Since this is Wednesday I got up extra early to prepare breakfast, as I always do, for my friend and mentor the Dharma Frog. The tea was freshly brewed as Dharma hopped onto my lily pad. We sat down to dine when Dharma asked, "Irwin, did you know that today is National Love a Tree Day" I did, in fact, know this and nodded my head yes. "Good," he replied with a smile. "Since today is a very special day, I thought we spend our time together learning about trees. Tadpole, the frog who plants a tree, plants hope. I know that you and your family plant trees every Earth Day. And I commend you for that. But do you know why it is so important to love and respect trees?" I had an idea but was anxious to learn whatever Dharma had to teach me. We don't need to be tree frogs to love and need trees. Every critter, humans too, rely on trees for so much. Here are a few of the best reasons, according to Dharma (and he's always right) why trees are important to all of us.
The tallest known tree is 379 feet tall (115,52 m). There are a few species of trees that live to be several thousand years old.
1. Trees are restorative for all ages and in almost every setting. Even if trees are only visible through a window, seeing them can lower stress and fatigue. "A study of children with attention deficit disorders found that the effect of a walk through a park is equal to peak dosages of two typical medications for ADHD."
2. trees create a sense of place and serve as public and private landmarks, as well as help to make memories.
3. People are more apt to spend time outdoors for exercise, relaxation, and restoration if there are trees present. "Residents of areas with lots of nearby greenspaces were three times as likely to be physically active and 40 percent less likely to be overweight or obese than residents in less green settings."
4. Some trees offer edible fruits for humans, as well as much of the foliage, nectar, pollen, berries seeds, and nuts many wildlife species need to survive.
5. Trees can block undesirable views as well as create smaller and more intimate outdoor spaces.
6. Shade from trees reduces ultra-violet rays by about 50 percent, and thereby the risk of skin cancer: It takes 20 minutes to get a sunburn standing in direct sunlight; under a tree with 50 percent coverage, 50 minutes; and under full shade, 100 minutes.
7. Trees reduce the incidence of violence and also the fear of it: Public housing residents with nearby trees and natural landscapes reported 25 percent fewer acts of domestic aggression and violence.
8. They provide year-round beauty.
9. Trees save energy in both cold and hot weather by reducing winds and providing shade and shelter: Carefully-placed trees can reduce the need for air conditioning by 30 percent or more. Simply shading an air conditioning unit can increase its efficiency by 10 percent.
10. The cost of repaving is reduced as much as 60 percent in areas shaded by trees.
11. Reduce the need for costly and expanded stormwater systems: Urban forests can reduce annual stormwater runoff by up to 7 percent, and a mature tree can store 50-500 gallons of water during large storms.
12. Trees can greatly increase property values: Residential properties with trees and vegetation can increase real estate values by as much as 37 percent.
13. In business districts, trees increase sales, desirability and property and rental value: Shoppers travel further to visit a district with trees, spend more time there once they arrive 45 and spend 9 to 12 percent more for products.
14. Trees absorb carbon dioxide and release oxygen: One acre of forest absorbs six tons of carbon dioxide and releases four tons of oxygen, enough to meet the annual needs of 18 people.
15. Trees reduce noise, air, and water pollution by reducing and filtering noise, air particles and rainwater through their leaves and roots: "Planting “noise buffers” of trees and shrubs can reduce noise by half, and particularly high-frequency noise, which is the most distressing to humans."
16. They filter polluted runoff from parking lots and hard surfaces: Urban forests can reduce annual stormwater runoff by 2–7 percent, thereby safeguarding soil and water quality.
17. Trees help prevent soil erosion on slopes by slowing the rate of runoff and holding soil in place.
18. They provide a home to many species of animals.
And here are a few great quotes you can you can share with friends and family on this National Love a tree Day.
“I never met an arborist I didn’t like or a tree I didn’t want to hug.” ~ Kem Cavenah Schuyler
“I look up to trees; they have their heads in the clouds, but remain footed in the earth.”
~ Richard Sutton
“I like trees for the feeling of comfort they bring.” ~ Todd Faller
“Trees symbolize vitality, growth, strength, endurance, fruitfulness, and even eternal life.”
~ Lyle Minshull
"I may not be a tree frog but the value and beauty of trees do not escape me. Trees give me hope and their branches provide shade and a quiet place for me to think and work."
~ Irwin Quagmire Wart
These quotes aren't from celebrities or anyone famous. They're from common people just like you!
I was thrilled by Dharma's lesson today and I hope it inspired you to spend some time today, and every day, appreciate the wondrousness of trees. The world needs more tree huggers. So, go ahead. Give one a hug. You know you want to. And after giving your favorite tree a hug, snap its picture and post it on your social media using #LoveATreeDay. Please hop back here tomorrow. Until then, I wish you