Tuesday, May 02, 2017

Treehugger Tuesday

From the website Mother Nature Network:

15 astounding facts about trees
As National Arbor Day draws attention to trees, here's a closer look at how weird and wonderful these pillars of our communities can be.
Russell McLendon
April 28, 2017, 7 a.m.

It's hard to overstate the importance of trees. Their debut more than 300 million years ago was a turning point for Earth, helping transform its surface into a bustling utopia for land animals. Trees have fed, housed and otherwise nurtured countless creatures over time — including our own arboreal ancestors.

Modern humans rarely live in trees, but that doesn't mean we can live without them. About 3 trillion trees currently exist, enriching habitats from old-growth forests to city streets. Yet despite our deep-rooted reliance on trees, we tend to take them for granted. People clear millions of forested acres every year, often for short-term rewards despite long-term risks like desertification, wildlife declines and climate change. Science is helping us learn to use trees' resources more sustainably, and to protect vulnerable forests more effectively, but we still have a long way to go.

Earth now has 46 percent fewer trees than it did 12,000 years ago, when agriculture was in its infancy. Yet despite all the deforestation since then, humans still can't shake an instinctive fondness for trees. Their mere presence has been shown to make us calmer, happier and more creative, and often boosts our appraisal of property value. Trees hold deep symbolism in many religions, and cultures around the planet have long appreciated what a walk in the woods can do.

Click here to read the entire article.

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