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The weather is warming up after the cold, dormant winter months and along with spring, we see new life. Nature shows this off in full force, especially in the way plants and trees begin to unfurl and create a vibrant world of colour. As spring settles in it is also our chance to plant new life and help make a little change in the world.
One of the best ways to contribute this spring is to plant a tree. We hear it all the time, how important trees are, and it’s because trees form the basis of all life on our planet and with growing industrialisation and deforestation, it is our job to help maintain the tree population where we can. Planting trees in our own gardens, in reforestation projects, or even in parks and as beautification in cities can make the world of difference. Simply planting a tree or two can help reduce your carbon footprint as well as provide shade in the hot summer months. And it’s so easy to do!
The first thing you need is to choose the type of tree you want to plant and where you’d like to plant it. The next step is to dig a hole for your new tree – the rule of thumb is that the hole should be at least twice the size of the root ball, allowing space for your trees roots to spread out easily. Take the soil which you removed and mix it up with some gypsum, compost and fertilizer. Doing this enriches the soil, ensuring that it drains properly and that it contains all the nutrients your new tree will need. Once this is done, you can remove the tree from its container, making sure to keep the root ball intact, and place it carefully into the hole. Cover the roots with your newly enriched soil, making sure it is firm enough to hold your tree in place. It also helps to make a slight well around the base of the tree in order to catch water and channel it directly to the roots. Give your newly homed tree a bit of water to help settle the soil and establish the roots. Your tree is now ready to blossom and grow!
Whilst trees form a vital part of the life cycle on earth through filtering pollution, absorbing carbon dioxide, helping fight soil erosion, and reducing pollution in our waterways, their most important role is maintaining our oxygen supply. Without trees, life on Earth would not exist! Trees release oxygen via the process of photosynthesis – making glucose from carbon dioxide and water.
- It takes just one mature tree to provide enough oxygen for a family of four for an entire year. - One acre of trees can remove up to 2.6 tons of carbon dioxide and releases enough oxygen for 18 people per year.
- A study of 10 cities found that community forests have saved, on average, one life per year. In big cities like New York, trees save around eight lives per year.
- More than 20% of the earth’s oxygen is produced in the Amazon Rainforest.
Trees not only benefit us humans in numerous ways, but also provide food, protection and homes for many birds and mammals. They form such a vital part of the eco-system that without them many species of animals and insects would cease to exist. In fact many species of smaller plants would also cease to exist as they rely on the trees for shade, mulch (dead leaves, etc) and, in the case of creepers, structural support.
Trees are vital to the existence of life on earth and it is our responsibility to make sure that as we progress, we also replant and maintain their population. Failure to replace the trees that are cut down each year could have extreme consequences for us all, so let’s do our bit this spring, and every spring – plant trees and save lives!