understanding of all the things trees are doing. Yes, we’ve all learned the O2- C02 exchange between living creatures and trees, but there’s much more going on. If we knew about it all, might we value trees more, not cut them down and plant the native trees of our region? Here is one older tree that sits in a hedgerow near a medical complex in the industrial park near my apartments.
It is a sugar maple. It is a “mother tree” providing benefits to all the trees and plants, and animals that are part of its area of influence. It has provided a hard wood for human needs and provides syrup that is used by animals and humans, insects and myriad organisms. But, its most important contribution may be its brilliant colors in the Fall.
Trees also provide other critical benefits to human health by providing the connectivity in the natural environment from which health arises.
Diana Beresford-Kroeger is a scientist and writer whose work is devoted to understanding the numerous roles of trees in the ecological health of natural habitats, plants and wildlife, and of the human species. Follow the link below to learn more.