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#FactFriday: 5 great things to know about trees

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#FactFriday: 5 great things to know about trees

Hello readers,

Welcome to #FactFriday on CleanbuildVoices!

Did you know that our planet is home to over 3 trillion trees? Indeed it is! Even more, countries around the world are ranked based on the size of their forest area; Russia, Brazil, and Canada are in the top three.

Interestingly too, some countries even get paid for preserving their trees and forests; for example, the Central African Forest Initiative (Cafi), a Norwegian-backed fund, paid the Gabonese government $17 million for doing just that. So, what’s so special about trees?

In today’s edition of #FactFriday, we will share a couple of interesting tidbits about trees. After reading this piece, you just might not look at trees the same way. Why? Because trees are amazing.

Fact 1. Trees are the oldest living organisms on earth

Trees have been around for thousands of years. They have near-immortal status being one of the most ancient organisms in the world.

The Bristlecone Pine aptly known as Methuselah is one of the oldest living trees at nearly five thousand years old. Here’s a fun fact: The process of dating a tree by studying its rings is called Dendrochronology. So the next time you see a tree, maybe you might want to show some respect.

Fact 2. Trees can predict climate change

In case you’re wondering how this is possible, remember the term we earlier mentioned- dendrochronology. Yes, not only do tree rings tell us the age of a tree, but they can also give heads up on the impending occurrence of climate-induced disasters such as a volcanic eruption or a drought.

Fact 3. Trees are carbon-storing powerhouses

Trees have an important role in slowing down global warming. As trees grow, they suck in CO2 through their leaves; store the carbon which is then converted into carbohydrates. Carbon stays buried within trees as long as they live, but when trees are cut down, carbon escapes into the air contributing to global warming.

Fact 4. Trees are powerful de-stressors

For many who live and work in busy cities, taking some time out to hike or do mindful walks in forests is a great form of relaxation. Spending time among trees can ease mental fatigue, make us happy, and feel less stressed.

Here’s another fun fact: Studies have shown visiting forests has huge benefits for both mental and physical wellbeing. The reason is that trees release chemicals called phytoncides which when inhaled can help to reduce blood pressure and anxiety levels.

Fact 5. Trees are disappearing faster due to deforestation

Deforestation is one of the biggest contributors to carbon emissions. While many scientists agree that trees will definitely help us slow climate change, they also believe that planting trees alone won’t reverse what centuries of human activities have done to the planet.

Be that as it may, protecting existing forests from deforestation and planting new ones are good steps to take in the global fight against climate change.

Hope you had a great time reading these few facts about trees. Watch this space as we’ll be back for another edition of #FactFriday next week.

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